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THE FUTURE IS BLACK

Give today to ensure the future is Black! As a Black-led organization, CD Forum is committed to uplifting and amplifying the voices of Black artists. Donate to The Future is Black campaign and you can help ensure the next generation of arts leaders have a place to grow. Your donation will go to support our new Youth Curator position as well as the overall sustainability of the company. GIVE TODAY! Online giving is secure and keeps staff and you safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. You can also TEXT CDFUTURE to 44321. Every gift matters and we are grateful that you are part of the CD Forum Family.

Black Love looks like:

By: Dani Tirrell This new season of Intimate Conversation I have asked each guest to share with me what Black Love looks like to them. I have purposely avoided that question. I think now is the time to share. Black Love looks like: My queer ass Black ass Trans spectrum experience Forgiveness Peach cobbler Big Mama talks And Grand daddy handshakes Dressing (not stuffing) on the holidays Thick sisters in move something dresses Brothers with lime green suits and matching gators Family reunions with matching shirts Seeing the young Queens voguing down to some nasty beats The no shirt brothers playing ball and the sweat hitting all the right places Playing hide and seek outside with the cousins Spades/Bid Whist and Tunk My granny takin’ sips of my granddad's TEA (V.O.) Shakin’ my ass in the club with a bunch of beautful Black gay ass people Black Trans women owning every ounce of their womanhood The soloist at church sangin' you down to lay prostrate in front of the altar Preaching Sin……...all of them! Box braids, wraps, weaves and bobs……..and the colors…..oh the colors Loud talking and even louder loving The bass as cars roll down the street The smell of the trees (those happy cigarettes) if you happen to indulge Having your aunt and uncle clear the dance floor….to show you how it is done Embracing your HIV positive friends for what will be the last time Young kids dreaming about a future of fame and fortune Kissing your man and not being afraid of what the world thinks (some gay shit) Yes….all the gay shit! Black love is laying your aunt and mom to rest, with the understanding that the gift they gave you was to keep loving, discovering and always seek healing. Black love is your father supporting and loving your Black ass, queer ass, trans spectrum experience. Black love is knowing your deaf grandmother is always with you…...it is knowing that you can not make it without her whispering in your ear how you are worthy. Black love has no rhyme or reason….it is beyond anything that we could ever imagine. Black love is Goddess and she is divine and she is feminine and she is me.

POSTPONED - Showing Out: Black Choreographers Festival

THIS EVENT HAS BEEN POSTPONED SHOWING OUT: BLACK CHOREOGRAPHERS FESTIVAL -- a mentorship and performance event curated by Dani Tirrell. SHOWING OUT supports the creation and development of work created by Black Choreographers from around the Pacific Northwest -- perfectly aligned with CD Forum's mission to support distinctive Black artistic voices. The November 2020 edition of Showing Out features work by Milvia Berenice Pacheco Salvatierra, Kiana Harris, Saira Barbaric, Sadiqua Iman, Michele Dooley, Aviona Rodriquez Brown, and Rashida KhanBey Miller.

This is the first session of CD Forum's 20/21 Season's Showing Out. Artists will be showing pre-recorded works-in-progress followed by talk backs to gather feedback from audience members. The performances and feedback sessions will take place over Zoom. November 20, 2020
7PM Pacific Time
Screening of Kiana Harris’ film “Immortal” followed by audience talk back session over Zoom. Get Tickets November 21, 2020
4:30PM Pacific Time

Work-in-progress showing of works by Milvia Pacheco, Saira Barbaric, Aviona Rodriguez-Brown, Michele Dooley, Sadiqua Iman, and Rashida KhanBey Miller. Showing will be followed by a guided talk back with three facilitators via Zoom break-out rooms. Get Tickets

Some adult content and language. Recommended for ages 12 and older. About the artists: Saira Barbaric: Saira Barbaric (they/ze/she/he) is a nonbinary black queer creator and curator of the erotic, the bizarre and the surreal. They/he is a co-founder of Scumtrust productions, an internationally screened queer porn project, and a director of Playthey, a multimedia arts and culture collective. He/she/they/ze aims to bend genders and genres with their creations and to mark the path toward the accessible afro-future. IG: @very.freaky // cashapp: $kphoebe Milvia Berenice Pacheco Salvatierra: My name is Milvia Berenice Pacheco Salvatierra, I am an Afro-Latin artist born in Caracas-Venezuela, where I started my career as a dancer, combining dance and theater training. For over 12 years, I danced with Danzahoy, with whom I toured, and visited renowned festivals in 15 countries, including the Danzahoy “Exodus” season at the Joyce Theater in NY (2006). In 2004 I moved to NY and worked with Rastro Dance Company, B3W / Emily Berry, and Alexandra Beller / Dancers. I have a license as a professional masseuse, graduated from the Northwest Academy of Healing, I am also a graduate of the Shiatsu program of the Ohashiatsu Institute in New York. Since I came to Seattle in 2012, I have been collaborating with different artists and groups: Threshold Ensemble, Gansango Dance Company, Etienne Cakpo, Paige Barner, Mark Haim, Kiana Harries, Fernando Luna, Claudia Castro Luna, Leo Carmona, Mirta Wymerszberg, Monica Rojas and Naomi Macalalad Bragin. Michele Dooley is a dance artist from Philadelphia. She received her BA from The University of The Arts. In 2018 she moved to Seattle to dance with Spectrum Dance Theater and is in her 3rd season with the company. Michele is interested in exploring her voice and power, how her own identity influences everyday experiences and what is created when they connect. She is eager to continue learning and processing through movement. Venmo: @Michele-Dooley-1 Cash app: $michelefelicia Kiana Harris: A native of Anchorage, Alaska and now residing in Seattle, WA, Kiana created and debuted her first dance film entitled “DIVINE” part l and ll in summer of 2016, available on Vimeo. Her dance films were also featured in Langston Hughes African American Film Festival Risk/Reward Festival, SIFF 1 Reel Film Festival at Bumbershoot. AJE IJO Dance Film Series has screened at Artist of Color Expo & Symposium, Translations: Seattle Transgender Film Festival and On The Boards, to name a few. She has recently screened her work internationally in the UK, Uganda, and Canada. Her mission as a filmmaker, is to reclaim imagery in a non-exploitative representation from a black womxn's lens, and it be one of many tools to drive black liberation.

'AJE IJO' Short Dance Film Series interrogates the western gender binary and elicits elements of spiritual cosmologies of Black & African diasporic people [of all genders] that emerge from the Yoruba divine consciousness, Ifa and the Orisa (deities) that comprise it. Sadiqua Iman performs as the character Namii and uses burlesque, storytelling, and dance to deconstruct issues of gender fluidity, relationships, and what it means to “strip down”outside of sexual connotations. She is Founder/ Artistic Director of Earth Pearl Collective, a queer black womyns social justice non profit organization dedicated to healing communities through artistic collaborations. Sadiqua works as a freelance director, costume designer, teaching artist, and project manager in the Seattle area and around the country. She has directed an all woman of color cast of “A Streetcar Named Desire” to raise awareness of same sex domestic violence and created an interactive performances based on the dissappearance of queer black leadership in social justice movemets called “ We Be Dat.” In 2018 she premiered an original boi-lesque ballet called “Tail Feather” that explored female bodied masculinity at Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute. Her most recent project was directing August Wilson’s Gem of the Ocean at Chattanooga Theatre Centre in Tennessee January 2020. Sadiqua Iman is currently working on her Masters of Fine Arts in Arts Leadership at Seattle University and was awarded the 2019 Arc Fellowship award by 4Culture and used the funds to open the new Afro-centered healing arts center Nile’s Edge. Rashida KhanBey Miller (Rashi/she/her) Artist, Educator, Founder of The Messy Movement Lab, Co-Host of Podcast Queer & Married, Co-Owner of The Lingerie Boutique The Temptress' Boudoir, and Executive Producer and Co-Star of Film Series "Sex Is A God Thing". Born and raised in Chicago, IL, Rashi fell in love with dance at a very young age studying Ballet, Jazz, Modern, Lyrical, and Sacred Dance spanning over 20+ years. She went on to receive her bachelor's degree in Theatre from The University of Illinois at Chicago to launching her professional career teaching, speaking and uplifting feminine spectrum people in healing through the storytelling of movement in live classes across the U.S. and expanding into a global audience through online education. Over the last decade, Rashi has inspired people worldwide to talk about their relationship to self-love, sensuality, and healing trauma through dance and movement as an integral part of their spiritual recovery and thriving. Rashi's work has been featured on Gene Siskel Film Center, Sisters in Cinema, OpenTV, AfroPunk, ForHarriet, Unfit Christian, The Sexually Liberated Woman Podcast, Elephant Journal, BlackDoctors.org, ClexaCon Film Festival, The Black Femme Supremacy Film Festival, and more. Rashi currently resides in The Pacific Northwest spending her day's co-creating in business and life with her Spouse, Ajani Miller (he/they). Aviona Rodriquez Brown: Aviona Creatrix instills inclusivity and accessibility, by creating multidisciplinary art to tell stories surrounding being multiracial, exploring queerness, working through mental illness, stress, navigating drug addiction, and homelessness. Using tools and resources from smART Grants and the Artist Up Scholarship The Creatrix has developed healing workshops, along with a 45-minute solo show- translated into Spanish and toured to four states. Through ongoing community-oriented youth projects, they aspire to educate the masses on self-awareness and the benefits of art alternatives when dealing with everyday stresses. CD Forum’s Showing Out: Black Choreographers Festival is co-supported by The Nesholm Family Foundation

Humanity: An Evolving Perspective | October 24 & November 8

HUMANITY: An Evolving Perspective - a virtual performance spearheaded by Vania C Bynum. Sunday, November 8, 2020 at 4 PM PST – 5:30 PM PST Through music, dance, & spoken word, we express OUR HUMANITY as we lift the narrative of our ancestors. Join local and national artists for a virtual fundraiser. Donate, buy an ad, or be a sponsor.
www.weinspirehumanity.org Our goal is to educate, entertain, and enlighten our audience about important issues in our society while raising funds to help feed diverse communities in need. The key to our future is knowledge of the past and the power to tell our stories. Together we stand. Humanity: The Conversation
Saturday October 24, 2020 at 4PM Pacific Time (6PM Central, 7PM Eastern)
Conversation will be live streamed on CD Forum's Facebook & YouTube Humanity: The Conversation will kick off the inaugural virtual performance of the We Inspire Humanity Series. Co-moderated by Twanda Hill and Vania C. Bynum, the discussion will highlight the connection between social justice and food equity. We will also share our inspiration for Humanity: An Evolving Perspective, a virtual performance and fundraiser to help feed families in need on November 8th at 4PM (PST).

Humanity: The Conversation will be live streamed on CD Forum's Facebook, YouTube & Twitch pages. This panel discussion will be co-moderated by Vania C. Bynum and Twanda Hill. Panelists include Melba Ayco, Vernet Clemons Nettles, EdD, and Robert Moore. For more information please visit: www.weinspirehumanity.org

SAL & CD Forum Present: Black Futures with Kimberly Drew & Jenna Wortham

Wednesday, December 2, 2020 7:30 pm PST At lectures.org What does it mean to be Black and alive right now? Kimberly Drew and Jenna Wortham have brought together a new collection of work—images, photos, essays, memes, dialogues, recipes, tweets, poetry, and more—in Black Futures, which tells the story of the radical, imaginative, provocative, and gorgeous world that Black creators are bringing forth today. Drew and Wortham will join Seattle Arts and Lectures for a pre-recorded, online-only event on Wednesday, December 2, at 7:30 p.m. (PST), co-presented with CD Forum. Black Futures presents a succession of startling and beautiful pieces that generate an entrancing rhythm: Readers will go from conversations with activists and academics to memes and Instagram posts, from powerful essays to dazzling paintings and insightful infographics. In answering the question of what it means to be Black and alive, Black Futures opens a prismatic vision of possibility for every reader. General admission tickets to the event start at $65 and include a copy of the Black Futures book. There are a set number of $10 early-release tickets intended for Black, African, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian, and LGBTQ community members who have been stifled due to systemic racism and patriarchal white privilege. $10 Digital Pass tickets do not include a copy of the book. For these tickets, choose the "Digital Pass, No Book" option at checkout. Get Tickets All tickets, except Student/25&Under and our $10 ticket level, include a copy of Black Futures, which will be shipped in partnership with our partner bookstore, Estelita's Library. Kimberly Drew is a writer, curator, and activist. Drew received her B.A. from Smith College in art history and African-American studies. During her time at Smith, she launched the Tumblr blog Black Contemporary Art, which has featured artwork by nearly 5,000 black artists. Drew's writing has appeared in Vanity Fair, Elle UK, and Glamour. She lives in Brooklyn, New York. Jenna Wortham is a staff writer for The New York Times Magazine. She is also co-host of the podcast Still Processing, as well as a sound healer, reiki practitioner, and herbalist, all of which she lovingly practices on Kimberly Drew. She is currently working on a book about the body and dissociation. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

The CD Forum Team Votes

Your vote is your voice. Election day is less than a week away. Tuesday, November 3, 2020 is fast approaching. At CD Forum we firmly believe in the importance of making your voice heard by casting your vote. Demand to be heard and counted through voting and through taking the census. Keep scrolling to read about why the CD Forum Team votes! And click below for voting guides and resources You have the right to vote. If anyone tries to stop you, call the Election Protection Hotline at 1-866-687-8683. Here's a handy guide that outlines your voting rights from Vote.org.

A New Path in Fundraising

by Nina Yarbrough, MFA Expectations are a funny thing. Many of us spend a majority of our time trying to manage them in a way that a) doesn’t get our feelings hurt and b) keeps us moving forward with at least a modicum of confidence that we are actually capable of making good life choices. The kind of choices that all of our mamas could be proud of. That said, if you would have told me that 2020 was going to turn into the type of sucker-punch that knocked us all squarely on our collective behinds the way that it did, I don’t know if I would have bothered getting out of bed after the first of the year. Like many of my colleagues in the fundraising profession I have had to become very comfortable with an even greater level of ambiguity. Projecting revenue goals based on the voluntary donations of kind and generous people can get a bit tricky at the best of times. Every gift that CD Forum receives is a joy, but it is just that, a gift. Something not to be begged for nor demanded. Like any act of good will, it is to be welcomed, honored, and stewarded with the best of intentions when, and if ever, it arrives. While we can anticipate receiving certain donations from individuals at different times of the year, as well as funding from institutions, and some government support here and there, fundraising–especially in the arts– has always been a bit of a gamble. That said, each organization has its own cycle of giving that carries an innate degree of dependability and predictability. But today? Forget it! Gone are the days of planning ahead by six or twelve months. Nothing is really predictable or knowable anymore and those of us in the fundraising profession cannot be certain when that security might come back. With the widespread impact the COVID-19 pandemic is having on all of us, the task of planning for a brighter tomorrow seems almost insurmountable. It would be a disservice to say nothing of the economic hit that many Americans have faced during the past several months. In particular those of us who were already at the economic margins, such as BIPOC, LGBTQAI+, and folx with disabilities. It is the psychological, emotional, and spiritual assault that we’re all reckoning with that feels the heaviest to bear. Being cut off from friends and family and managing an existential crisis all while simultaneously living through the Trump administration? This is NOT how I thought the year would go. I had PLANS! I was supposed to go to Japan and see hundred-year-old temples and write deep, beautiful poetry while riding the bullet train between prefectures. Weddings and celebrations and newfound love have all had to take a backseat to the pressing civil and political turmoil that is our new reality. Knowing all of this, how in the world are any of us fundraisers meant to look at another forecasting document with the same level of interest? The answer: “And still she persisted.” While this was not the disaster many of us had been preparing for this is nonetheless the disaster we find ourselves in. So, how did we find a way forward? For CD Forum it involved an early recognition that this year was going to be unlike anything we could have anticipated. It also required our leadership to make some tough calls early on. The health and safety of our staff, artists, volunteers, and audiences, cancelling all in-person performances, rescheduling our fiscal-year-end fundraiser, and figuring out how to shift our contractors to best maximize their expertise were the best decisions for us to make. Watching our artists re-invest in themselves and seeing our community prioritize their mental health and well-being have been huge bonuses of the past year. What we discovered while transitioning our programs and operations has and continues to delight and surprise us. Luckily, CD Forum had already been on a path to creating a more robust lineup of online content. While the pandemic did accelerate those plans, we were able to continue engaging with our community and our artists.

Black creatives find themselves at the crux of vulnerability. For this reason it is even more important that we maintain a lifeline to them during this time. By using Instagram, StreamYard, and Facebook we have been able to continue the equitable compensation of artists and we have been able to grow our audience in ways we were not able to achieve with local, in-person events. Even knowing though our 'likes' and click-through rates had improved, it was worrying to contemplate how we were going to transition that digital audience to attendees and donors at our newly designed fundraiser. Like most of CD Forum’s success stories, it was through great partnerships, letting the artist's voice take center stage, and by providing leadership opportunities to our team members, that we were able to pull off one of our most successful fundraisers of the past three years. We partnered with local event planning company Synchronicity Events who provided us with a project manager, technical support that made it both smooth and accessible for participants, and they helped us design and execute CD Forum’s first Peer-2-Peer fundraising campaign. While overseeing this event with CD Forum’s Season Curator Dani Tirrell, we made a joint decision well before the pandemic: any fundraiser that CD Forum did would be a fun celebration that highlighted the work of our incredible artists and one that encouraged people to make a night of it. We still held this as our north star even as the nature of the fundraiser shifted. Instead of a grand masquerade ball we made it a “Boujee Brunch Soiree.” Rather than having a fully catered event we came up with a list of incredible Black chefs that were still operating and adhering to COVID-19 food safety guidelines and were able to either provide pick-up or delivery for orders the day before the event. We chose Remo as our online venue platform rather than Zoom because it gave guests the closest experience to an in-person event while also giving everyone an opportunity to engage with an online platform not many people had even heard of. We also made sure the host, just like at our in-person events, was dynamic, comfortable with quick changes, and someone who could speak to the importance of CD Forum’s mission. Those things combined with investing in a savvy and brilliant production lead and film crew (who we had worked with on previous projects), meant that our July 11th Brunch Soiree was a big hit. Peer-2-Peer fundraising was a new activity for the organization. It was unclear if this would work for us, but the results were better than we could have imagined. Our community continues to surprise us and with an overall fundraising goal of $20,000 we went into our event with over $14,000 already raised by our Peer-2-Pear Table Captains. To that end I want to thank: Tairaya Allen, Maris Antolin, Divas for Black Artists, Dan Bannerman, Sandra Brierley, Timeca Briggs, Coyote Central, Amy Chasanov, Seattle Center Racial Equity Cohort, Liz Dawson, Kristen Faiferlick, Liz Houlton, Kristen Ramer Liang, Hersh Powers, Janice Price, Becca Roy, Stephanie Shushan, Randy Steiger, Hailey Tayathy, Tonieh Thompson, Dani Tirrell, Kathryn Wahlberg, Sharon Nyree Williams, Leslie Womack It was proof that nothing in the arts can be done alone. What does the future hold for CD Forum? Uncertainty for sure, but also the joyful chaos of figuring things out. It is clear that people recognize the importance of supporting and centering Black voices. CD Forum has a 21-year track record of providing a much-needed platform for innovative, creative Black storytellers who work in varied disciplines and mediums. Even though the landscape of fundraising is filled with unknown challenges we can be certain that our resilience, spirit of innovation, and investment in Black joy will continue to see us through any trial.

October 2020 | Intimate Conversations

Saturday, October 3 - Jaelynn Scott Saturday, October 10 - Melanie George Saturday, October 17 - Special Topic: The Whitening of African Dance, Pt. 2 Saturday, October 24 - Quynn Johnson Saturday, October 31 - "Majinn" Mike O'Neal

Intimate Conversations | Special Topic: The Whitening of African Dance, Part 2

Skin I’m In LLC in partnership with CD Forum
present the second part of a two-part series of Intimate Conversations | Special Topic The Whitening of African Dance, Part 2
Saturday, October 17, 2020 at 3PM Pacific Time (6PM Eastern Time) Conversation will be live streamed on CD Forum's Facebook & YouTube This panel discussion co-moderated by Dani Tirrell & Lakema Bell, is the second conversation looking into black women experiences in the African Dance community locally and globally. A conversation around the gradual to almost sudden take over of black spaces by the dominate culture. A time to acknowledge and begin healing from trauma induced experiences. A SOUL FILLED conversation for us by us. Panelists include Muisi-kongo Malonga, Dr. Orisade I. Awodola, Makeda Ebube, and Sumayaa Diop. Read more about Lakema Bell and the guests below. Lakema Bell Lakema Bell, is an African Centered Thought Artist, Change Agent, Community Activist, Choreographer, Event and Grant Manager, Motivator, Coach, wife of 20 years and mother of 4. She is the CEO of the Skin I’m In LLC an African Centered organization that teaches self and body confidence using African Dance as the mechanism of overstanding and knowing self. She is a founding member of Otunoba African Dance theater one of the oldest African Dance companies in the Pacific Northwest. She currently teaches African dance at Northwest Tap Connection and for the Renton School district. Lakema also is the Get Moving Initiative Coordinator for the City of Seattle where she received the Excellence in Leadership award in Race and Social Justice from the Seattle Management Association for her innovative work with community engagement and inclusive outreach to communities afflicted from health disparities. Her program she created has been identified and validated as the only one in the nation of its kind through the University of Washington Masters of Public Health Community Oriented Practice program. The Get Moving Initiative has earned her 2 additional awards last year: A National Parks and Recreation Association Ethnic Minority Society Achievement Award for Innovative Recreation Programming and a Washington Recreation & Park Association Innovative Marketing & Outreach Spotlight Award. Lakema’s younger brother Kareem died in 2016 due to complications of the mental illness Schizophrenia. Kareem lived with this illness for 16 years, in this time, Lakema through several introspective moments with assisting her mother and brother with the dominate culture system infrastructures has developed a passion around black health specifically mental wellness and securing the future for upcoming generations. Muisi-Kongo S. Malonga Cultural caretaker, teaching and performing artist and arts administrator, Muisi-kongo’s arts practice is steeped in a staunch Bay area legacy of cultural preservation, social justice and service through art. For the past nine years, she has served as Executive Artistic Director of Fua Dia Congo (Fua), a 43 year old Oakland-based cultural and performing arts organization founded by pioneering master artist Malonga Casquelourd. A performing member with the company for over 20 years and a lifelong apprentice of traditional Congolese cultural art forms, she remains committed to protecting, preserving and passing on the rich traditions of the Kongo people. Muisi-kongo’s experience in the arts field has enabled her to serve in a number of capacities, including principal dancer, director, teaching artist, recording artist, writer, producer, curator, and development professional. She is an extension of a powerful family legacy of excellence through service, art, leadership and scholarship, and continues the work of her parents Dr. Faye McNair-Knox and Malonga Casquelourd and their parents before them. Some of her most notable honors include: 2017 Creative Work Fund Award in Traditional Arts, 2017-18 Emerging Arts Professional Fellowship, several posts as Guest Lecturer in Stanford University’s Theater and Performance Studies Department (Dance Division) and a 2014 commissioning of her original solo work “Kimpa Vita!” by CounterPulse. Malonga grew up between her 2 hometowns, Little Nairobi, CA (East Palo Alto) and Oakland, CA, and her roots extend from Bassfield, Mississippi and Augusta, Georgia to the Republic of Congo. Dr. Orisade I. Awodola, M.A., PH.D. Dr. Awodola is a Root Psychologist, Author, Lecturer, and Researcher. Her former background as an Investigative Journalist led to a career in Psychology with an extensive clinical and academic background in mental health approaches. She taught at the University of the District of Columbia where she launched Root Psychology in her doctoral work, an alum of the Washington School of Psychiatry in Washington, D.C., facilitated Ancestral Healing Workshops in London and Accra Ghana at the W.E.B. Dubois Cultural Center. Today she serves on the King County Behavioral Health Advisory Board, a MIDD professional (mental illness and drug dependency) formerly known as (co-occurring disorders) and the founder of the Institute of African Centered Thought (IACT) in Seattle that offers Root Psychology based on her Ancestral Healing Identity Theory with other courses created to enhance and motivate mental wellness approaches through its specialized training programs to African-Centered mental health professionals. Visit www.iactnow0119.com for more information on the Dr. Awodola's work with the Institute of African Centered Thought (IACT). Or contact IACT at iact0119@gmail.com. Makeda Ebube Makeda Ebube, M.A.Ed, African-Centered-Philosophy Educational Consultant, is an international Artist who has travelled to Canada, Kenya, Ghana, Guinea and twice to Egypt (Kemet). In 2007, Makeda travelled to Egypt with the Association For The Study of Classical African Civilizations ASCAC where she accompanied the Great Queen Nzinga Ratibisha Heru, former International President of ASCAC, Dr. Asa Hillard III, Dr. Leonard Jefferies, Dr. Rosalind Jefferies, Legrand Clegg, Dr. Theophile Obenga, Dr. Wade Nobels, and Dr. Na-im Akbar on a scholarly study of African Civilizations. Makeda holds a Master’s Degree in Education with a focus on utilizing African movement as an epistemology and a catalyst to self-actualize. She is Oakland born and raised and now resides in Seattle Washington. Makeda is the recipient of the 2008 King County Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Humanitarian Award for numerous volunteer works with young people and her dedication to the African community. Makeda is awarded by Dr. Ndugu Khan, Babalawo of Efa/Orisha, the health Certification of Uan Tai[Chi Chi=Kng, part & 2, from the Eclectic Institute Conference in Egypt on the Nile. She most recently received the African Fashion week Seattle 2019 Best Runway Model award. Makeda is an educator, performer, movement specialist, dance instructor, choreographer, model and an intrinsic healer who is sought after to bring forth the messages of the Ancestors. Makeda is called upon to perform for weddings, home going ceremonies and important engagements that are essential to the wellness of the community. Makeda has taught African Dance, for 30 plus years. She is well known for leading large groups of people utilizing movement for community building. Makeda honors her Academic Master Teachers, Dr. Maxine Mimms, Dr. Ruth Kelly-McIntyre and Professor Ophelia Taylor-Walker and her Community Academic Master Teacher, Dr. Hoy Hardiman. Also, Cultural Master Dance Teacher Marie Basse Wiles, Naomi Diouf, Amadou Boly, Youssouf Koumbassa, Malonga Casquelourd, M’Byero Patrice Louvouezo, Biza Sompa, Regine N’Dounda, Mabiba Baegne, and Sador Diabankouezi. Makeda is a relentless learner seeking continual elevation as a reflective practitioner. Sumayaa Diop Sumayya E. Diop is a teaching artist in dance & drum, choreographer, actor, and administrator, whose artistic goals and aspirations are rooted in the love of dance theatre. She is the co founder and program director for Griot Gurlz, an organization that presents, produces and supports dancers & theatre artists, and dances of the African Diaspora while providing a number of diverse programs for youth, young adults and adults. As a performer and teaching artist, Sumayya has created and presented works in both traditional influenced African and contemporary African dance styles. Sumayya has contributed to the field of dance, music, and theatre through performance, instruction, and program development. Sumayya is passionate about sharing the dance, song and music of the African Diaspora, and bringing youth to the stage using performance as a vehicle for increased self confidence, esteem, and awareness.

September 2020 | Intimate Conversations

Saturday, September 12 - Special Topic: The Whitening of African Dance Saturday, September 19 - Anastacia-Renee
Saturday, September 25 - jumatatu m. poe

Urban Poverty Forum: Native Voter Suppression

Urban Poverty Forum: Native Voter Suppression Sunday, September 20, 2020 at 1PM Pacific Time Click here to register for this FREE event The Urban Poverty Forum is an effort to open a dialogue around the systemic issues surrounding urban poverty and to unite a diverse community of care—including faith-based organizations, nonprofits, and concerned citizens in addressing problems faced by the poorest among us. As part of an ongoing focus on essential conversations related to the 2020 election, Town Hall presents a short film screening and discussion about a topic that is perhaps more crucial than ever before—combating voter suppression. Following a screening of two short films—The Right to Vote: North Dakota and Reclaiming Their Voice: The Native American Vote in New Mexico and Beyond—moderator Representative Ruth Anna Buffalo (Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation) will be joined by panelists Fawn Sharp (Quinault) and Robin Little Wing Sigo (Suquamish) to discuss the history of suppression in the American Indian and Alaska Native communities, how that connects to the incredibly restrictive voter identification laws in North Dakota and New Mexico, how Washington State tribes share information about voting rights with their communities, and what is happening now in preparation for the 2020 election. Join us for a timely and urgent conversation about voter suppression—with practical steps we can all take to confront it. Ruth Anna Buffalo (Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation) is an educator, community organizer, and public health professional. She currently resides in Fargo, North Dakota, where in 2018 she was elected to serve a four-year term in the state legislature representing the 27th district. Ruth has volunteered extensively with local, statewide, and national boards which focus on improving the quality of life for people. Her work includes research and advocacy, community capacity-building, and continued reconciliation efforts through education. Robin Little Wing Sigo (Suquamish) is the Tribal Council treasurer and Director of the Research & Development Department, and the Suquamish Foundation. Over her professional career, she has been a grant writer, mental health therapist, research investigator, administrator, and trainer. These experiences led her to being elected for the tribal council, where she specialized in sovereignty, budget planning, community mental health, strategic planning, lobbying, philanthropy, and poverty alleviation. Fawn Sharp (Quinault) is the President at the National Congress of American Indians, the oldest, largest, and most representative American Indian and Alaska Native tribal government organization in the country. The NCAI supports the ‘Native Vote,’ a non-partisan initiative that mobilizes voter registration, election protection, education, and data collection to ensure everyone’s voices are heard. She is also the current President of the Quinault Indian Nation in Taholah, Washington. Presented by Town Hall Seattle and Mahogany Project. Having trouble with registration? Town Hall Seattle's Patron Services line is open a half an hour before each event to provide livestream tech support. Shoot us an email at patronservices@townhallseattle.org, or give us a call at 206.504.2857

Intimate Conversations | Special Topic: The Whitening of African Dance

Skin I’m In LLC in partnership with CD Forum
present a two-part series of Intimate Conversations | Special Topic The Whitening of African Dance, Part 1
Saturday, September 12, 2020 at 3PM Pacific Time (6PM Eastern Time) This panel discussion co-moderated by Dani Tirrell & Lakema Bell, is a look into black women experiences in the African Dance community locally and globally. A conversation around the gradual to almost sudden take over of black spaces by the dominate culture. A time to acknowledge and begin healing from trauma induced experiences. A SOUL FILLED conversation for us by us. Panelists include Dr. Orisade I. Awodola, Makeda Ebube, and Sumayaa Diop. Read more about Lakema Bell and her guests below. Lakema Bell Lakema Bell, is an African Centered Thought Artist, Change Agent, Community Activist, Choreographer, Event and Grant Manager, Motivator, Coach, wife of 20 years and mother of 4. She is the CEO of the Skin I’m In LLC an African Centered organization that teaches self and body confidence using African Dance as the mechanism of overstanding and knowing self. She is a founding member of Otunoba African Dance theater one of the oldest African Dance companies in the Pacific Northwest. She currently teaches African dance at Northwest Tap Connection and for the Renton School district. Lakema also is the Get Moving Initiative Coordinator for the City of Seattle where she received the Excellence in Leadership award in Race and Social Justice from the Seattle Management Association for her innovative work with community engagement and inclusive outreach to communities afflicted from health disparities. Her program she created has been identified and validated as the only one in the nation of its kind through the University of Washington Masters of Public Health Community Oriented Practice program. The Get Moving Initiative has earned her 2 additional awards last year: A National Parks and Recreation Association Ethnic Minority Society Achievement Award for Innovative Recreation Programming and a Washington Recreation & Park Association Innovative Marketing & Outreach Spotlight Award. Lakema’s younger brother Kareem died in 2016 due to complications of the mental illness Schizophrenia. Kareem lived with this illness for 16 years, in this time, Lakema through several introspective moments with assisting her mother and brother with the dominate culture system infrastructures has developed a passion around black health specifically mental wellness and securing the future for upcoming generations. Dr. Orisade I. Awodola, M.A., PH.D. Dr. Awodola is a Root Psychologist, Author, Lecturer, and Researcher. Her former background as an Investigative Journalist led to a career in Psychology with an extensive clinical and academic background in mental health approaches. She taught at the University of the District of Columbia where she launched Root Psychology in her doctoral work, an alum of the Washington School of Psychiatry in Washington, D.C., facilitated Ancestral Healing Workshops in London and Accra Ghana at the W.E.B. Dubois Cultural Center. Today she serves on the King County Behavioral Health Advisory Board, a MIDD professional (mental illness and drug dependency) formerly known as (co-occurring disorders) and the founder of the Institute of African Centered Thought (IACT) in Seattle that offers Root Psychology based on her Ancestral Healing Identity Theory with other courses created to enhance and motivate mental wellness approaches through its specialized training programs to African-Centered mental health professionals. Visit www.iactnow0119.com for more information on the Dr. Awodola's work with the Institute of African Centered Thought (IACT). Or contact IACT at iact0119@gmail.com. Makeda Ebube Makeda Ebube, M.A.Ed, African-Centered-Philosophy Educational Consultant, is an international Artist who has travelled to Canada, Kenya, Ghana, Guinea and twice to Egypt (Kemet). In 2007, Makeda travelled to Egypt with the Association For The Study of Classical African Civilizations ASCAC where she accompanied the Great Queen Nzinga Ratibisha Heru, former International President of ASCAC, Dr. Asa Hillard III, Dr. Leonard Jefferies, Dr. Rosalind Jefferies, Legrand Clegg, Dr. Theophile Obenga, Dr. Wade Nobels, and Dr. Na-im Akbar on a scholarly study of African Civilizations. Makeda holds a Master’s Degree in Education with a focus on utilizing African movement as an epistemology and a catalyst to self-actualize. She is Oakland born and raised and now resides in Seattle Washington. Makeda is the recipient of the 2008 King County Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Humanitarian Award for numerous volunteer works with young people and her dedication to the African community. Makeda is awarded by Dr. Ndugu Khan, Babalawo of Efa/Orisha, the health Certification of Uan Tai[Chi Chi=Kng, part & 2, from the Eclectic Institute Conference in Egypt on the Nile. She most recently received the African Fashion week Seattle 2019 Best Runway Model award. Makeda is an educator, performer, movement specialist, dance instructor, choreographer, model and an intrinsic healer who is sought after to bring forth the messages of the Ancestors. Makeda is called upon to perform for weddings, home going ceremonies and important engagements that are essential to the wellness of the community. Makeda has taught African Dance, for 30 plus years. She is well known for leading large groups of people utilizing movement for community building. Makeda honors her Academic Master Teachers, Dr. Maxine Mimms, Dr. Ruth Kelly-McIntyre and Professor Ophelia Taylor-Walker and her Community Academic Master Teacher, Dr. Hoy Hardiman. Also, Cultural Master Dance Teacher Marie Basse Wiles, Naomi Diouf, Amadou Boly, Youssouf Koumbassa, Malonga Casquelourd, M’Byero Patrice Louvouezo, Biza Sompa, Regine N’Dounda, Mabiba Baegne, and Sador Diabankouezi. Makeda is a relentless learner seeking continual elevation as a reflective practitioner. Sumayaa Diop Sumayya E. Diop is a teaching artist in dance & drum, choreographer, actor, and administrator, whose artistic goals and aspirations are rooted in the love of dance theatre. She is the co founder and program director for Griot Gurlz, an organization that presents, produces and supports dancers & theatre artists, and dances of the African Diaspora while providing a number of diverse programs for youth, young adults and adults. As a performer and teaching artist, Sumayya has created and presented works in both traditional influenced African and contemporary African dance styles. Sumayya has contributed to the field of dance, music, and theatre through performance, instruction, and program development. Sumayya is passionate about sharing the dance, song and music of the African Diaspora, and bringing youth to the stage using performance as a vehicle for increased self confidence, esteem, and awareness.

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