Registration for Fall classes will be open as of August 1, 2023.
Finding Joy and Community in a Time of Discord and Disconnection
October 28 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm EDTFree
We live in a time and place where to be alive and awake means that we are taking in the trauma of racial and gender inequality and hostility while facing an ecosystem under assault. The purpose of this class is to begin to explore how movement organizers, activists and educators can draw upon the power of the arts to build community and infuse more joy in the face of our collective trauma. Together, we will explore pathways to the capacity for joy and healing that the arts can provide when people aspire to connect and to develop communities of trust.
Dr. Sonji Johnson-Anderson is a scholar, poet, author, ethnographer, activist and social justice educator. She is the Associate Director/Director of Educational Initiatives for Crossing the Waters Institute for Cultural Exchange, an international organization that offers opportunities for cultural connections between the U.S. and the African Diaspora. Her interests lie at the intersection of Black Feminist Epistemology, Critical Race Theory, and Performance Ethnography. Her work focuses on the experiences of students and families who are marginalized in public domains, primarily educational institutions. A gifted educator and public speaker, Sonji brings decades of teaching experience and a deep commitment to critical and culturally relevant pedagogy.
Susan Theberge, concerned about the climate catastrophe and the injustices we face, left her academic position to return to grassroots organizing with a focus on race, class, and climate justice. Her primary focus is to help build a powerful, inclusive mass movement to respond to the climate emergency and to the injustices of the capitalist system. Co-founder and steering committee member of Climate Action Now, Susan works with Springfield Climate Justice Coalition and in collaboration with organizations locally and statewide. Life experience has taught her that: 1) relationships are at the heart of organizing; 2) white supremacy and abuse of power are weaponized to divide us and must be addressed wherever they arise; and 3) taking care of each other and healing from trauma are key to building the world we yearn for.