Audrey Hudson, image courtesy of AGO.
Broaching the subject of anti-Black racism can be challenging, but it is vitally important as we try to dismantle the systems of violence and oppression that continue to impact the lives of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Colour) people in our community.
To spark the discussion, Dr. Audrey Hudson, AGO Associate Curator, Schools & Early Learning Programs, will host a virtual roundtable, Wednesday June 10th, on how to speak about anti-Black racism, with art from the AGO Collection as an entry point. The panel will include community members, artist educators, teachers and activists.
This discussion is meant for teachers, parents and anyone who wants to have these conversations with the people in their life. We chatted with Hudson in advance of the event to get an idea of the importance of these conversations in today’s world.
AGO: Can you tell us about the importance of having this roundtable? Why did you feel compelled to organize around this topic?
Hudson: The lives of Black people have been unjustly taken at the hands of police brutality for decades. The murder of George Floyd was a tipping point. We all witnessed the eight minutes and forty-six seconds it took for an officer to take Mr. Floyd's life. No one should die like that. Young people today are tuned in and connected through social media; they have seen injustices perpetrated against Black lives, and we cannot ignore that they have questions. Hopefully this discussion will help folks gain some insight in order to have conversations about anti-Black racism with people of all ages, using art as a point of entry. I was compelled to organize because I want the AGO to be held accountable to these brave conversations and take action on their promises.
AGO: Who is going to be part of the discussion?
Hudson: My intent is to bring this group together to think about Black futures with me. The panel I’ve selected includes a remarkable list of participants who have a broad range of experience speaking out against anti-Black racism. This includes community members, artist educators, teachers and activists. Panel participants include: Freda Bizimana, Jayda Marley, Joy Martyr-Andre, Mosa McNeilly, Emmanuel Tabi, Sam Tecle and Quentin VerCetty, whose work, insight, dedication and honesty, I admire.
AGO: What are the goals of the discussion?
Hudson: This discussion will provide listeners with an entry point to have brave, bold conversations about anti-Black racism with young people. Out of necessity, Most BIPOC in our community (have already had these conversations in order to keep young people safe. Here, I want to be clear: the goal of this discussion is not to do the work for you, but support your efforts. I also want to acknowledge that these are brave, bold conversations that should be sustained with care and vulnerability, putting listening at the centre.
AGO: Where can people go to find related resources to help keep the learning/conversation going?
Hudson: There are several resources currently being circulated online. I urge everyone to check Google, social media and local bookstores to seek out helpful resources.
For more information and to register for the online Zoom-based event, visit AGO.ca/events. www.ago.ca/events.
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