Saturday, December 5: Kwethu Lalikile (Zulu for “the Missing”): (virtual via Zoom)

Kwethu Lalikilie will provide a virtual space that engages sensory, emotion, contemplation and uplift for Black people by engaging with the creative force and centering Black artistic expression. It will be an intentionally curated combination of an introduction to BTAN, performances, music, organizational spotlights, meditation and intention setting, and two 1 hour panel discussions (40 minutes of moderated questions and 15 minutes q&a from the audience).

Panel 1: The Missing: The Safety and Creative Protection of Black Children

Explore with us those that are missing in the physical sense of community, and how this absence is also pervasive into our learning environments and the spaces we create to heal. Hosted by Sister IAsia Thomas of the Black Transformative Arts Network, panelists for this session include: Erin Perry of Legacy Arts, Derrica Wilson of Black and Missing, Malcolm Thomas of Reaching Back Manhood Initiative, and Nia-Imaru Barberousse, of the Cooke County State Attorney’s Office.

Panel 2: Access, Agency and Power for Black Creatives

As we ponder the role of art in the creative process and healing of Black people, we must ask what it looks like to be at the table of our own creative experiences and opportunities. Our need for creative agency and the role of art in shaping the events in our community cannot be underestimated. In this panel hosted by DS Kinsel of BOOM Concepts, we will explore who and what is missing from our communal and artistic experiences, and how we might use art as a tool of repair and protection moving forward. Panelists include: Natalie Wilson of Black and Missing, Bekezela Mguni of Dreams of Hope, Justin Laing of Hillombo, and Jacqueline Walker of the Law Offices of Jacqueline Walker.

This event will feature virtual performances from Diarra Imani and Victor Kivuva, as well as spotlights for organizations offering support towards change and opportunities to hear from the community.

Sunday, December 6: Walk for the Missing (in Hazelwood, location available upon registration)

On December 31, 2019, Tonee Turner went missing. She was last seen at Dobra Tea in Squirrel Hill. We don’t know much, but we know she made it home at some point, only because her red jacket was found at her residence in Hazelwood. We ask you to walk with us to honor Tonee and the many missing, to remind them that we think of them, we care for them, and to welcome them home. Bundle up and wear red as we remember.

This walk will be led by yvette l. shipman and Sister IAsia Thomas, with a socially distanced lunch provided as we hear from the community.

Saturday, December 12: Kindezi: The Congo Art of Babysitting (virtual via Zoom)

Teaching artists, artists aspiring to educate, parents, and caregivers of Black children are invited to participate in this professional development and learning engagement session to better understand the cultural and creative environments in which Africana youth can thrive. Moderated by Sister IAsia Thomas, this event will include presentations from Iya Dr. Huberta Jackson-Loewman, of the Association of Black Psychologists, with words from Dr. Anthony Mitchell, and presentations of hands-on lessons for Africana youth from local teaching artists who practice Kindezi.