Our next interview features rockin’ librarian and GRP volunteer, Nikki! (P.S. - Where can I get that awesome Philadelphia shirt?)
Name: Nikki Karam
Location: West Philly
How long have you been volunteering for GRP?: just over 2 years
How do you volunteer for GRP?: I was a Volunteer Coordinator until last month and I am also on the board! I think I will also be a roadie during camp week this year.
Why do you volunteer for GRP?: Because it feels good to be in a community of people who are all actively working against gender oppression in all its forms. It is really rewarding to be part of something that directly contributes to the undoing of this kind of oppression, even (or especially) on an individual scale. If GRP has influenced one person to value herself in ways that are not valued and/or are discouraged by things like the mainstream media, then it has all been worthwhile; and I think GRP has had that impact on many, many people over the years (we have data!) — campers and volunteers too!
Why do you love GRP?: I love GRP because the cooperation and positive energy that exist during GRP events is how I want the rest of the world to be. At camp it is so inspiring to see the girls (and the volunteers) realize how strong and talented they are, and that exciting feeling is what keeps us all buzzing and moving and growing. Camp week is a space with so much positivity and enthusiasm and creativity and energy and unconditional encouragement. I almost feel like those things could power the building if the lights ever went out. (This all sounds like such hyperbole but it’s really not!)
What have you been listening to lately?: Hmm… Hurray For The Riff Raff, Allo Darlin’, Electrelane, X, lots of old country and big band stuff. Also a friend randomly sent me a 17-minute track called “Paraguayan Harp Music” and it’s pretty amazing.
What else do you do when you’re not rockin’ with GRP?: I am a librarian at my day job, and when I’m not doing that, I am hopefully outside somewhere with people I love in West Philly or Media or South Philly, and/or reading a book or eating delicious food or petting a dog or a cat.
What are some of your favorite spots in Philly?: Clark Park, Grindcore House, Johnny Brenda’s, so many park squares (Washington, Jefferson, Rittenhouse), and I miss Tritone!
Why do you rock?: I am, therefore I rock. I accept and embrace all of my qualities/strengths/flaws/abilities equally, and I embrace all of those things in other people. Everybody rocks because everybody has something different and exciting to bring to the table— or to the stage.