At this year's Chain Reaction event featuring former Secretary of State John Kerry and Global Zero Campaign Director Meredith Horowski, Bay Area artists Terisa Siagatonu and Janae Johnson delivered a powerful poetry recital based on their experiences living under the specter of the two most severe threats to society: nuclear weapons and climate change. Watch their full recital above.
Nuclear weapons and climate change can be hard to grasp in the manner that they are usually presented throughout mass media. In a society that feels increasingly disenfranchised from its politics, it can be difficult to mobilize and organize on issues that many feel are an abstraction.
That is why Ploughshares Fund is proud to showcase artists and activists that provide much needed cultural context to these topics, and inspire others to take action to combat them.
Terisa Siagatonu is an award-winning poet, arts educator, and community organizer born and rooted in the Bay Area. Terisa's writing blends the personal with the political in a way that calls for healing, courage, justice, and truth. Her work has been featured on CNN, NBCNews, NPR, Huffington Post, Everyday Feminism, The Guardian, BuzzFeed and Upworthy.
Janae Johnson is a black queer poet, community organizer, teaching artist, and full-time educator. Her work aims to address the intricacies of black masculinity while balancing her love for her family, Motown music, and women's basketball. Janae’s poetry has appeared in outlets such as ESPN, PBS Newshour, Blavity, and Kinfolks: A Journal of Black Expression. She currently resides in Berkeley, CA.
These poets greatly enriched the experience at our event, and reminded us of the many levels of the greatest problem we face: the threat of nuclear weapons. Learn more about our cultural change initiative here.