Jessica Valoris

Presentations from Facing Race 2016

Catching the Spirit: A Cypher on Black Resilience

Since before colonization, Black folks have used introversion as a practice to share culture, tell stories, pass messages, and survive. We have a legacy artists and activists (aka alchemists) who remix, re-purpose and transform harmful practices, policies and systems into spaces of power and resilience. From making underground church in the jim crow south to the evolution of Hip-Hop as tool to amplify the voice of Black urban youth, catching the spirit has been a site of physical and emotional release. Through interactive and interdisciplinary group discussions, participants will creatively and collaboratively engage in conversations that will serve as our fuel to devise mantras, call and responses, poetry, rap, rhythm and dance/movement. Using the technology of improvisation and freestyle, participants will experiment with the sacred tradition of the cypher to co-create a collective freedom song that honors our histories, celebrates our resilience and imagines new futures.

Speakers: Taja Lindley, Che Johnson-Long, Jessica Valoris