Students' rapping video scores the top spot

Matthew Steinman and Michael Born in deepening community videoRarely do we see raps about the importance of building community, but two Conrad Grebel University College students recently leveraged their rapping skills while promoting an important message of peace and unity.  

First-year students Michael Born (Kinesiology) and Matthew Steinman (Political Science) recently won first place in a United Nations-sponsored video contest, Plural Plus Youth Video Festival, with their video Deepening Community.

In the spring of 2014, after winning the Cornelius Krahn Multimedia Contest for high school students run by Bethel College with “Deepening Community”, the students decided on a whim to also enter the Plural Plus Youth Video Festival.

The rap was inspired by the first three chapters of Michael’s father’s book “Deepening Community: Finding Joy Together in Chaotic Times” by Paul Born. The duo focused on the topics of fear-based community, shallow community and deep community from the book.


They chose a beat that sounded fairly light and happy and wrote lyrics to each of the verses.  For the video, Michael, Matthew, and singer Nathan Martin, brainstormed while listening to the song. They wanted to incorporate different shots of community in the video.

Matthew and Michael believe that students need to think about the importance that community has in their lives: “Deepening community to us is all about developing positive relationships with the people around you. It starts with telling our stories, enjoying life together, caring for everyone in your life, and making the world a better place for everyone.”

The experience of producing the music video helped them to learn how to organize and optimize their time as they wrote, recorded, filmed and edited the video in about two weeks. As part of winning the award, Matthew and Michael will be heading on an all-expense-paid trip to New York City to attend the PLURAL+ 2014 Awards Ceremony and be awarded their $1,000 prize.

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