Peacebuilding and the Arts

Video Podcast: 'Songs of Resistance and Hope'

Jane Sapp talkingIn the eight episodes of "Songs of Resistance and Hope," Jane Sapp offers specific songs to the current movement for racial justice. They were produced by Armine Avetisyan and the Program in Peacebuilding and the Arts, in partnership with ReCAST Inc.

Piano scores, stories, Sapp's theories of social change and more songs can be found in her book "Let's Make a Better World: Stories and Songs by Jane Sapp," available through her website.

Sapp believes that songs communicate ideas in ways that can move people to act on their visions for the world. Songs can plant seeds in our collective memory and energize the movements for social justice. They have the ability to give voice to a moral conscience and a moral imagination.

"Nothing is going to stop this movement, so I offer “Moving On” as a way to articulate that and another kind of platform to say “yea, you can’t stop us”...This kind of music is transformational. When you sing it, you don't feel the same. Something feels different. Something feels more connected. Something feels more solid...Resilient."

“Whether we admit it or not, we do have a collective memory around the various struggles of justice and civil rights in this country, and when we hear this song it brings all of it back to us ... if you remember it, you gotta do something.”

“When we see police brutality, they’re not just killing George Floyd, but that brutality is killing us all...If you can’t find a way to lift all of us up, we all go down.”

“Let [my life] matter. Let it live. Let it breathe. Let it thrive. Let it contribute. Let it soar. Get out the way because my life matters and there's a river flowing in my soul and because of that, I know I’m somebody.”

“[I was] thinking about how far we had come both as women and as black women ... I just don’t feel like we can go back to where we were before.”

“We’re whole people. We’re not just the police brutality people. We’re not just the health disparity people, we're not just the voting suppression people. We’re whole people. Those things that we can do and that we can fight for is what contributes to whole people, to whole communities.”

"The birth of humanity began in Africa, all of us are really African people”

“Four hundred years of struggle in this country and the only thing people were asking for was “ain't we got a right, just like you?” It’s the fundamental question of justice.”