Shasta County Poets, Rappers and Musicians Shatter Stigma with their Performances at Hope Is Alive! 2

 Burney rapper Billy Riggins finishes his rap 'Life Goes On' to raucous applause.

Nearly 20 Shasta County poets, rappers and musicians performed at the Hope Is Alive! 2 Open Mic Night event May 9, 2015, shedding light on their struggles and sharing how creativity has helped them deal with hard times and promote understanding. 

From grieving the loss of beloved relatives to struggling with depression and post-traumatic stress, the performers inspired and educated the nearly 100 people who attended and encouraged people to seek help when they need it.

"He had what he needed, but he couldn't take that first step," Margaret Quintana, who read poetry written by her son who died by suicide."Please take that step. Talk to someone. Pick up a brochure. Ask for help. You are not alone. People care. People matter. Minds matter. And you matter." 

You can watch several of the performances from Hope Is Alive 2! below. 

Hope Is Alive! Co-Founder Brandon Leake Performs "Stop. Respect. Think." Via Video 


Burney High Rapper Chill Bill Performs "Life Goes On" and Talks about the Loss of His Grandfather 


Margaret Quintana Reads Poems Written by Her Son Who Died By Suicide and Issues a Clarion Call for Hope


Rap Group, Pitt Crue, Representing the Pit River Tribe, Share a Song about Cultural Acceptance and Overcoming Post-Traumatic Stress


"They're super sad, but trust me, they helped." - Kallie Reads Her Poems That Have Helped Her Process Her Father's Death. 


Cole Discusses His Diagnosis of Depression and Reads His Poetry


Talisha Shares Poems Written By Her Father Who Died By Suicide


Local Poet Ronny Makes His Public Debut With His Poetry About Love and Loss


Bonnie Shares A Story About Her Journey to Overcome A Difficult Upbringing and Severe Depression


"My name Kenwani Cahee. I am Evening Wind. And I am no longer ashamed." Kenwa (Wintu and Pit River) shares her story of overcoming trauma to find her place with her people.

Hope Is Alive! is an ongoing series of open mic nights held in Shasta County to celebrate how art and creativity can promote healing and understanding.  Hope Is Alive! 2: Think. Stop. Respect. was organized to celebrate National Mental Health Month this May. 

Hope Is Alive! open mic nights are organized by the Community Education Committee and Shasta County Health and Human Services Agency. 

To learn more, contact Marc at 225-5970 or and visit 

Learn more about the Good Grief! Suicide Loss Support Group. 

To learn to recognize the signs someone may be thinking about suicide, go to Know the Signs. 

Previous Brave Faces Blogs 

June 29, 2014 - "Work Helped Make Me Well" - Christopher Speaks to Shasta County Clerical Staff

Sept. 7, 2014 - "Do Not Judge or You Too Will Be Judged"  - Brave Faces Advocate Kimberly Davis Speaks to Burney Presbyterian

Sept. 25, 2014 - "Brave Faces Advocates Dani and Sam Tell Central Valley High Students "Depression is No Joke" 

Dec. 3, 2014 - "One Busy Wednesday: Brave Faces Ask Two Institute of Technology Assemblies and a Youth Ministry to 'Consider Their Minds'"

Jan. 29, 2015 - "Brave Faces Advocates Tell Pioneer High Students To Find Someone They Trust To Talk About Their Pain"

April 16, 2015 - "Getting Squared Away: Brave Faces Advocates Neil and Christopher Discuss PTSD Recovery at UPrep"

Aug. 20, 2015 - "Two Presentations in One Day Show the Many (Brave) Faces of PTSD"