Nadia Williams

Educator/ Mama/ Artist
Independent (in relation to this session)

Nadia is committed to building strategies, systems, communities and policies that allow people of color to thrive— particularly mamas and artists. She has the joy of working with young people in the Parsons Scholars Program who soothe her vision of the future. Nadia participated in Race Forward’s inaugural Racial Equity in the Arts Innovation Lab and cofounded the Radical Mama Educator inquiry to action group within NYCORE (NY Collective of Radical Educators). Nadia is a proud mother of a headstrong toddler, and feels deeply fortunate to be surrounded by love and resilience in her family and personal and professional relationships.

Presentations from Facing Race 2018

WOC Mamas: Decolonizing Motherhood in Community

Women/ femmes/ gender nonconforming people who move through the world as mothers, educators, activists, organizers, and people of color expend countless amounts of energy educating and caring for others. It is crucial to our survival that we check in and support each other in this journey of decolonizing our parenting. In this session, we will create space to collectively examine our colonized practices of motherhood and challenge our inherited pathologies while strategizing around tools that can support this work in community going forward.

Facilitators will share the framework for our Radical Mama Educator group, which is a NYCoRE (NY Collective of Radical Educators) inquiry-to-action group (ItAG), and all participants will exchange experiences and strategies that allow us to decolonize motherhood while building community. Self-identified women, gender non-conforming, trans women, and femmes who are birth, adoptive, and foster mamas who identify as people of color are invited to invited to pause and reflect on our incredible collective work while recalling the words of Audre Lorde: “we were never meant to survive”. Let us be strategic about building a future in which we not only survive, but we thrive… because if we don’t, who will?

Speakers: Nadia Williams, Sarita Covington

(under)REPRESENT(ed) in the Arts: Centering our Brilliance

Artists of color have laid the foundation for creative industries and social movements, yet are greatly undercompensated and underrecognized. In the Parsons Scholars Program, youth from New York City public high schools explore paths to a fulfilling, meaningful and lucrative career in creative fields while centering identities of people of color, people from low income backgrounds, first generation college students, and immigrants of varying statuses. This work acts as a hub for issues of college and career access, racial equity and social justice at Parsons School of Design, and as an intergenerational community of support for people with interests and experiences related to expanding access to art, design and tech fields. Participants will engage in dialogue to share lessons learned from related experiences in art access work, and will collectively strategize ways to increase access to creative fields for people of color.

In the context of our current political climate, which reveals and heightens the daily oppressions that challenge our ability to survive as people from historically marginalized communities, we remind ourselves of the urgency of our work: young people of color have the right to thrive, and artists and critical, creative thinkers are at the center of all significant social movements. In this daily battle for survival, it is our duty to fight for young people’s right to thrive and to center their creativity. These are the radical acts we commit to supporting.

Speakers: Nadia Williams, Havanna Fisher, Tatiana Glover, Allison Esannason