Arts & Culture
Racial Awareness and Mindfulness Festival 2020
- 10:00 pm
17 October 2020
Online | Free
About this Event:
The Racial Awareness Festival, in it’s fifth year, started because of the ongoing murder of black bodies, mostly black boys and men, in large part by police. The killing continues most recently with the shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia by white vigilantes, while Arbery was jogging; Breonna Taylor in her own home by Louisville, Kentucky, police—no words spoken—the police were at the wrong house; George Floyd murdered under the knee of a Minneapolis police officer; and Christian Cooper, smart enough to avoid his plotted murder by police from the call of a lying white woman, followed by current protests and riots at this writing.
Americans continue to debate the shape and extent of racism in society. Yet shootings of unarmed African-Americans, disproportionate incarceration, poverty rates, neglect, and the disproportionate deaths of African Americans during COVID-19, as well as a continuing list of disparities, remind us, that the U.S. and the world must continue to press ahead with addressing issues of racism and white supremacy. Politicians are promoting bigoted ideas and organisations. Many whites have watched crisis after crisis unfold and still proclaim, “I don’t see colour.”
Because something must be undertaken to raise awareness of the systemic nature of racism and its many effects, we continue this movement to raise awareness and to commit to change. Our long-term goal was to make this annual festival event nationwide. Instead, because of this historical pandemic, we are becoming a virtual event, reaching across our Nation and perhaps globally with activities and plenary sessions designed to share information addressing racial awareness and healing for those who choose to participate.
This Virtual Festival of the Arts, Awareness, Healing, and Justice intends to help people of goodwill reflect on the reality of racism in our society and our world in many forms, through rhythm, blues, keynotes, and practical exposure through experiential workshops, as well as multiracial spaces, opening our awareness of privilege and supremacy, and their systemic effects, hopefully opening us for healing centuries of unresolved trauma.
This Year’s Event:
This year, we have invited two keynotes from social psychologist and public theologian, Christena Cleveland, and Howard University professor, Gay L. Byron. The event will offer a virtual lunch space with music by Clarence Bluesman Turner, a virtual exhibit hall with book store, and opportunities to engage the speakers as well as introduce yourselves as festival participants.
At the end of this one-day event, we hope churches, communities, and individuals will be more self-reflective regarding the impact of racism on their lives, and we hope they will be inspired to join anti-racism organisations, partner with others across the faith and racial divide, and or continue to engage with other festival participants throughout the year. The festival event will be streamed for a period of time after the live event.
The festival will offer perspectives from the arts, media, and workshop facilitators to help people engage with the reality of racism in a new way. We will offer music, media, Interplay modalities, an engagement group for whites only, and Emotional Emancipation Circles for African Americans. At the end of the day, we will gather again for a second keynote and a closing ritual of lament, confession, conciliation, and healing. All of these methods offer opportunities for people to explore the reality of racism from a new perspective.
Header Image: Illustration by Loveis Wise