Facing Race: A National Conference coming to St. Louis, MO — November 20-22, 2024! #SaveTheDate

Bree Newsome

Bree Newsome is an artist who drew national attention in 2015 when she climbed the flagpole in front of the South Carolina Capitol building and lowered the confederate battle flag. The flag was originally raised in 1961 as a statement of opposition to the Civil Rights Movement and lunch counter sit-ins occurring at the time. The massacre of nine black parishioners by a white supremacist at Emanuel AME Zion Church in Charleston reignited controversy over South Carolina’s flag. Bree’s act of defiance against a symbol of hate has been memorialized in photographs and artwork and has become a symbol of resistance and the empowerment of women. 


Activism is one of a trio of pursuits that have driven her since a young age, when she showed talent as both a musician and a writer, particularly a writer of plays and films. 


Her awards are numerous and include the Maryland Distinguished Scholars for Voice, the National Board of Review Student Film Award, and a 2016 NAACP Image Award. She has been named to the Root 100 and the Ebony 100 in recognition of her work on behalf of civil rights. 

 Bree currently lives in Charlotte, NC, where she continues her work as an artist and grassroots community organizer.

Presentations from Facing Race 2018

Afro-futurism and Black Horror

In today’s popular culture, Afrofuturism, Afrosurrealism, and Black Horror are more prominent than ever — from Octavia E. Butler’s novels to Black Panther to Get Out — helping to steer national conversations about race and trauma, including code-switching, microaggressions and black subjugation. Join activist Bree Newsome and author/educator Tananarive Due as they discuss the healing power of horror and science fiction as tools for addressing erasure and creating visionary road maps to black liberation, as well as the role of history in creating black futurity in the arts.

Speakers: Tananarive Due, Bree Newsome

The Shift: Narrative and Arts Amid the Culture Wars

We are living in an era of intensified culture wars, a time of competing narratives: a fearful, exclusive America versus a hopeful, transformative America. Which narrative prevails depends upon how well we organize and strategize to grow our narrative and cultural power. This panel will feature the acclaimed writer adrienne maree brown, cultural organizer Bree Newsome, Rashad Robinson, executive director at Color of Change, and Favianna Rodriguez, cultural strategist at CultureStr/ke, speaking with Jeff Chang about the ideas, practices and strategies that can move our imagination towards mutuality, equity, and freedom.

Speakers: Rashad Robinson, adrienne maree brown, Jeff Chang, Favianna Rodriguez, Bree Newsome