by Dom Jones
“Racial inequality has always been something I wanted to speak up on, I just did not know how to do so. Then I figured that music can express many things that words simply cannot. That is when I got the idea to do a music video to express those feelings and emotions. And after a nudge at the very beginning, from Jordan Hope, here we are today with much more than a music video to educate folks on racial inequality,” said John Liner, 6th semester student and Executive Director of The Glory Project. The Glory Project began as an effort cover John Legend and Common’s award-winning song, “Glory,” with Berklee students. What it has evolved into is a host of panels, educational and social opportunities to learn and converse about racism in America, and a group of committed students working to create a more palatable experience at Berklee and a more thoughtful student body.
The Glory Project pianist, and Berklee 6th semester student as well, John Shorter said, “When I was first approached about being apart of “The Glory Project,” without hesitation I said “yes.” Racism is a contagious mental illness that continues to eat away at the soul of humanity. Although things are better now than in decades past we still face a harsh reality that our society is not “racism free.” I feel that society recognizes racism as being an uncomfortable topic so therefore it gets avoided in everyday conversation. When you continue to avoid a topic because it is uncomfortable you will begin to ignore the presence of the issue which can lead to many more problems. The quote: “the first step to solving any problem is recognizing there is one” couldn’t be more accurate. I feel that “The Glory Project” brings racism into conversation in a way that will stimulate the minds of everyone who watches it. By watching the video we are reminded that racism continues to thrive in our society. So we need to recognize it, analyze it, destroy it, and make sure we never have another “outbreak” again.” Since its inception, The Glory Project has had two panels, which were attended at maximum capacity, to create safe spaces of education and discussion around racial inequality, police brutality, and the Black Lives Matter movement. That these events were so well attended shows the urgency of students to both learn about oppression that they may not necessarily have to experience, share their experiences with racism, and find unity around eradicating society of painful and destructive experiences for certain groups of people.
The Glory Project video took over 1500 man (and woman) hours to complete. Students from all over the world, speaking several different languages, and with differing backgrounds, converged in the studio with their instruments, their voices, and their passion to create one of the most dynamic covers of a song that I’ve ever heard. It truly shows the power of when different people unite over a common cause. With the video launching yesterday, The Glory Project video isn’t the culmination of John Liner and Jordan Hope’s dream – it looks like it’s just the beginning. Click Here to watch the video and please share it with friends!
Keep up with The Glory Project’s events and programs on their Facebook page.