OTDHipHop: What is your name and what city are you reppin’?
GSP: I go by Guam’s Social Progressor (GSP) or Mz. C currently reppin’ Kumeyaay Land or San Diego, CA. My culture is Chamorro, so I also rep Guahan (Guam) to da max!
OTDHipHop: What is The Social Progress Podcast (TSPP), and how did you get started with it?
GSP: TSPP is a podcast that educates Social Stigmas with Lived Experiences. The goal is to bring Education, Awareness, Prevention and Change to the social issues we face through story sharing. I created the empowerment to start TSPP during the beginning of the 2020 Pandemic. I always wanted to have a blog space or a space that I can express my stories openly without fear of judgement or ridicule and invite others in too but I never had the confidence or consistency to get started, until the pandemic. Now there are so many ways to share our expressions, creations and stories, so one of the many outlets I chose was through our voice in the podcast community. At first I was sharing awareness videos on mental and emotional health and now I interview people both individually and collectively all on Life Testimony and Lived Experiences.
OTDHipHop: You do much more than the podcast, especially in facilitating conversations amongst youth and young people about various social topics/issues. What drives you to do your work?
GSP: Divine purpose and guidance. Social Awareness and consciousness to love, compassion and healing is my god gifted, ancestor driven talent and life mission. Humans can only do so much, this work is physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually draining and there are forces outside of the physical realm that want to stop us from doing this, the majority is celestial support. Some days I just want to take care of my own problems but I know that there are others out there who don't have support, who believe their voice is not worthy of being heard, who believe their adverse experiences define who they are and God says differently because we all have a unique purpose here and I want to breathe the breath of life into the dry bones of my people, youth and all peoples. On the harder days, the kids who go through adverse experiences everyday and have no other choice drives me and on the toughest of the toughest days, the little me drives me. Because not much was there for me in ways I needed.
OTDHipHop: How did you realize your “calling” with organizing youth and young people?
GSP: I have always been a caretaker of youth since I was a child. I was always taking care of someone's child, my cousins, siblings, friends, strangers. As a young person and young adult I always looked at it as the right thing to do. Something I loved to do just because people need support. Growing into my 30s I now recognize it's more than just doing the right things but my life's purpose and I realized this through deep, dark healing of inner child wounds and experiences. Wounds and experiences that have been a cycle in many generations before me. When I recognized I was willing to go against the grain to change generational patterns and I was okay, or had to be okay with the hardship or lonely journeys that came I knew. When I saw I was not only willing to change my life patterns that were not serving me and my lineage along with speaking up and out on the systemic actions that went against me, my people or all peoples I knew I this was what I was meant to do because no one wants to do the work, until we do the work.
OTDHipHop: How do you stay motivated to do what you do?
GSP: REST! The work in itself motivates me to do more and to become better at what I do but sometimes we do too much and we forget to reflect on how far we've actually come. Motivation will burn us out without rest. Rest encourages me to sit still. To sit with myself and check in on me. It empowers me to trust in myself and to believe that I can work hard and I can rest as long as I want and during both times I am still making an individual and global change which then motivates me every day to come back refreshed, reconnected and ready to take on the next steps. Seeing people empower and take care of themselves and another also empowers and motivates me to continue on.
OTDHipHop: What is Create2Communicate? And how can people get involved?
GSP: Create2Communicate is a virtual community space for people to come together online and share their experiences both good and bad through communications and creative expression. The goal of this space is to empower creative expression about our hardships or life experiences and community building through our stories and arts. I would also love this space to be a sanctuary for people to share their passions. People can get involved by signing up for our monthly get togethers (besides rest months) through my linktree on Instagram @guams.social.progressor where you can sign up to share creatively on a number of social issues or personal reflections and/or come listen and learn from others experiences or just share your creative gifts and talents. You can also get involved with this movement by sharing our efforts with your friends and family. This virtual outlet is open to all peoples of color while being a direct empowerment space for Micronesians, People who identify as LGBTQIA+ and People with a disability.
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ABOUT THE HOST
Jehzan Exclusive is a hip hop artist, educator, and entrepreneur from Honolulu, HI. She founded OTDHipHop in 2015. For more, follow her on social media @jehzanexclusive.