McBride Gathering Space came to life on Tuesday, Feb. 6 when Elon students from various backgrounds came together for the event, Let Us Breathe.

Let Us Breathe was a way for Elon students to express their own thoughts and experiences regarding social justice for the Black community through art, song and poetry. At the beginning of the showcase, Aviya Payne and Kennedy Ojimadu encouraged the attendees to think about the message being conveyed through the assorted acts throughout the night. It provided a respectful environment for students to express some of their innermost thoughts creatively.

The event, co-sponsored by CREDE and Elon's National PanHellenic Council was an overall success, as all seats were filled in the room. Showcase acts included an original piece by CREDE Assistant Director Jamie Butler, who performed an original piece written in 2011 titled, "The Pieces of Me," freestyles by Desmond Harrell and Kennedy Ojimadu about inequality. There were also three original works presented by NPHC President Danielle Williams.

One message was evident throughout the night: optimism is essential even though recent events have discouraged the public.

This was especially evident in a piece called (Re)breathe., where the main character of the short film states, "We are the light, we are the love that survives the hatred. Our mission is to bring our nieces and nephews the justice they deserve. We are the empowered dream that says, 'I can; I can, and I will.'"

As the final act of the showcase, Elon Gospel Choir performed a piece where each member "tells their own story," said Director Jasmine Turner.

The conversation on social justice will continue, but Let Us Breathe enlightened the audience in a unique way through self-expression.