Cultural Competency with Multicultural BRIDGE
Thursday, December 10
3:00 PM to 4:15 PM EST
How does art re-imagine freedom while shattering the myths of history? Artists and scholars take up this question with a look at how we address history, envision liberty/liberation, tell Black stories, and invoke change through visual and performing arts. This session will feature recordings from BRIDGE's social justice conference last month, with opportunities to discuss the ideas presented. For more information on the conference, check out these articles.
Nancy Wellington Bookhart is an Assistant Professor of Art at Paine College in Augusta, Georgia, where she also serves as the chair of the Department of Humanities. She is the founder of The Museum Initiative at the College. The arts initiative fosters a philosophical examination of the traditional framework of art and the humanities through exhibitions, educational programs, and lecture series. Ms. Bookhart is a Ph.D. (ABD) at IDSVA, Institute for Doctoral Studies in the Visual Arts, where she is involved in research that interrogates the politics of race and alterity as belonging first to the epistemological divide in the West concretized through science, technology, and art. Her dissertation examines the work of 18th century Enlightenment thought and the pseudo-science, physiognomy, and its correlation to the work of the artist, Kara Walker. She argues Walker’s work as belonging to the aesthetic regime of art. In the aesthetic regime of art, the image performs as an equilibrium of perception in the fashioning of a common world.
Dr. Angela Davis, Through her activism and scholarship over many decades, Angela Davis has been deeply involved in movements for social justice around the world. Her work as an educator has always emphasized the importance of building communities of struggle for economic, racial, and gender justice. Professor Davis’ teaching career has taken her to San Francisco State University, Mills College, and UC Berkeley. She also has taught at UCLA, Vassar, Syracuse University, the Claremont Colleges, and Stanford University. Most recently she spent fifteen years at the University of California Santa Cruz where she is now Distinguished Professor Emerita of History of Consciousness and of Feminist Studies. Angela Davis is the author of ten books and has lectured throughout the United States as well as in Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia, and South America. In recent years a persistent theme of her work has been the range of social problems associated with incarceration and the generalized criminalization of those communities that are most affected by poverty and racial discrimination. She draws upon her own experiences in the early seventies as a person who spent eighteen months in jail and on trial, after being placed on the FBI’s “Ten Most Wanted List.” She also has conducted extensive research on numerous issues related to race, gender and imprisonment. Her recent books include Abolition Democracy and Are Prisons Obsolete? about the abolition of the prison industrial complex, a new edition of Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, and a collection of essays entitled The Meaning of Freedom. Her most recent book of essays, called Freedom Is a Constant Struggle: Ferguson, Palestine, and the Foundations of a Movement, was published in February 2016. Angela Davis is a founding member of Critical Resistance, a national organization dedicated to the dismantling of the prison industrial complex. Internationally, she is affiliated with Sisters Inside, an abolitionist organization based in Queensland, Australia that works in solidarity with women in prison. Like many educators, Professor Davis is especially concerned with the general tendency to devote more resources and attention to the prison system than to educational institutions. Having helped to popularize the notion of a “prison industrial complex,” she now urges her audiences to think seriously about the future possibility of a world without prisons and to help forge a 21st century abolitionist movement.
This event is part of a series of virtual trainings with Multicultural BRIDGE addressing cultural competency. The next session will take place in late January or early February - date announcement coming soon!
Founded in 2007, Multicultural BRIDGE is a grassroots organization dedicated to advancing equity and justice by promoting cultural competence, positive psychology, and mutual understanding and acceptance. The organization acts as a catalyst for change through collaboration, education, training, dialogue, fellowship and advocacy.
Gwendolyn VanSant is a trainer & facilitator in diversity leadership, cultural competence and coalition building for justice and equity. She is the Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founding Director of Multicultural BRIDGE and contributes to several teams across the region to promote safety, equity and trust in communities and workplaces. Gwendolyn has worked with corporations, schools, colleges and universities, law enforcement, hospitals, teaching and leadership institutes, and more. In addition to designing cultural competence trainings, Gwendolyn is a frequent speaker and long-time activist deeply rooted in gender equity and positive psychology.