January 16, 2012
D’Vonte Chapman believes in the power of a single voice. He views the ability to express oneself as paramount in living a life of distinction. It makes sense. Chapman, after all, is a second-year music major in the Hamilton Holt School with dreams of being an opera singer, and his voice is his gift. Through music, he’s found a way to connect with and inspire others. As a performer, Chapman is always out in the community. On campus, he performs with his a capella group the TARmonizers and sings solos at a number of events, including last year’s MLK Celebration. But singing is only one way Chapman gives back. Whether addressing issues of poverty and homelessness or helping facilitate programming for JUMP, the Office of Multicultural Affairs, or the Office of Student Involvement & Leadership, Chapman is always willing to lend a hand—and his voice.
What do you perceive to be the most pressing issue that your generation should address?
In my opinion, the most pressing issue for my generation is love. Many have mixed perceptions about it, and, to be honest, all of us might not truly understand the gravity and pressure the word love holds. In my mind, love is way more than just a word: it's an action, a condition. It’s something that can emotionally make or break a person.
How are you helping to make justice a reality?
Through music—both singing and teaching. It’s so powerful to watch people react positively when they know someone actually cares. When I’m sharing the power of music with others, I feel I am working for equality by bringing communities together.
How does your passion drive what you’re studying?
Other majors are good and all, but music is my number one passion. Music reaches people in so many different ways. We use music to heal, to propose, and even to save each other. Music is a universal language that allows people to make a strong connection with another person. I believe that only with music can we all communicate effectively and join together.
How does your vision influence your involvement?
All of my involvement is music related. It’s how I share the gift God has given me with others. And having that focus keeps me on track.
How are you working to ensure freedom for yourself and others?
I try to ensure freedom for myself and others by standing up for what I believe in and using my voice to make a difference. Not many people believe in themselves or in their voices, but I have learned to be confident in my values and beliefs.
How are you working to end discrimination?
Discrimination will always be present as long as there is prejudice and hatred in people's hearts. That’s why I have been working with the Office of Multicultural Affairs and the Department of Music to promote diversity on and off campus. I believe that by collaborating with more than one race we, as a community, can accomplish so much more than we are.
What advice do you have for students are interested in becoming involved but aren’t sure where to start?
For those students who want to get involved but don't have a clue or are scared, don't be. Organizations are accepting of anyone willing to make a difference or wanting to add their efforts to a cause. Also, you can talk to the other students and faculty members on how to get involved. You can also ask me. I am pretty cool.
Honoring the life and legacy of the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr, MLK Celebration runs January 16-21. Join us in paying homage to King’s work toward equality and economic justice for all people.
By Laura J. Cole
Office of Marketing & Communications
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