Narrative, Arts, and Culture
Tuesday November 10
As we face the multiple collective crises of 2020, we need journalism and information produced by and for oppressed communities. Building on the conversations held at Allied Media Conference and Facing Race 2018, this session will gather journalists and media activists to strategize about producing journalism that supports movements, reflects grassroots communities, and fights white supremacy and racism. We’ll talk covering the uprisings, the effects of COVID and economic crises on communities of color, and safeguarding democracy. Most importantly, we’ll build community among movement journalists and media activists in order to share resources and support one another.
The session will be facilitated by Press On, a southern movement journalism collective which has a strong presence in North Carolina, Georgia, and Louisiana. The session will include political education about histories of journalism and resistance in the South. We will draw on the work and wisdom of southern media organizations and movement organizers to collectively build strategies for supporting, sustaining, and expanding the liberatory practice of journalism. Small group breakouts will focus on building community among movement journalists and sharing resources.
In Minneapolis, as in so many other places around the country, the Movement for Black Lives responded to police murders of Black people - like Jamar Clark and Philando Castile - in ways that have transformed the political landscape and resurfaced deep questions about the role of police in our communities. Anchored by Black Visions Collective, MPD150, and Reclaim the Block, our organizing in Minneapolis has shifted from short-term reactions in the streets to changing the narrative around community safety and social control with long-haul abolitionist movement building.
Presenters from these organizations will share lessons we have learned and facilitate the group as we dig into questions like: How do we use art and stories to help our communities and decision makers imagine a world without police? What do we do when those in power who claim to be allies to our movement or represent the communities we come from don’t deliver on their promises? How can a grassroots narrative-based strategy deliver change at the level of budgets and policies?
After this workshop, participants will be able to: explain the historical connection between white supremacy and policing; guide questions and answers in discussions that make tangible the vision of a police-free world; envision campaign designs that change the narrative from one of police reform to one with real community-based alternatives to the police.
In this session we'll be hosting a live podcast recording of Momentum: A Race Forward Podcast with Chevon and Hiba.
Wednesday November 11
The workshop will showcase IllumiNative’s unprecedented research projects. Our founding research showed the profound invisibility of Native peoples in contemporary society fuels toxic misconceptions, bias and racism against Native Americans. Our most recent research project, the Indigenous Futures Survey, showed the priorities, concerns, and aspirations for the future of Native peoples today. Together, our research shows the power and critical need of changing culture and narratives to include Native peoples. Through a creative presentation, small group dialogue and large group engagement, the workshop will create space for shared learning and explore how participants can utilize and integrate the research and newfound understandings in their own lives to support and amplify Native voices and issues and build a stronger multi-racial movement for equity, inclusivity and justice.
Engaging with the research is a critical first step for participants, given the entrenched nature of Native invisibility across society. We will host a short Q&A after the presentation. From there, we will move into small groups where participants can apply the research to their own life experience and their own work for systems change. We will distribute a strategy brainstorm worksheet for recording ideas for activating narrative change and strengthening our collective movements for justice and then report back, looking at the overarching key recommendations for moving forward that were generated in the session.
Thursday November 12
How do we create art with our students that is culturally relevant, joyful, celebrates their identities, and encourages rigorous learning through an equity lens? Through an interactive, inquiry-based format, participants will engage in an exploration of what culturally responsive and equitable pedagogy can look like for arts organizations. We’ll share some of our practices at National Dance Institute (NDI) around building an equitable classroom culture while creating evocative dance narratives in ways that both honor those whose stories we're telling and ensure cultural relevance for our students. NDI runs programs in elementary schools across NYC, programs for children with disabilities and international programs in China and Lebanon. We will share some of our learnings from working with these diverse communities and how we set up our classrooms so that students of all races, genders, abilities, and other identities feel seen and celebrated. After leading you in a sample NDI dance class for all bodies and abilities, we will discuss how we connect the dance narratives we tell to our students’ lives. Through small group work we will have an opportunity to design mini lessons around a theme, bringing in some of the tools practiced in this workshop and brainstorming ways to create culturally relevant and responsible connections for our students.
Join us for a behind-the-scenes look at the #KeepAleFree campaign, a national effort to build pathways of protection from deportation for reproductive justice organizer Alejandra Pablos. Team members Gloria, Yvette, Ale & Castro will dive through the campaign's intersectional organizing work (legal, communications & ground organizing) and how they use cultural digital organizing to creatively disrupt the mainstream portrayals around immigration, criminalization, and reproductive justice. The team engages in this work through a perspective that is dedicated to dismantling prison, detention centers, and governmental agencies.
Workshop attendees will engage in a participatory, art-making workshop that explores the reimagining of the narrative around climate change. Through amplifying conversations that center frontline communities that have been leading movements towards both environmental and racial justice, #ClimateWoke aims to change the story about climate justice by centering low-income, communities of color, and migrants most impacted by climate change. Our fight for climate justice is intersectional and centers the leadership of communities on the frontlines. #ClimateWoke means more than being woke to our current environmental and climate crises. It also means being aware of who holds the solutions and how allies can take the lead from frontline communities, often undocumented & migrant communities and communities of color. Real change can only happen when people acknowledge climate change policies and storytelling need to be enacted with social, racial, and environmental justice at the center.
The Center for Cultural Power The Center for Cultural Power inspires artists and culture makers to imagine a world where power is distributed equitably and we live in harmony with nature. The Center for Cultural Power is creating a thriving ecosystem for artists and culture makers -- who are dismantling systems of oppression and are dedicated to transformational creative practices The Center incubates, organizes, activates, and amplifies artists who want to put efforts towards the climate crisis and be catalysts of change. We also collaborate with movement-building organizations to better engage and activate with artists and artists leadership.