Center for Civic Engagement Presents
Saturday, April 17, 2021 – Sunday, April 18, 2021
The Black Body Experience Conference: Power in the Pandemic
A Trustee Leader Scholar (TLS) programJoin us for our sixth-annual conference focusing on Black power during the pandemic. We thought it was important to highlight Black power outside of the trauma that has taken place in 2020 and onwards. Our first day will have workshops that cover topics of financial literacy, activism, and career planning. Be sure to join us on our second day for panels covering authorship, digital creation, and Black joy.
|Day 1: April 17||Day 2: April 18|
|1:00 p.m-1:20 p.m: Conference Introduction and Day overview||1:00-1:20 p.m: |
Conference Introduction and Day overview
|1:30-1:50 p.m: Yoga Workshop with The Underbelly Yoga|
|2:00-2:30 p.m: Activism Exercise||1:30-2:30 p.m: Art/Digital Creator Panel|
|2:30-2:45 p.m: Conversation & Review||2:30-2:45 p.m: Q&A|
|2:45-2:50 p.m: Break||2:45-2:50 p.m: Break|
|2:50-3:20 p.m- Workshop #1--Nakia Navarro||2:50 p.m-3:50 p.m: Black Authorship Panel|
|3:20 p.m-3:30 p.m- Workshop 1 Q&A||3:50-4:05: Q&A|
|3:30-4:00 p.m: Workshop #2--Bernie Levv||4:05-4:10-Break|
|4:00-4:10: Workshop #2 Q&A||4:10-5:10: Black Joy and Support Panel|
|4:10-4:40: Workshop #3 --Jessica Washington||5:10-5:25: Q&A|
|4:40--5:10: Workshop #3 Q&A||5:25-6:00: Closing remarks|
|5:10-5:20: Closing Remarks|
Da’Shaun L. Harrison is a Black trans writer, abolitionist, and community organizer in Atlanta, GA. Harrison currently serves as the Managing Editor of Wear Your Voice Magazine, and is the author of Belly of the Beast: The Politics of Anti-Fatness as Anti-Blackness. Harrison is also a public speaker who often leads workshops on Blackness, queerness, gender, fatness, disabilities, and the intersection at which they all meet. Their portfolio and other work can be found on their website: dashaunharrison.com.
Chi Chavanu Àse is a Science Fiction/Fantasy author who was first introduced to Sci-fi by her mother at an early age. Often sent to her room for misbehaving, she would curl up in a blanket with one of her mother’s books which subsequently ignited the spark that would fuel her love for literature. She initially began writing and performing poetry at the age of twelve. Over time, she began to notice how difficult it was to find books that she could associate or identify with the characters, given the lack of representation. Thus, it became her greatest desire that little Black children would see themselves represented in every genre, especially sci-fi. Her first book, Journey to Ghana and Other Stories, focuses entirely on the Black experience. Likewise, it is her desire to continue writing stories and producing literary work that Black people can see themselves represented in. Chi currently resides in California with her fine-ass husband and amazing children.
Art/Digital Creator Panel
Jamila Gray is an actress, writer, and producer based in Atlanta, GA. She began her career in theater, then seamlessly transitioned into film acting. Upon her transition, she recently received the award of Best Actress in the Mile High Film Festival, for the short film, “Change”, written and directed by Joe Jennings Jr. She has also written and produced a film of her own, entitled “Sweet Conversation.” In homage to this film, she created her film production company, Our Sweet Convo Media. Jamila plans to release many more films under this company, while also acting in anything she can get her hands on.
Poetree the Feminist (she/they) is a full time multidisciplinary artist, published poet & model, dancer, sound creator, and spiritual dismantler. From Newark, NJ. & graduate of Saint Peter’s University’18, she’s the founder and CEO of black femme owned business @theleavesoftree. Founder of @wherewomenmeet & a founder of non profit organization @newark.can In 2015, she began her journey of self expression and since then have been featured in Essence, ELLE, Byrdie Beauty, FENTY, Feroce, Imarage, BET & BETJAMs, Revolt TV & more. She’s currently producing and directing her own poetry album with accompanying film, and her debut book set for 2022. Her quote to live by: “Elevation over Stagnation” paired with “Nothing can destroy what is already at peace” You can follow her journey at @poeism/poeizm @poetreethefeminist on all platforms. firstname.lastname@example.org
Undergrad student and full time Founder and CEO of The Unplug Collective, Amanda Taylor is a young entrepreneur dedicated to pioneering a world that values the voices of her generation. Founded in 2019, The Unplug Collective is an online community that finds modern and innovative ways to source and share personal stories we don’t often hear on social media. Dedicated to creating a one of a kind space, Amanda curates the brand down to the very last detail, including feed design, intimate captions and hand selected high quality content. When not running her platform, Amanda likes to go on long drives to the mountains or the beach in Jamaica, or to play her guitar and write music.
Support & Joy Panel
Kamil Oshundara is a scholar, queer community organizer, multifaceted artist, and activist who curates inclusive arts-based events in Los Angeles. Oshundara is a writer of prose, editorials, and spoken-word poetry with the aim of bridging gaps between popular culture and legacies of social justice. Her multi-disciplinary practice operates under the belief that art can be a legitimate catalyst for systemic social change.
Raised by a Haitian single mother in Brooklyn East New York, Jewel is a vibrant Virgo force to be reckoned with. Multi-awarded both locally and nationally for her activism and community organizing, Jewel thrives on supporting the Black Queer, Trans & GNC Community. From hosting her own live Talk Show “Jewel’s Gem’s” to curating monthly liberated party spaces called “A Ratchet Realm” (@aratchetrealm), where the Black Queer and Trans Community can get their lives on the dance floor to creating free dance fitness classes full of twerking and whining, she boldly claims her right to take up space in this world. As a speaker, writer and educator she is dynamic and engaging while being vulnerable to her experiences as an Intimate Queer Partner Violence Survivor. As a self-proclaimed Ratchet Revolutionary, Jewel is a Black Queer Woman who will tell you like it is, unapologetically.
Akiea “Ki” Gross (they/them) is an abolitionist early educator, consultant, cultural organizer and creative entrepreneur currently innovating ways to resist, heal, liberate and create with their pedagogy, Woke Kindergarten. Woke Kindergarten is a global, abolitionist early learning community, creative expanse and consultancy supporting children, families, educators and organizations in their commitment to abolitionist early education and pro-Black and LGBTQIA+ liberation. A former instructional coach and infant/toddler, preschool and Kindergarten teacher, Ki was recently selected as the Early Childhood Education Assembly’s 2020 Social Justice Award Recipient and has received grants from Abolitionist Teaching Network and VELA fund to create an early childhood curricular zine to support young children and their families as they learn from home. It was their experiences with the carceral state of schooling and the trauma enacted upon Black children in these systems, that galvanized them to create #BlackTeachersMatter, Black Teachers Mentor and Equitable Schools years ago. As their ideologies and experiences with abolition evolved, they dissolved Equitable Schools and created @WhyAbolition. Their commitment to creating safe, inclusive and liberatory spaces for BIPOC queer & trans artists also led them to create Sisters Unsigned, an intimate concert series that amplifies the voices of independent queer, trans, gender and genre expansive BIPOC artists and creators. They hold an M.A. in Developmental Psychology from Teachers College, an M.S. in Childhood Education/Special Education from the Progressive Education Institute/Touro College and two B.A.’s in Child Development and Family Studies and Psychology, respectively.
Pursuing Your Passions (Even When You Think You Already Are)
Master multi-hyphenate and serial side hustler, Bernie Levv has truly personified the "Jill of All Trades" lifestyle. Her unorthodox career path has led her to work with brands such as Jansport, MTV, Netflix, Soho House, and more as a creative strategist and digital media maven. While in college studying English at the University of Illinois, Levv dabbled in retail store visual merchandising, social media management, event planning, photoshoot creative production, all while singing, modeling, and being a professional runway coach. In 2017, she moved to Los Angeles where she continued her path into the realm of entertainment and multimedia, landing her in rooms with Diddy, Lady Gaga, and other notable figures. Today, Bernie Levv offers free career coaching, tips, and multi-hyphenate career/lifestyle advice on her TikTok platform to over 44,000 followers. She continues to take on select clients in the entertainment and fashion spheres while serving as Co-Owner/Chief Experience Officer of an international virtual assistant business with her mother, empowering their contractors to live a life where they work to live, not live to work.
Building a Solid Financial Foundation
Jessica Washington; Financial Educator, Speaker, Entrepreneur
Jessica believes in crushing the wealth gap by empowering youth to take control of their financial futures. Jessica has supported more than 27,000 youth over the course of her career, educating on personal financial management, creating workshops, writing curriculum, and consulting youth start-ups. Jessica is certified as a Financial Education Instructor (NFEC), Entrepreneur Center Management (InBIA) and Business Model Canvas instruction (Strategyzer).
Jessica currently serves as the Director of Financial Literacy with Usher’s New Look foundation. Jessica holds a degree in Accounting and is currently pursuing a degree in Business Management and Entrepreneurship at Georgia State University.
How to Fund Your Project
Nakia Navarro is the CEO/Founder of Building Audacity. She has 20 years of nonprofit leadership experience, including an extensive background in nonprofit management, creating youth focused racial equity training and community organizing curriculum, as well as developing community investment strategies. Nakia developed a community organizing curriculum for Positive Tracks, a national funder of sports-based youth led changemaking. Before Positive Tracks, Nakia was a Program Director at the New England Grassroots Environment Fund, a regional fund investing in the cross-section of environment and social justice. In addition, she worked as the New England Regional Director at Let’s Get Ready, a nonprofit providing college access and success resources within low resourced communities.
Nakia holds a BA in Public Administration from Winthrop University, a MA from Tufts University in Education, a MA from Tufts University in Urban Environmental Public Policy, and a certificate in Global Communications from the University of Salamanca. Nakia is the author of The Messiness of Life, an Anthology, teaches Environmental Justice at Brooke Charter High School and facilitates anti-bias training via the Anti-Defamation League World of Difference Institute. Nakia hails from Hilton Head Island, SC and currently resides in Boston, MA.
For more information, call 845-758-6822,
or visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-black-body-experience-conference-power-in-the-pandemic-tickets-148844767707?aff=ebdssbe.
Location: Online Event