Monmouth University students release album to offer diversity and inclusion
Some students at Monmouth University are celebrating diversity and inclusion through art by creating a music album featuring students from the university.
The EP is called “MADI: Vol. 1 ”, which stands for Monmouth Arts for Diversity and Inclusion. The five-song album was released at the end of June and was put together in less than a month.
One of the tracks is titled “The Bird That Dropped from the Nest” by Monmouth football player Manny Christian.
“It was just great to be able to work on something that I can hear over and over again and that I could share with the world, so it was just an amazing experience,” says Christian.
He submitted the work as part of an open call for students to submit audio as part of the original debut EP from Monmouth University’s own label. The project did not start easily.
“We had nothing. We didn’t have a logo, we didn’t have music. In fact, we launched a second call for nominations because it’s a sensitive subject, so I realize that everyone is talking about it, ”explains MADI executive producer and teacher Rashida Scott-Cruz.
The project was funded by the University’s Intercultural Center with a Diversity Innovation Grant.
Christian’s oral piece was inspired by his response to Trayvon Martin’s death in 2012, when Christian was only 13 years old.
“I want everyone to try to understand that… people come from different backgrounds and it’s good to try to understand the differences between people,” he says. “I feel like if you make the effort to understand these differences, then you are doing the right thing and helping humanity come together.”
The EP was designed entirely by the art students involved in less than a month. It streams on Soundcloud, Spotify, Apple Music, and Google Play.
“You have to live with yourself at the end of the day and you are the only one who knows all your flaws, all your imperfections. It’s okay to accept that,” Christian says.
Scott-Cruz says everyone should experience the album.
“I really, really hope that all people of all nationalities, all ethnicities will definitely listen and just hear what they have to say because it really heals,” she said.
As this was a grant funded project, the hope is to make another one like this if the grant money arrives. Right now, the goal is to promote and market the first volume.