AARCC Roundtables are a monthly discussion series in which community members and scholars engage with various topics related to African American, Native American and intersecting communities. Watch our discussions below!
Arts & Education 08.29.2020
Educator & Activist
Martha Redbone is one of today’s most vital voices in American Roots music. A multi award-winning musician, the charismatic songstress is celebrated for her tasty gumbo of roots music embodying the folk and mountain blues sounds of her childhood in the Appalachian hills of Kentucky mixed with the eclectic grit of her teenage years in pre-gentrified Brooklyn. With the power of her gospel singing African-American father’s voice and the determined spirit of her Cherokee/Shawnee/Choctaw mother, Redbone broadens all boundaries of Americana.
Alongside her career as a recording artist and songwriter Martha Redbone has maintained a steady involvement with causes she believes in. Ms. Redbone is contracted by The Department of Indian Education- Louisiana, LaFourche Parish and teaches Southeastern Traditional Singing Workshop for the United Houma Nation’s Bayou Healers Cultural Enrichment Camp program.
Ms. Redbone supports the Man Up Campaign, the global youth movement to eradicate violence against women and girls for whom she served as the indigenous affairs consultant and creative advisor. She is currently an Advisory Board member of The Carlisle Indian School Project.
Critical Dance Studies
University of California, Riverside
Evangelina Macias (Native American, Black, Mexican) specifically Aamskapipikuni, GrosVentre, and Assinboine, is a Ph.D. candidate in Critical Dance Studies at the University of California, Riverside. Macias holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance with a Modern Emphasis (2015) from Utah Valley University. In addition to her own dance practices and studies, Macias teaches Fancy Shawl and Hoop Dance for the Title VI program for Native American youth in the Wasatch area of Utah.
She is grateful to have participated and traveled (some internationally) for a variety of professional dance projects, some of which include works with Dancing Earth since 2016, and the Dancing Earth and V'ni Dansi collaboration Michif Medicines for the Talking Stick Festival in Vancouver BC (2018). In her academic work, Macias’ primary interests are in Native American Women's practices of danced defiance and Native women’s reclamation of self through a variety of dance sites. Macias is honored to be a part of this panel.
Artist, Public Speaker, Educator
Arts & Social Justice Fellow
Shanequa Gay, an Atlanta native, received her BA in Painting from The Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) and an
MFA at Georgia State University. Gay’s work evaluates place, tradition, storytelling, and subject matter to develop imaginative
dialogues and alternative strategies for self-imaging. Through installations, paintings, performance, video, and monumental
sculptural figures, she fabricates environments of ritual and memorial. By developing counter and re-imagined narratives
that live within the duality of physical and spiritual worlds, she explores the historical and contemporary social concerns of
hybrid cultures, through the gaze of the African-Ascendant female progenitor.
Gay was one of ten selected artists for OFF
THE WALL a city-wide Mural initiative led by the Atlanta Super Bowl Host Committee (2019). Gay was chosen by The Congressional Club Museum Foundation to be the illustrator for the First Lady's Luncheon hostess gift for First Lady Michelle Obama (2013). Gay's work includes features film and television such as Lionsgate, BET and OWNTV. She currently sits as a Do Good Fellow awarded to individuals working towards a better South (2019-2020) and a Emory University Arts and Social Justice Fellow a program which explores racial injustice and other inequities, leading to creative projects on campus and in the wider community (2020).
President of Film & Productions
Monty Ross is a versatile and accomplished filmmaker, producer and director. An alumnus of Clark College (now Clark Atlanta University), Ross gained notoriety working as a production supervisor on the classic 1986 film She's Gotta Have It. From there Mr. Ross would go on to co-produce such acclaimed films as School Daze (1988) Do the Right Thing (1989), Mo' Better Blues (1990), Jungle Fever (1991), Malcolm X (1992), Crooklyn (1994), and working as an executive producer of Clockers (1995).
Ross also produced advertising campaigns for Nike Air Jordan’s and Lev’s 501’s. He also produced music videos for artists such as Stevie Wonder and Prince. Most recently, he directed the period film, The Opera Game and has been serving as President of Film & Productions for Soulidify Productions.
Artist, Educator, Activist & Executive Director
Jéhan (they/them) is the multi-lingual, non-binary artist activist who Founded Earthseed which is located in Seattle, WA. Their multi-disciplinary artistic practice, for which Earthseed is the home, uses theatre pedagogy; how we read and understand story, cultural somatics; the stories our bodies tell with and without our consent to more deeply understand the identities we’ve developed in opposition to oppressive constructs and not simply in accordance with our own beliefs.
Through Earthseed Jéhan facilitates workshops for non-profits, governmental organizations, regional and multi-national corporations who want to use storytelling to more deeply understand how their individual and organizational internalized traumas result in actions that support systems of white body supremacy based on various positionalities. Jéhan is also a member of the Actor’s Equity Association, a Gregory Award Nominated playwright, whitewater canoeist, director. and ceramicist. Most recently they returned from a 3-month residency in Blanca, Murcia, Spain where they used VIEWPOINTS, Spanish, English, and Jamaican Patwa to explore intergenerational trauma. Upcoming projects include directing the World Premiere of Sara Porkalob’s ALEX & ALIX for Arts West theatre.
School Board Candidate,
Richland County, SC
Shea Harley is the owner and CEO of House of Harley Radio. The overall mission of House of Harley Talk Radio is to Educate, Empower, and Entertain ALL Walks of Life. He seeks to bridge the gap between generations, by ushering in healing in the areas of gender equality, socio-economic class, and race relations, and engaging youth to speak out directly on topics concerning them. He is currently running as a candidate for the Richland County District One School Board in Richland County, South Carolina.
Family Trees & Mental Health 07.25.2020
Our Genetic Legacy
Shellie Baxter founded OGL with the aim of correcting the published history of America to include ALL Americans. The many contributions of multicultural American pioneers and their family histories have been relegated to a short list; OGL's mission is to create projects will expand that list with the help made possible as a result of generous sponsorships and numerous volunteers.
Anjail M. Haqq, MSW
Master Level Therapist
Anjail Haqq MSW, is a Mental Health Therapist specializing in treatment for individuals, families and groups in crisis. Anjail’s focus is working with various target populations including adults suffering from substance abuse, adults with significant disabilities and foster care families.
Anjail graduated from South Carolina State University, earning her Bachelors in Social Work. She continued to study clinical social work and organizational community planning at University of New England, earning her Masters in Social Work degree.
Beyond Borders 06.27.2020
Gregorio Gonzales, PhD
Riley Scholar in Anthropology and Southwest Studies
Dr. Gregorio Gonzales is Genizaro and Comanche from the western periphery of Comancheria, or what is now known as New Mexico. Earning his doctorate in 2017 from The University of Texas at Austin, Dr. Gonzales' transdisciplinary training and scholarship on race, ethnicity, and indigeneity in the U.S. Southwest borderlands has been featured in The New York Times, NPR's All Things Considered, Generation Justice-KUNM Youth Radio, as well as on the San Antonio-based Decolonized Buffalo Podcast.
His writings have also appeared in the New Mexico Magazine, RED INK: International Journal of Indigenous Literature, Art, & Humanities, and American Indian Culture and Research Journal. After recently completing his postdoctoral fellowship tenure at Colorado College as the 2019-2020 Riley Scholar-in-Residence in Anthropology and Southwest Studies, Dr. Gonzales has since returned to the New Mexico homelands and is now based out of the Mesilla valley.
Writer & Activist
Briana Ureña-Ravelo is a 30 year old first generation bisexual Afro-Dominicana newly in transition from her home base in the Midwest to out West. In the tradition of Angela Davis, she is also an anti-racist, anarchist, anti-colonial community organizer, abolitionist, culture critic writer, artist, poet, thinker, and dreamer with over 10 to 30 years of experience with all of the aforementioned.
Briana's interests include music, antifascism and resistance, shows and the all-ages/punk scene, Afro-Caribbean spirituality and culture, community politics and radical placemaking, organizing and theory, thrifting, cooking, body modifications and sweets.
Community Advocate & Activist
Born in Milton, Ontario and raised in Edoopikang, which is the Anishinaabemowin word for North York. Shanese Steele is a 27 year old, fat, queer, Mukaade Anishinaabe Kwe (Afro-Indigenous person) with ties to the Nbissing, Metis communities and Trinidad and Carriacou, Grenada and a member of the Crane Clan.
For the last 10 years she has been focusing her work on bridging the gap between the Black diasporic Indigenous community and Indigenous communities belonging to Turtle Island. At 18 she joined the TDSB Aboriginal Education Centre board and helped to create the foundation for what would become the First Nations School in Toronto. From 2014-2017 Shanese did work with the Metis Nation of Ontario looking to support Metis youth through their post-secondary education. During this same time she was elected as President of the Trent University Native Association and Anti-racism commissioner for the Trent Central Student Association. Throughout 2018-2019 Shanese was also elected as both the Ontario and National Chairperson for the Canadian Federation of Students Circle of First Nations, Metis and Inuit students. She was also elected as one of the North American Focal Points for the Global Indigenous Youth Caucus as the United Nations Permanent Forum for Indigenous Issues.
She is currently working to build a Black and Indigenous solidarity program which will bring Black and Indigenous youth from across the country. Together they will build curriculums to educate both communities about their individual and shared histories. Shanese’s dream is to one day open up a community center in the lower income area of North York, that she grew up in. This center will have both culturally and historically relevant programing for Black and Indigenous youth.
Creating Pathways 05.30.2020
Shanya Cordis, PhD
Assistant Professor of Anthropology
Shanya Cordis, Ph.D.,is a first-generation Black and indigenous (Lokono/Warau) Guyanese-American, whose interests focus on indigeneity across the Americas and the Caribbean, black and indigenous political subjectivities and resistance, transnational black and indigenous feminisms, and critical feminist geographies.
Dr. Cordis is deeply invested in cultivating collaborative black and indigenous feminist praxis, both in and out of the classroom, to generate more expansive visions of black and indigenous liberation and autonomy.
Chief Eagle Elk
Author & Skarure Woccon Chief
Known also as Lovell Pierce Jr. and Firewalker, Chief Eagle Elk belongs to the Skarure Woccon people of the Cape Fear region of North Carolina. He is a community activist and cultural preservationist in the region.
A student of various martial arts, he holds a 5th degree Black Belt with over 30 years of Martial Arts experience in Karate, Kung Fu, Filipino Combatives, Grappling and Native American Martial Arts Concepts. This has allowed him to recreate the art of ATASSA to represent the Woodland Native Americans and specifically the Southeastern Native American's form of Combat.
Kimberly M. Knight, MSW
Black Indians NC Powwow Committee Chair
Kimberly M. Knight is a native Raleigh, North Carolina. Currently she is the Committee Chair of the Advisory Council for the first Black Indians Powwow for the State of North Carolina which will take place in September 2021.
Kimberly identifies as an Afro-Indigenous woman whose father is Eastern Band Cherokee and West African (Ivory Coast) and her mother is Dutch, African-American, and Haliwa-Saponi.Currently, she is a member of the Western Wake Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., member of the Triangle Native American Society, and the Junior League of Raleigh. She has participated in Native American powwows as a jingle dancer and volunteered at East Carolina University’s annual powwows.
Frederick Murphy, LPC
In 2016, Frederick Murphy founded History Before Us, a project centered on capturing, preserving and advocating influential history. In the beginning of 2017 he started traveling the Southeastern region of the United States interviewing survivors of Jim Crow, the courageous individuals who didn’t make the headlines. These untold stories prompted him to start filming the documentary The American South as We Know It.
Mr. Murphy, a Licensed Professional Counselor by trade, utilizes tactful questioning, empathy and reflection to obtain relevant information needed to produce a true narrative of African-American/American history.
Sutton King, MPH
Urban Indigenous Collective
Sutton King, Nāēqtaw-Pianakiw, is the Founder, President and Executive Director of UIC. She is Afro-Indigenous, and a descendant of the Menominee and Oneida Nations of Wisconsin. She currently resides in the Bronx, NY. Sutton holds a BA in Psychology from the College of Mount Saint Vincent and an MPH in Global Health from New York University College of Global Health.
Sutton is passionate about both Indigenous research and improving Indigenous health domestically and internationally. With these passions she aims to help bridge the gap of health inequalities that exist for Indigenous people of the North, South and Central Americas.
Steven D. Gayle [Moderator]
Co-Founder, Executive Director