The College of New Jersey Logo

Apply     Visit     Give     |     Alumni     Parents     Offices     TCNJ Today     Three Bar Menu

The N-Word with RahK Lash

“Why do they get to say it but I don’t? Can I say it if it comes up in a song? Did they really deserve to lose their job for saying it?” From euphemism and endearment to cancel culture and invitations to the cookout, this space will explore the history, etymology, and usage of the N-word while delving into topics of pop culture, whiteness, the power of words in our communal responsibilities to each other.

November 10, 2020 | 11-12pm


Headshot of RahK Lash.

Dedicated to a life of social change, RahK Lash is scholar-practitioner with a desire to motivate individuals through stories of failure and hope. As the Director for the Center for Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Social Change (IDEAS) & the Martin Luther King Scholarship Program at Ithaca College, he supports the development of students on their paths to becoming informed global citizens. With a Bachelor of Science degree from Western Carolina University and a Master’s from Arkansas Tech University, he is a student of life that embraces everyday challenges for growth. Mr. Lash is a former trainer with A CALL TO MEN, an active Brother of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Black creative in poetry, art, and music, Superhero Blerd (Black-Nerd), self proclaimed comedian and a dogdad to a Pitbull named Archer.

November 17, 2020 | 7-8pm

A direct follow up to his earlier presentation, RahK Lash is back to moderate continued dialogue with a group of Black creatives, academics, and community activists. Elizabeth Garland of ‘Slay the Mic’, rapper M.E., youth organizer Kierra Sims, and the talented Drew Drake go in on the group chat, tackling notions of ownership, belonging, and culture vulturism as they relate to the N-Word.

Headshot of Drew Drake. Headshot of Elizabeth Garland. Headshot of M.E.. Headshot of Kierra D. Sims.
Drew Drake

Drew Drake is an Actor, Poet and Educator from Huntsville Alabama; focused on creating art that facilitates healthy dialogue for people of color. His biggest inspirations are Zora Neale Hurston and Fannie Lou Hamer. Drew was last seen in the New York Times Critics Pick “TJ Loves Sally Forever” at Jack Theatre in February and the independent film “Privilege” in May.His teaching focuses on eliminating the elitism of Eurocentric and white-centered art, and creating more accessibility to different mediums of art for POCs by using Hip Hop and Black Culture as an tool of exploration of English Language Arts, Theatre and Creative Writing.

Elizabeth Garland

Elizabeth Lashay is a North Carolina native. She grew up in a transracial adoptive family where she navigated the rough terrain of finding her true identity as a strong, unwavering black woman. She is an on-air personality, an educator, a writer, podcaster, mentor, entrepreneur and embraces the role as “mom” from her students. Elizabeth is active in her community and enjoys being involved in a variety of causes and programs to give back. She is the creator and host of Slay the Mic: a hip-hop radio show on 103.3 Asheville FM whose mission is to celebrate culture, community, and creativity by amplifying voices from local artists and activists.


Originally from North Carolina, M E (pronounced em-ee) has continued to impress the ears of anyone exposed to his music. The 27 y/o Brooklyn resident is often cited for his strong storytelling abilities and honest lyricism. As an artist, he has gained respect from his peers for his ability to connect with his audience through emotions and with a cadence that seems tailored fit for each song. His message and cultural narrative paint a vivid picture of the complex landscape we find ourselves in.

Kierra D. Sims

Kierra Sims brings over a decade of experience as a youth organizer in the U.S. South and central Appalachia, focusing on the school to prison pipeline, introducing restorative practices to young people, and creating a just transition away from a coal dependent economy. She is a facilitator, movement builder, and educator that is dedicated to moving resources to radical, imaginative ideas. She thrives from creating space for people to share, connect, and build together.