Grammy Award-winner inspires students to be great
Common, Grammy Award-winning artist and philanthropist


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2:32 p.m., March 7, 2011----More than 500 students and community members sat captivated Wednesday, March 2, by Grammy Award-winner Common as he passionately yet effortlessly presented “Raising Your Consciousness with a Common Sense Lecture.”

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“I told you I'm rockin' what and where? Delaware ... I came to UD to talk about greatness.” The presentation began with Common performing freestyle, improvising lyrics infused with UD references that further ignited the audience with enthusiasm and adoration. The tone of the lecture was set, and the theme resonated loudly --greatness.

Throughout the spiritual, intellectual and inspirational presentation, Common referred to childhood memories, past relationships, celebrity friendships with people such as Kanye West and Erykah Badu, and quotes from people and things such as Gandhi and the Bible.

The audience laughed as he lightheartedly told the story of his first Grammy disappointment, grieved as he touched upon death and defeat, and yelled as he exclaimed, “You all want to be great, right!”

Prior to the presentation, Common said, “From a time when I was very young, if I ever got anything, I always wanted to give back to someone else.”

As an actor, artist, author and activist, giving back to the community still remains Common's priority: “My mission is to be a creative artist and use my different facets to add on to this world.” Repeatedly, Common adds to this world by reaching out to youth, college-aged included.

Looking in the eyes of hundreds of students, Common said, “If nobody has ever told you, Common is telling you, you have greatness inside of you. Being great begins with finding your path, believing in your path and living it.”

Asked what he wanted people to feel as they walked away from his presentation, Common thought for a moment and said, “I want them to feel activated and motivated to achieve their goals and aspirations.”

As the lecture came to an enlightening close, Common said, “I want you all to remember greatness is in you, greatness is around you, you will be great.”

Students reacting to the presentation said they were not only “motivated and activated,” but also “invigorated,” “moved” and “finally felt believed in.”

Article by Kayla Codina
Photo by Duane Perry