Facilitators: Cathleen Antoine-Abiala and Régine Romain

Why is centering and honoring the complex identities of our young people essential to culturally responsive and sustaining education in our school communities?

“African Odyssey: Ancestral Memories” and “Brooklyn to Benin: A Vodou Pilgrimage,” two short narrative award-winning documentary films, share the journey of two women of Haitian descent who cross time and space to travel to Benin, formerly the Kingdom of Dahomey, where many Africans were sold and forced into captivity across the “New World.” Their sojourns are individual, yet timely and deeply connected to “healing and reconciliation” necessary for all who descend from the tragic TransAtlantic Slave Trade history. These two films center multi-dimensional perspectives of cultures and traditions between the black diaspora and Africa, from a Haitian-American perspective.

In this session, we will utilize the BLACK LUMINARY: An Educator’s Guide to African Diaspora Representation, created by Romain and Antoine-Abiala, the filmmakers/educators, to deepen the collective consciousness of the importance of representation and what it means to affirm, value and sustain the worldviews of those who have been historically misrepresented and underrepresented. This workshop encourages participants to consider critical connections and understandings of mixed-media art forms created by Black people and other POC, as powerful tools that communicate asset-based perspectives and invoke critical questions about the sociopolitical status quo. Importantly, we will collectively consider the impact and benefit of immigrant communities on American culture and society.

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