The Third Annual Conference
Theme: Blackness At The Margins
The third-annual Black Religion, Spirituality, and Culture Conference was held from February 28th to March 1st, 2019 with the definitive theme Blackness at the Margins where the planning committee pushed for recognition of the global and spatial movement of Blackness by stating, “We recognize the depth and multiplicity within which Blackness exists and moves through this world, and as a consequence we seek to understand, to bring to light, as many voices and representations black religions, cultures, and spiritualities hold. We want to harness and cultivate cross movement dialogue, to sit in conversation with one another across religious and spiritual lines that do not often come together at the intersection of Black identity. The conference also included current students to present resonant work in addition to panels that brought in academics and activists."
Sankofa Awardee: Dr. Cheryl Giles
PANEL 1: BLACK PANTHER, DIASPORA, AND THE QUEERING OF THE BLACK IMAGINARY
This panel addressed the ways in which Afro-religious traditions are represented within the movie “Black Panther,” and how these representations shape the relationship between those on the African continent and those in the diaspora for Black liberation.
Panelists: Dr. Kyrah Daniels, Tony Van der Meer, Nikki Young
PANEL 2: CONVERSATIONS ON CONTESTED LIVES
This section was characterized to be more of a conversation between Keisha Khan Perry and Karlene Griffiths Sekou on the experiences of Black immigrants to the United States. It included a discussion on immigration, the process of gentrification and the politics of displacement.
Panelists: Keisha Khan Perry, Karlene Griffiths Sekou
PANEL 3: REVOLUTIONARY ART, HEALING & THE POLITICS OF CHANGE
This panel brought together revolutionary artists. As Nina Simonie once said “It’s an artist’s duty to reflect the times.” What does it mean to create art that reveals and speaks to the contemporary social, cultural, intellectual, and political times? Each speaker addressed a facet of the role of art in these times.
Panelists: Michael Brandon McCormack, Aric Flemming, Kendra Rosalie Hicks
PANEL 4: STUDENT PRESENTATIONS
In conjunction with the year's theme, this panel highlighted a variety of written scholarship by students across disciplines. They grappled with Blackness At The Margins from multiple angles, highlighting critical thoughts.
Panelists: N’Kosi Oates, Brenton Miles Brock, Steve Nunez