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Get to know Storyteller Odd?Rod

Roderick “Storyteller Odd?Rod” Borisade was born in Jacksonville, FL. and endured a rough childhood that involved having a drug-addicted mother, an absent father, and a brother to die of brain cancer. He withdrew into himself and fell in love with music relating to his reality. Inspired by the verses of Tupac Shakur, he wrote poetry about his life as an outlet and documented his surroundings. His determination to keep his grades in good standing earned him a full scholarship to the University of North Florida where he gained a BFA in Graphic Design and Multimedia (2005). While there, he created an open mic poetry event where he developed his stage presence and delivered the poems he’d been writing since he was a teen. In 2011, he performed at a college conference held in New York City and was booked by colleges interested in hearing more of his story. In 2013, he left his job and started a journey of travel that led to over 800 cities across the nation in a ten-year span. He was voted the college market’s Spokenword Artist of the Year 2014, 2016, and 2018. His message shined far beyond his rhyme and his ability to connect with diverse audiences made him unique. In 2016, his performance at the “TEDxJacksonville” conference earned him a standing ovation from the whole 700-member audience and an invite to perform at the “TEDxTuscaloosa” conference in 2017. His performance there led to an opportunity to attend the University of Alabama on a fully-funded scholarship toward his master’s degree. On April 30, 2021, he received his master’s degree in Communication Studies where he also won awards for Outstanding Teaching and Social Awareness. Living by the phrases he coined, “Our goals will separate us” and “Our losses carry wins”, he has become proof that our downs don’t keep us down as long as we are driven to pick ourselves up and keep going.

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