Interactive Workshop Draws Participants into Lives of Black Americans
Impact 100’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Committee invites you to join us as we participate in The Black American Tree Project on Monday, Aug. 16, 1 to 3 p.m., and Wednesday, Aug. 18, noon to 1:30 p.m. The two-part virtual presentation on Zoom will be presented by creators Freda Epum and Danyetta Najoli.
Workshop participants will assume roles of both Black and White Americans whose lives have intersected over a 401-year history of black lives in America: an enslaved person and slave owner, homeowner and real estate agent, black minstrel performer and minstrel club owner.
The workshop encourages rich conversations and learning among participants that is healing and enlightening. You’ll witness how the painful aftereffects of slavery in our Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky communities play out in important social institutions, including housing, medical care, schooling and the justice system. As you read aloud from scripts, you’ll gain a deeper, more visceral understanding of what it feels like for countless Black Americans who encounter systemic racism daily.
According to Epum and Najoli, the Tree mentioned in the project name is a symbol that represents “a place of wholeness, naturalness, and where families thrive in a lush, collective environment. Black families start off as intact entities while [structural, institutional] forces loom and encroach upon them.”
The two-part workshop is designed for a maximum of 30 people. The first day will include introductions, reading of roles and brief discussion. The second meeting will offer the same participants a more in-depth opportunity to debrief and discuss forces of systemic racism that impact Black Americans today.
The project is the recipient of a $20,000 grant from the Ohio Humanities’ Major Grants program.