Dear friend,

Today we wake up to start the third week of 2022, remembering the contributions and bravery of Martin Luther King Jr. The campaign he ignited against oppression and violence continues, as relevant today as in 1963. Today even our school children face violence in many forms, and this violence- even the very fear of it- takes a psychological toll. It shapes their upbringing and development.

In 2021, Cuatro Puntos partnered with the National Campaign To Stop Violence (Do The Write Thing), a national organization that helps children heal from violence of all types by challenging them to write about it. Each year over 90,000 middle school students across the USA write essays, and 50 make it into a book in the Library of Congress. Cuatro Puntos Ensemble members wrote new music in response to excerpts from these essays.

Today we share with you an essay by Delilah, a middle school scholar from Palm Beach County, Florida. In today's video you'll hear her read a poignant excerpt from her essay about staying alive at school, about what she feels it would be like to have an active shooter in her school, and what she would do to say goodbye if such a moment occurred. Following her excerpt is a new composition written by Ameen Mokdad, performed by Cuatro Puntos Ensemble, in an attempt to incapsulate the fear and nostalgia in such a moment.

You may read Delilah's complete essay below.


Ameen Mokdad

Cuatro Puntos Ensemble
Alexander Kollias, clarinet
Aaron Packard - violin
Annie Trépanier - violin
Steve Larson - viola
Kevin Bishop - viola
Allan Ballinger - cello

Lighting Design
Ken Trestman

Recorded at the Autorino Center for the Arts and Humanities, University of Saint Joseph, West Hartford, CT, USA, 2021.