Voices from the Left keep growing


Libni Galicia

Voices from the Left have everyone who has felt to be a voice from the left raise their left fist in the air.

Libni Galicia, News Editor

The 2018 fall Semester Voices From the Left’s meeting place had barely any standing room left. This 4th gathering event shared live performances by writers and students from the SDCCD Community College district who “have been bullied or harassed based on the color of their skin, sexual orientation, gender identity, heritage, religion, physical or mental ability, or for no apparent reason at all.” San Diego Mesa College Prof. Sakeenah Gallardo assistant Professor, Communication Studies and City College Communications professor Robert Chambers put together one powerful gathering of students, teachers and staff who shared their written experiences that shook the place up. This powerful performance night was nothing short of what Prof. Gallardo promised it would be.  


This event will share poetry and lived experiences of those who are seen, but not heard in our society due to the color of their skin, sexual orientation, gender in trauma stories, age, socioeconomic level, and physical and emotional ability. We will uplift their voices and share in their stories of struggle and triumph. Students and faculty will share their heartfelt experiences about what it’s like to be a voice from the LEFT. These voices have either been LEFT behind, LEFT out, or silenced because of their marginalized group membership.”

The opening act was named “son, don’t you know men don’t get raped” by Communications Prof Robert Chambers and City college students Misael Medrano and Joshua Payan, both in their early 20s. All three had powerful voices and incredible acting skill. This performance touched upon rape and all forms of sexual abuse that happen within the military, and the internal struggles that these abuse victims go through. Medrano explained that “the piece we did was not first hand experience it was an interpretation of stories that we looked up online and that were shared with us from veterans and current military personnel.” To those who did not know what to expect before walking into this very diverse and very packed room of people, this bold first act strapped them into their seat and introduced the Voices from the left, seen but not heard.  

As the performers spoke, acted and shared, appreciation for their courage and strengths began to flow. “Getting old”, a piece by Communications Prof. Elizabeth Huenebeg and sixth grade teacher Tina Carpenter, was phenomenally funny and still heartwarming as both speakers explained what it’s like to get old. Their performance was a dialogue between them and also interactive with the audience.

Among the talented performances Tiffany Gaschel spoke about her overcoming of multiple struggles. Gaschel spoke about her experience with anxiety and depression, with faith and shared a bit about her victory of being 17 months sober at her 30 years of age. ”I’d lay awake at night just staring at the ceiling, I spent my whole life trying to run away from that feeling that feeling of being lonely that feeling of being lost, that feeling of being sick when the lights turn off, that feeling of being oppressed and that feeling of being anxious, that feeling of screaming to God begging him to take this only to get silence in return… The doctors gave me medication, the pastor said pray, I tried both and this anxiety still hasn’t gone away so forgive me if I fantasise about being gone today, i’m an actor who got really good at being on today…”Her moving piece received a stand innovation from every one in that room. Because of Gaschel’s courage to be emotionally exposed and to share deep secrets and deep thoughts, the audience was highly receptive to every word that danced out her mouth. “I’m walking away from the old me and I’m demanding a refund from every lie that you sold me, you knew i’d find a way sooner or later, I found my escape in the form of a saviour.” Gaschel’s speech was beyond encouraging for the content but it was also absolutely fascinating the way that she was able to memorize a four minute speech delivered with high energy and genuine emotion.

With a total of eleven performances that touched on multiple topics such as race, mental illnesses, prejudice, appearance, sexuality and abuse, all performers touched the hearts of the audience and sent home a message. The Voices from the Left matter, and they will be heard.  Keep an eye out for next semester’s meeting place and arrive early to get a good seat.

Libni Galicia
Voices from the Left pack their meeting place with barely any room left to stand.