UC Women's Center hosts Black Feminist Symposium series throughout February
Registration now open for "Radical Rest: Intersectionality, Healing and Love for Black Womxn"
The University of Cincinnati and Women's Center presents the 5th annual Black Feminist Symposium. This year's free event, "Radical Rest: Intersectionality, Healing and Love for Black Womxn," will be offered virtually February 3 to March 3 with a weekly series and concluding with a self-care retreat on March 12.
The symposium honors and celebrates all Black women* (cis, trans, & non-binary). Despite the various social barriers denying them access to positions of influence and power, Black women have maneuvered the worlds of academia, politics, activism and art, creating new possibilities in their wake. Yet, Black women’s contributions have remained largely invisible to mainstream society both nationally and globally. Black women are still often viewed through caricatures inflicted by racism, patriarchy, class hierarchy as well as both regional and subconscious bias. How might we as Dr. Cynthia Dillard describes “learn to (re)member the things that we’ve learned to forget?"
The Black Feminist Symposium is open to the public, however, registration is required to attend.
This year's keynote speaker Manon Voice is a poet, writer, spoken word artist, hip-hop emcee, educator, social justice advocate and practicing contemplative. The Indianapolis native has performed on diverse stages across the country in the power of word and song and has taught and facilitated art and poetry workshops, working with organizations such as Women Writing for (a) Change, Arts for Learning Indiana, Notre Dame Americorps, Regeneration Indy, Indiana’s WomIN’s Festival, Indiana Writer's Center, and Purdue University. She has been a featured poet and performer in noteworthy Indianapolis productions, such as “The Wake”, “Village Voices Notes from a Griot” and “Nina High Priestess of Soul” with the Phoenix Rising Dance Company. Manon Voice has performed alongside Broadway singer and actress Jennifer Holliday for Brothers United World AIDS Day, Indiana Poet Laureate Adrian Matejka, artist and songstress Opal Staples, International poet and philosopher David Whyte, and has opened for acts such as WNBA Championship basketball player Tamika Catchings and Judge Joe Mathis.
Her poetry has appeared in The Flying Island, The Indianapolis Review, The House Life Project: People + Property Series, Sidepiece Magazine and The World We Live(d) In anthology. She has been interviewed and featured in publications such as Indy NUVO, The Indianapolis Recorder, The Indianapolis Star, FAFCollective and Pattern Magazine. She has been a panelist for Indianapolis based organizations, Indy10 Black Lives Matter, Don’t Sleep, Circles Indy, IUPUI’s Social Justice Symposium and national organizations such as La Raza for Liberation focusing on the intersections of race, gender, art and activism.
In 2017, Manon Voice was awarded the Power of Peace Award from the Peace Learning Center of Central Indiana. In 2018, she traveled to Avila, Spain with Mystic Soul to study contemplative practices through the lens of Saint and Mystic Teresa de Avila. Manon received a nomination for the Pushcart Prize in Poetry that same year. In 2020, Manon Voice was nominated as one of the four featured Art and Soul African American Artists with the Arts Council of Indianapolis. Manon Voice is also a recipient of the 2020 Robert D. Beckmann Jr., Emerging Artist Fellowship from the Arts Council of Indianapolis and was commissioned to create a poem for the Art Council’s equity statement. She is also a cohort for the 2021 On Ramp Accelerator Program with the Indiana Arts Commision and was a selected participant in the 2020 cohort for the Religion, Spirituality and Arts Program through IUPUI. Manon Voice seeks to use her art and activism to create a communal space where dialogue, transformation, discovery and inspiration can occur.
During times of chaos, it can feel ridiculous to seek out the things that make us feel good, but we have to intentionally choose it in order to nourish our vitality. Black women deserve to be given space to not only pour into themselves, but they deserve to be poured into. We are taking an opportunity to give Black women what they are so often deprived of — time and intentional space for leisure, affirmation, support and the option to choose feeling good. Please feel free to join at anytime during the retreat experience. Curated by Lilac & Indigo and Patrice N. Barnes with live music by Aziza Love, yoga led by Alexander Shelton, and meditation and journaling session by Kara Michelle Pierson X Lilac & Indigo. The first 35 local Cincinnati registrants are eligible to pick up a free Retreat Self Care box.