Audrey Rozier 2017
My family moved to the Brooklyn/Curtis Bay area over 14 years ago. I attended all of my schooling in the area as well. It was the year 2010 and I was a freshman at Benjamin Franklin High School. During that time, we had an after school program (Changz) that provided neighborhood kids a safe place to go to after school to be creative. I truly believe Changz set a good path for me to continue growing as an adult. This is where my love for music grew its roots. Changz offered an array of activities; producing music being one that I gravitated towards. And boom! It was happening, music making was in progress. I then met students and mentors from Free Your Voice during school hours as they were visiting classrooms and sharing the group’s focus on human rights and strengthening the community. I thought it was a great idea to start such and group and I started attending the meetings regularly. We all agreed that my musical talents could be put to good use. So, after months of work - combining my love for music and my interest in improving my own community - the official “Free Your Voice” song was produced.
Whenever I could, my sister and I would perform the song at local community events, rallies, even at our school to raise awareness that we were taking on the issue of improving the health and environment in our community - we were developing a positive vision and we were sharing it to get more people involved. Over time, my love for improving our community grew so much. I had a huge boost of confidence that our efforts were really making a difference.
Now, I want to build on this experience to use my skills as a musician to improve my community - with my community!
Curtis Bay and other South Baltimore communities have a lot of strengths and a lot of challenges at the same time. We have issues with poor quality housing that is still unaffordable. We have entire blocks that look like dumping grounds filled with litter. We have problems with crime and violence. But, we are not sitting around waiting for these problems to be solved - we are taking action. We are creating a community land trust to have invest money in fixing up some of the vacant homes and helping committed residents become first time home buyers.