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

Michaela Harrison

Pronouns: she/her

Michaela A. Harrison is a Washington, D.C. native whose career is rooted in relaying the healing, transformational power of music through song. She has performed nationally and internationally as a soloist and with various bands and musical collectives. As a resident of New Orleans for over 17 years, Michaela established an enthusiastic following at local venues such as Café Istanbul, Second Vine Wine, and Ashé Cultural Arts Center.

Michaela began singing in the Baptist church at age five. Her musical style incorporates her gospel roots as well as a diverse range of genres including jazz, blues, R & B, soul, samba, MPB and African traditional music. As a protégé of Bernice Johnson Reagon, founder of Sweet Honey In The Rock, Michaela is well-versed in spirituals, work songs, and protest music from the Civil Rights era. Her soulful, heartfelt delivery of covers and original music has often moved audiences to tears.

Presentations from Facing Race 2020

Spells, Songs and Prayers: Magic Words for a Just Tomorrow

For hundreds of years, the people of the African Diaspora have lit paths towards liberation across the Western Hemisphere, lighting the way for each other with spiritual and cultural power. Black people birthed new traditions rooted in the art and religious practices brought from the continent, informed by new environments, and fashioned against the evils of slavery, colonization and systemic racism. Today, in the legacy of that repression, the resistance continues on all fronts. Black artists and writers lead the cultural charge to innovate and hew new freedom, new futures in our imaginations as well as on the streets.

Authors, song writers, vocalists, priestesses and witches, our three panelists will discuss the words, songs and spirits that have come forth in the art and their freedom work. Each a cultural icon of Black feminist creativity in their own right, their ground-breaking conversation will explore histories, personal and collective, survey some of the contents in their current tool kit and offer future visions. In this moderated plenary, Lady Dane Figueroa Edidi, Michaela Harrison and adrienne maree brown will delve into the spiritual technologies of music and magic that they create to bring protection, healing and justice to the earth, their communities and themselves. Racial Justice Reads founder, Rosana “RC” Cruz will moderate, to proffer questions and support the panelists as they weave their magic.

Moderator(s): R. Cielo Cruz Speakers: Lady Dane Figueroa Edidi, adrienne maree brown, Michaela Harrison