Facing Race: A National Conference in St. Louis, MO — November 20-22, 2024

Embodied Encounters: Engaging Arts-Based Processes to Move Beyond Racial Conversations

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Friday, 11/18
2:15 pm to 3:45 pm

Presenters of this session will guide participants, through workshop-style activities in order to better understand how systemic racism affects their own embodied histories, perceptions, and relationships. Participants will gain understandings of key concepts of power and positionality, which work in tandem with the social construction of racism and race. Participants will gain hands-on experience with arts-based and arts-informed activities that address how to creatively intervene in a world structured by racial inequality. These activities can be useful tools, skills, and ideas for educators and learners (both in formal and informal settings), artists, administrators, leaders/policy makers, etc. Participants will be empowered to analyze systems of power and the structural dimensions of racism to surface root causes and contributing factors through the following activities:

Activity 1: Game of Power - participants will select three objects, either in the room or on their person, and arrange them in a manner demonstrating that one object is the most powerful among the objects.

Activity 2: Portrait Identity/Positionality Chart - participants will create a portrait identity chart for themselves, considering the question: “Who am I?” Participants will consider which labels on the chart represent how they see their own identity and which ones represent how others see them.

Activity 3: Racialized Moments - participants will participate in an interview-style dialogue recalling the first moment they first learned their race.

This workshop will wrap up by allowing presenters and participants to reflect on the activities and any new understandings of key concepts such as race, racism, power, positionally, and more.