How To Talk About Anti-Black Racism

AGO Sign at the North Entrance

How To Talk About Anti-Black Racism

Wednesday June 10, 1:00 - 2:00pm
How To Talk About Anti-Black Racism

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Join Dr. Audrey Hudson, Associate Curator, Schools & Early Learning Programs engage a round table discussion on how to speak about anti-black racism with the art in the AGO's collection as an entry point. The panel will include community members, artist educators, teachers and activists. Panel participants: Freda Bizimana, Jayda Marley, Joy Martyr-Andre, Mosa McNeilly, Emmanuel Tabi, Sam Tecle, and Quentin VerCetty. This round table discussion is for teachers, parents and anyone who wants to have these brave conversations.


My name is Freda Bizimana and my artist name is I.M.F which stands for “In my Feelings.” I am a new artist who is ready to embark on this musical journey. I am a singer/ songwriter and I’ve been singing since I was a child. Music has been my passion and I’ve always had a love for performing. For the longest time music was just a hobby but in the recent years it has become my therapy. I’m an open book who’s forever in my feelings and I am ready to share my work. Most recently, I performed at the Art Gallery of Ontario for Black History Month, 2020.

Audrey Hudson is an educator, researcher and futurist. Hudson is Associate Curator of Schools & Early Childhood Programs at the Art Gallery of Ontario. She holds a PhD from University of Toronto/Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (UT/OISE). Most recently, Hudson co-edited a groundbreaking text entitled, In This Together: Blacknesss, Indigeneity and Hip-Hop, and an article, What Can Hip-Hop Teach Us: Learning From A Young Indigenous Artist. Hudson believes that the arts are a way to bring rich knowledge and voices of young people into spaces to discuss social change, environment, culture and relationship building.

Jayda Marley is a 19 year old nationally acclaimed Queer Afro-Indigenous poet, youth activist, and community healer from Tkaronto. She works with the Community Healing Project, and is a youth facilitator and event organizer with “One Mic Educators” & “Develop me youth.” As a former competing poet, Jayda holds the 1st place National championship title of “Voices of Today 2018.” She is also the founder and creative director of the new open mic series “For The Queer Coloured Girls After Me.” When she isn’t performing, she is waist deep in a book or teaching youth across Turtle Island how to use their voices using spoken word, and activism.

Whether you catch Jayda at an open mic around the city, or on bigger platforms like Pride Toronto, Nuit Blanche and even Parliament Hill, she is sure to captivate every crowd she touches with her words and When she isn’t performing, she is waist deep in a book or teaching youth across Turtle Island how to use their voices using spoken word, and activism.

Joy Martyr-André is a visual artist, educator and an equity and inclusive education advocate. As a visual artist, Joy explores the reality of anscestral blood memories and how it manifests in our current consciousness. As an educator, she has years of experience teaching high school visual arts and humanities. She believes that in teaching through a social justice lens, we can amplify the voices of those whose stories have yet to be told. She, also deeply believes that the medium of the Arts has both power and impact as an educational learning tool, across all subject platforms. Joy uses the Arts in both teaching and staff professional development, to highlight and entice discourse on anti-Black racism and social justice concerns.

Mosa McNeilly has worked for thirty years as an interdisciplinary artist, educator, and editor. One of the artists in the historical 1989 exhibition, Black Wimmin: When & Where We Enter, the first exhibition of Black women artists in Canadian history, she is currently working with curator Andrea Fatona to mount a commemorative exhibition. She was the manuscript editor on the AGO 2017 OAAG award-winning publication, Theaster Gates: How to Build a House Museum, and Every. Now. Then: Reframing Nationhood. She sees her work as part of a canon of Black women artists and activists concerned with social justice and freedom.

Emmanuel Tabi is a PhD candidate at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto. His work examines how race, gender and class dynamics intersect within Toronto’s urban arts centres and how they are performed through various forms of cultural production such as spoken word poetry and rapping.

As a multi-instrumentalist, spoken word poet and an active contributor to Toronto’s urban arts communities, Tabi provides a unique perspective as both a researcher and artist.

He is in the midst of writing his dissertation entitled, “I too know why the caged bird sings: Rapping and spoken word as activism and education,” which explores how black male youth in Toronto use spoken word poetry and rapping as a form of both community organizing and education  

Sam Tecle is Assistant Professor of Community Engaged Learning at New College, University of Toronto. His work focuses on Black and Diaspora Studies, Urban Studies, and Sociology of Education. His forthcoming work: Black Grammars: On Difference and Belonging focuses on the experiences and perspectives relating to blackness and Black identification of East African Diasporas across the UK, Canada and the US. He has held graduate student fellowships at both Harvard (2016) and Northwestern University (2014) in their respective African & African American Studies Departments. A former middle school teacher, Sam is a community advocate who has worked on a number of community projects concerned with the wellbeing, social lives, schooling experiences and educational outcomes of Black students.

Quentin VerCetty Lindsay is an award-winning, multidisciplinary visual griot, artpreneur, art educator, activist, and an ever-growing interstellar tree. As one of the world's leading Afrofuturists, his scholarly work builds off his Masters in Art Education from Concordia and his Bachelors in Fine Arts from OCAD University exploring Afrofuturism as a teaching tool and has coined the terms Sankofanology and Rastafuturism. His visual and poetic works explore Afrocentric themes using science fiction themes as a social commentary of contemporary times such as the monuments of people of African descent as technofossils for the future. VerCetty's is one of the founding members of the Black Speculative Arts Movement (BSAM) and started the BSAM Canada Institute to help improve the national art industry for artists of colour.

VerCetty is the co-editor of the first Canadian Afrofuturism art anthology, Cosmic Underground Northside: An Incantation of Black Canadian Speculative Discourse and Innerstandings (2020 - in press), which highlights works from over 100 Black Canadian artists and documents the growing contemporary art movement of Afrofuturism. Quentin has travelled and shared his artistry and experience around the world and has exhibited globally along with being featured in numerous publications and been highlighted in media outlets like CBC Exhibitionist and Afropunk.


For requests for Verbal Description, American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation and/or live captioning for online and onsite programming, please provide three weeks notice in advance of the event date. The AGO will make every effort to provide accommodation for requests made with less than three weeks notice. Please note that automated captioning is available for all online programs. For onsite visits, the AGO offers these supports for an accessible visit. Please contact us to make a request for these or other accessibility accommodations. Learn more about accessibility at the AGO.


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