By WGST Intern Hannah Patterson
Maybe you’ve heard her hosting TCU Radio or maybe you’ve seen her merch worn by students around campus. Either way, junior Kiaya Johnson makes her presence known as she works diligently to provide positivity to the campus and local communities. She started her own organization, “Kash Movement”, a podcast, “Aye Man, Say Man,” and her own merchandise to further brand her image.
Johnson is a News and Media Studies major from Dallas, Texas who prides herself on her ability to communicate effectively and act authentically-two traits she uses to build her movement.
“I am able to work with a large diaspora of people and communicate my thoughts clearly,” Johnson declares. “My being myself in every space makes people feel more comfortable being themselves and being vulnerable and accessible with me. I use that level of communication to connect with so many people and leave the impact I’d like to leave.”
While only a sophomore in high school, Johnson was inspired to start branding her passions. This vision led to the creation of Kash Movement, an acronym for “Killing All Sources of Hate” that has grown to be even more than she imagined.
“If you would have asked me in high school if I would be making shirts, starting a podcast, and on the radio, I wouldn’t believe it,” Johnson says. “I hadn’t envisioned all of this.”
As Kash Movement continues to expand, Johnson aspires to promote personal growth through the mission of the organization.
“I’ve always been big on being positive and looking on the bright side every day,” Johnson explains. “Kash Movement is geared toward promoting positivity, self-love, and being rich in character. If you’re not spiritually rich, you’ll never be fulfilled with happiness and joy in life, so you’ll constantly be chasing other things.”
Johnson uses her movement to impact the community with different service events to help those who need it.
“Serving the community serves me so I wanted to make community service cool to others,” explains Johnson. “I continue to invite my friends to different service events and recently became active in helping the New Mount Rose Missionary Baptist Church give out boxes of groceries; especially with Covid-19 we’re giving people access to free necessities. Kash Movement has been out there every Friday since I found out about it around a month ago.”
When Johnson went home for summer 2019, her community in Dallas was facing a spike in gun violence. Immediately, she asked herself “what can I do to bring some type of unity?” Not long after, she found herself planning open mic concert nights on Friday evenings.
“I hosted a series of events called ‘Untapped’ where I had three different concerts and managed over 51 different artists within a three-month span,” she unfolds. “I don’t have a musical talent, but people trusted me, and my advice, and I received so much love and so much support in the feedback.”
With her talent in communication and media, Johnson extended Kash Movement to a multimedia platform as she introduced her podcast, Aye Man, Say Man.
“I like listening to people’s stories because when you give someone a platform to share their story, they’re sharing a piece of themselves with you but you’re also receiving knowledge and wisdom,” Johnson expounds. “With this, people have always told me I’m wise and give good advice. I love talking and I can talk about any and everything, but I want to talk about topics that matter, topics that are typically taboo where I can give my personal commentary and enlightenment.”
Podcast episodes usually last around 15 minutes as Johnson recognizes people get busy and often don’t have a lot of time throughout their day.
“Whether you’re just driving to the grocery store or cleaning up your room, I want you to be able to put me on and I want to be able to make you laugh, make you cry, or whatever you need to feel to be comfortable and go along with your day,” Johnson expands.
Johnson is very involved on campus leading her to find support streaming in from many as she works to spread the mission of Kash Movement.
“TCU has allowed me to have a larger platform, in general,” she states. “From me being able to do things like TCU Radio and having friends that support me, entities that support me such as different offices and faculty members, the community is believing in me and it’s allowed me to pour into others creating a continuously rewarding cycle.”
For anyone looking to get involved, Kash Movement can be found on Instagram and Twitter at @KashMovement1. Aye Man, Say Man the podcast can be found on all streaming platforms such as Apple Podcast and Spotify. A link to purchase merchandise can be found at the links on Instagram.