This workshop will be led by members of the ‘I, Too, Am Harvard’ Production and Campaign team and discuss the creation of the play and subsequent international campaign. The creators will discuss the role of art in the Movement, how they interacted with the media and school administration, and the current goals of the campaign.
2. The Art of Negotiation: Within and Without
The #BBUM (Being Black at the University of Michigan) Movement gained national attention after they launched their own social media campaign and protests. They then became immersed in the process of negotiating their demands with their campus management. However, they also had to manage internal dynamics within their organization and the larger Black community. Therefore, they will discuss how they skillfully negotiated with the campus administration while making sure they remained accountable to the Black community on their campus.
3. Organizing Fundamentals
Higher education provides us with a lot of information but rarely are we given the tools needed to successfully organize for our rights and passions. However, grassroots organizer and activist Tiffany Loftin has spent years doing just that. As a California native, she mobilized her fellow peers at the University of California, Santa Cruz to defend access to higher education and has organized the Afrikan Black Coalition Conference for Black students within the University of California system for years. Therefore, this workshop will focus on equipping students with the tools they need to successfully mobilize for their rights on their campus.
4. Communications and Social Media 101
In this age of technology, many of us are well-versed in the varied forms communication and social media. However, how do we apply these skills to promote social justice? The Advancement Project is an umbrella organization of support for various civil rights groups, from the Dream Defenders to various branches of the NAACP. Thus, they are very familiar with the most successful methods of communication used by social justice oriented organizations to advocate for their causes. This workshop will then serve to convey the most effective communication skills to conference participants.
Activism in the Community
Activism on Campus
Participants will be able to attend one workshop in each of the following categories:
1. Defending the Dream
This workshop will be facilitated by members of the Dream Defenders to discuss how they came to mobilize after the murder of Trayvon Martin. In addition to sharing their story, they will discuss their methodology for dismantling unjust power structures in society. The goal of this workshop is to provide attendees with the tools needed to move from talk to action.
2. The NAACP: A Living Legacy
This workshop will be facilitated by Michael Curry, president of the Boston Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). Many are familiar with the NAACP of the Civil Rights era but the organization remains active in the fight for social justice. In addition to orienting conference attendees to the history and legacy of the NAACP, Mr. Curry will draw upon his experience as Legislative Affairs Director and Senior Counsel for the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers to discuss the effect of health care laws on the Black community. He will also equip students with tools to be more proactive in our response to legislation affects our community and the continued importance of youth involvement in the NAACP.
3. Strength in Words: Art as Activism
In a world that tends to minimize the importance of art, its role in enacting social change should never be dismissed. Sticking to their belief in both social justice and the power of spoken word, the Atlanta Word Works group focuses on empowering youth in their community to break down the effects of structural oppression. As one of the executive members of Atlanta Word Works and one of the key organizers in both the #itsbiggerthanyou campaign and the Michael Brown protest in Atlanta that mobilized thousands of people, Aurielle (Elle) Lucier is well versed in the various facets of ‘blactivism’ and the methods happening nationally to eradicate social/institutional injustice. Thus, this workshop is to help attendees recognize and fight the institutional powers behind the microaggressions we face on our campuses.
4. Wisdom 101: Words from Wisdom From the Field
Wisdom From The Field (WFTF) is a family of community members working to lessen our community’s dependence on outside sources for assistance and resources.They are doing this by building institutions in our streets that will sustain our lives, educate, employ & empower us all. In lessening dependence and taking back control over the various aspects of our culture, they believe that we will improve the quality of life in our streets. Using our collective power, they intend to show that community isn’t just a word, but a way of life. The Wisdom 101 workshop will be facilitated by Be-Wise, an organizer with WFTF since 2012 and a native of Inglewood, California. The goal of the workshop will be to take the identified problems in our community, reinterpret them using the historical context provided and determine whether the solutions are indeed viable.
Mobilizing youth for racial justice in the 21st century