The E.M.E. Story
Extraordinary and Meaningful Experiences was created by Valerie Cooper while living in Oakland, California. Inspired by a life of regular exercise, the experience of many genres of music around the city, the promotion of oral storytelling and especially the positive and idealistic speeches I delivered as a member of Toastmasters International, a public speaking organization. I was inspired to coordinate an event that included music, poetry, storytelling and speakers and labeled it “Expresscious Moments”. In attendance were comedians, writers, singers, Toastmasters and dancers. The event was promoted around the city of Oakland by distributing flyers, etc. Advertisements were placed in the Oakland Tribune with the assistance of journalist Chauncey Bailey. The participants who submitted their poetry consisted of a diverse group, a multi-generational and multinational group of people from numerous cities around the bay area. The age of the participants ranged from 15 year olds to an 83 year old woman. The 83 year old poet was Ms. Helen Malkerson, a member of the Ina Coolbrith Circle, Ina who was a poet, who lived from 1841-1928. The Ina Coolbrith Circle existed in Oakland and other cities. The event was truly extraordinary.
Adalaine Stephenson, Roberta Johnson