TRUTHSGIVING 2020: A Virtual Festival
Saturday, October 10, 2020, 2:00 pm to 8:00 pm
poster: Keosha Love
Organizers: Amoya Reé, Keosha Love, and Jayda Marley
Workshops: Sylvia Plain, Abdifatah Hussein, Sincerely Shyy
Performances: Mahlikah Awe:ri, Lul Yoseph, Kirk Diamond, Vania, and a Surprise Guest DJ
The Art Gallery of York University workied in partnership with artists Amoya Reé, Keosha Love, and The Poet MJ on Truthsgiving 2020, a one-day virtual festival that took place on October 10 from 2-8 pm that reimagined and redefined Thanksgiving by challenging its colonial roots. Deconstructing the mythology that has shaped the holiday in Canada and the United States, this day of workshops and performances shone a light on the suppressed histories and enduring legacy of imperial/settler genocide and oppression. Powered by Our Women’s Voices.
Truthsgiving began with a discussion facilitated by The Poet MJ that explored strategies for decolonizing Thanksgiving. This discussion was followed by three separate workshops. The first led by Sylvia Plain, a member of Aamjiwnaang First Nation, a water walker, and founder of the Great Lakes Journey, who facilitated a workshop on Indigenous food sovereignty. Abdifatah Hussein, a spoken word poet, Black Muslim youth advocate, and founding member of Hidaayah House, led our second workshop on decolonizing BIPOC mental health and well-being. Our final workshop was on radical healing and gratitude and was facilitated by Sincerely Shyy, a Toronto-based wellness practitioner, spoken word poet, and educator.
The workshops were followed by a performance showcase featuring a phenomenal lineup of artists including musician and educator Mahlikah Awe:ri, spoken word poet Lul Yoseph, Reggae singer Kirk Diamond, dancer Vania, and a surprise DJ set by Kappa Mezu.
Open Discussion with The Poet MJ: What does Thanksgiving mean to you? Exploring strategies to re-define and decolonize Thanksgiving
Workshop by Sylvia Plain: Land Defenders & Indigenous Food Sovereignty
Workshop by Abdifatah Hussein: Decolonizing Mental health and Wellness
Workshop by Sincerely Shyy: Radical healing and Gratitude for BIPOC
Intermission: Surprise DJ Guest & Raffle Contests
Performance showcase featuring Mahlikah Awe:ri, Lul Yoseph, Kirk Diamond, Vania & DJ set by Kappa Mezu
The AGYU is committed to anti-racism. We work to eradicate institutional biases and develop accountable programs that support Black, Indigenous and People of Colour. This program developed out of a new AGYU initiative that is focused on supporting artists who are active in the fight for social justice and the struggles for Black and Indigenous liberation. As community leaders, in recognition of their ongoing contributions to the field of art and activism, the AGYU invited Amoya Reé, Keosha Love, and Jayda Marley to envision a Community Resource Program in support of Black and Indigenous artists. As an art institution AGYU is committed to leveraging our resources to enhance and amplify the voices of artists whose practices are dedicated to advancing the fight against systemic white supremacy. This program reflects AGYU’s desire to support Black and Indigenous artists in a manner that is determined by leading members of our community.