Capital Region student joins fight for racial justice one song at a time

Special Reports

SLINGERLANDS, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Many people angered and frustrated by racial and social injustice have been searching for ways to make real change. One Capital Region college student is working to do that with every song he sings.

During the height of the pandemic, Ari Miller was like many other college students stuck at home. Watching the outside world from the inside and much of what he saw was deeply disturbing.

“Following the murder of George Floyd I think, like, this is now a fight that everyone is joining in on. I was putting out content and I wanted to figure out a way that I could sort of join in that fight,” said Ari.

Joining in the fight for racial justice, the talented young musician from Slingerlands began a series of live performances from his parents’ living room on a Facebook page for socially isolated college students. Improvising off of listeners’ random words and phrases they would send in, sometimes resulting in sometimes goofy yet very entertaining lyrics.

“Usually it’s topic suggestions. Like, ‘Can you make a song about this?’ And then I’ll do my best.”

While was he taking requests he was also making them. Ari dedicated each live show to fundraising for various organizations that support people of color, the disenfranchised, and the marginalized.

“And I didn’t have any sense of how it would go. If it would go fast. If it would go forever. I had some snacks on the ground because I was pretty sure it was going to go at least 12 hours, the first one.”

Anya: “But it happened relatively quickly. Within hours you had $5,000 already donated. How did that make you feel?”

Ari: “It’s like a meme page, so it’s founded on us being silly and making each other laugh. But the fact that people care about the world around them it made me feel really cool to be a part of that community.”

Being part of that community has amounted to more than $13,000 in funds raised for several organizations supporting racial justice.

Music has always been in Ari Miller’s life, and it may have a bit to do with his family. His father is David Alan Miller, the Grammy Award-winning director of the Albany Symphony Orchestra.

“I mean, it’s kind of a different world from his, but it’s not so, so different. I am very lucky. I have chanced into a family that they see this and think like, ‘How great!’ As opposed to being like, ‘Hey, what are you doing over here?!’ They’re very loving and supportive about it.”

The Yale Comparative Literature major says he would like to pursue other platforms to continue making a difference while also keeping the music going.

Click here for more on Ari Miller and how he’s advocating for racial justice.

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