Cornell Bowers College of Computing and Information Science
A color photo showing 3 women and 1 man on a stage


DECODE-IT Spoken Word Night showcases discovery and acceptance

April 19, 2024

By Imani Finkley

On March 27, the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the Cornell Ann S. Bowers College of Computing and Information Science hosted DECODE-IT: Step Up, Speak Out!, where students learned about identity, inclusion, and belonging through a series of poetry, rap, beatboxing, and short story performances in Anabel Taylor Hall. 

The featured artist of the night was Luke “Skippy” Harbur, an Ithaca College alumnus, beatboxer, and singer-songwriter. As both the master of ceremonies and a performer, Skippy shared his journey through spoken word poetry and beatboxing pieces from his project musicbyskippy, reminding the audience of the diverse ways to tell one's story. A color photo showing 4 people on stage with a woman speaking into a microphone

The event showcased the use of art to “decode one’s identity,” Skippy said as he introduced the performances. The student performers –  including a Bowers CIS graduate student, a first-year from Ithaca College, and an undergraduate from Architecture, Art, and Planning  –  shared their talents and creative interpretations of narratives surrounding identity and reflection.

In introducing, “Iānai,” her poem about home, Aspen K.B. Omapang, a Ph.D. candidate in information science, said  “I thought it was important to share this story because at college everything is so transient. We either find a new home or realize what we are missing back at home. So, I hope you all resonate with this [performance].” 

If you are interested in learning more about the DECODE-IT series or any upcoming DEI events, please email Cornell Bowers CIS Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at

Imani Finkley ‘24 is a Communications Assistant in the Cornell Bowers CIS Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.