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Guitar strums, harmonious voices, stomping and snaps echoed from Alumnae Hall Friday night during the fifth annual Strong, Sexy Words, an event sponsored by the Women Peer Counselor program. Organized by Elisa Glubok '14 and approximately 12 other WPCs, the event mixed scheduled performances by various student groups and open mic participants from Brown and the Rhode Island School of Design. 

The goal of the event was to construct an environment where students could feel empowered through performance and community support, Glubok said. "We wanted to create a space where people could express themselves in a positive way."

The emcees for the evening were Jeanine Mason '15 and Shruti Nagarajan '14, both WPCs. The night began with a performance by the Bear Necessities, the all-male, all-suspendered a cappella group. Later in the night, audience members were treated to performances by the Brown'sTones, an all-female a cappella group, both Fusion and Impulse dance companies and Divine Rhythm, a step dance troupe. 

 Individuals were encouraged to perform as well. Camila Pacheco-Fores '14 performed a spoken word piece called "Soft Animal." Later in the night, Pacheco-Flores, Rebecca Wolinsky '14 and Gabrielle Sclafani '14 reprised a piece the three had previously performed at Nudity in the Upspace. The content of the spoken word piece regarded women's body hair, but in contrast to "Nudity," it was performed fully clothed. 

"I really liked the poetry, the readings. It's really powerful," said Libby Zorn '16.

"Besides some technical difficulties, it went great," Glubok said. "The ambiance was exactly what we were looking for."

In the past, this event has been held in Salomon 001, a smaller venue, but the switch to Alumnae Hall this year allowed for more spectators while still creating a cozy atmosphere, Glubok said. Approximately 70 people attended, and publicity was conducted through Facebook, posters and table slips in campus eateries.

"I always like going to these open mics," said Josh Jackson '16, another audience member. "It's great to see this display of talent at Brown and how supportive everyone is."

 A bake sale ran concurrently with the event. The proceeds from the bake sale will be donated to the Rhode Island Free Clinic, which offers women's cancer screenings and other health services. Though Strong, Sexy Words was not directly a fundraising event, the WPCs said they saw it as a great opportunity to simultaneously raise money for important causes.



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