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

Christopher Tse

University of Victoria
Pronouns: he/him
Christopher Tse (he/him) is a facilitator, storyteller, and social worker based in Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada. He is passionate about interrogating the intersections of identity and power through storytelling and art, particularly the role of art in historical and current resistance movements. An accomplished spoken word poet, Tse is a former runner-up at the Poetry Slam World Cup and has shared the stage with Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, Martin Luther King III, and Mustafa the Poet. He teaches social work at the University of Victoria.

Presentations from Facing Race 2022

How Do You Cook Your Rice? A Workshop on Food, Healing and Liberation

What is food, and how is it central to timely and urgent conversations around identity, racial justice, community organizing, environmental activism, and decolonization? For so many people, especially BIPOC, food is so much more than what goes in our bellies. It is a lifeline back to other homelands, a conduit for immigrant parents’ love, a medicine that transcends borders, or a map that tells stories of resistance, migration, struggle, survival, and joy. Christopher Tse and Meenakshi Verma-Agrawal will facilitate an interactive space in which we explore and reclaim our relationships with food, community, and identity. Through small group work, circle, and storytelling approaches, this workshop seeks to unpack questions such as: “What’s your favorite cultural practice around food?” “What’s an example of a time you felt embarrassed or ashamed about food?” and “How do you cook your rice?”

In a time of globalization and easy access to other cultures, food has become yet another site of colonialism, power, and white supremacy. Celebrity chefs rave about the utility of turmeric and star anise while gentrification shuts down old kitchen bastions of racialized communities and replaces them with culinary fusion cafes that photograph well for social media. It’s time to reclaim these stories. This workshop is for every kid who’s ever been afraid to open their lunchbox in the cafeteria. We see you, we’ve been there. Let’s talk about shame, and joy, and cut fruit. Let’s talk about spices and identity. Let’s talk about how we cook rice.

Speakers: Christopher Tse, Meenakshi Verma-Agrawal