I See: A Poem by Raki


To help commemorate both MLK Day in January and the upcoming 50th anniversary of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assassination in April of 1968, SALT created this new short film featuring twelve-year-old Raki's poem, "I See."

This labor of love and justice is a team effort between SALT, WFYI Public Media, IPS/Butler Lab SchoolButler University College of Education, and Jamie Locke Art.

Raki, who performs the poem in the film, originally wrote it for an exhibition at the IPS/Butler Lab School.  "When I read her poem at the exhibit and watched her perform it at an all-school assembly, I was hooked," said filmmaker Elizabeth Myer Boulton, director of the film and Creative Director and President of SALT.  "Given the country's challenges and tensions around racial justice and equality right now, and with such an important anniversary next year, we knew we had to find a way to get Raki as wide an audience as possible."

The short film continues WFYI’s longstanding commitment to community engagement and lifting up voices that are not always heard in the public square.  “Our kids will lead us tomorrow, but they can also lead us today," said Clayton Taylor, Vice President of Production at WFYI.  “This short film makes a clear and compelling connection between 1968 and 2018, pushing all of us to grapple with how to shape the future together."

According to Dr. Ena Shelley, Dean of the Butler College of Education, this kind of engagement is at the heart of the Reggio Emilia educational philosophy at the IPS/Butler Lab School.  "Reggio is all about empowering young people to cast their own visions in their own voices," said Shelley.  "When that happens and the whole community listens, great things are possible."

Over the coming months, to help mark both Martin Luther King Jr. Day on January 15 and the 50th anniversary of Dr. King's assassination on April 4, "I See" will be broadcast frequently on WFYI and posted on various social media outlets by SALT, WFYI, IPS/Butler Lab School, and Butler College of Education.

So, here's what we're asking: if you're someone who wants to make Raki's vision a reality, please share this little gem of a short film on Facebook, Instagram, and on Twitter.  We want to amplify the voice of this young woman who is so powerfully turning her experience of the world into poetry and prophecy!

Do you see what Raki sees?

Peace and justice,

The SALT Team