X by Senalka McDonald

Image: “X” by Senalka McDonald

1st Annual Freedom Weekend
February 20 – 21, 2009

Freedom Weekend takes place during the month of February and offers a variety of programming which promotes social, cultural and historical awareness within a social justice context and fosters community dialogue by inviting a variety of voices to the table through forums, performances, activism and scholarship.

Book Talk “Native Americans and the Christian Right: The Gendered Politics of Unlikely Alliances” by Andrea Smith

Dr. Andrea Smith (Cherokee), is a co-founder of Incite! Women of Color Against Violence and the Boarding School Healing Project. She is also the author of Conquest: Sexual Violence and American Indian Genocide, and through Incite! she is the co-editor of The Color of Violence and editor of The Revolution Will Not Be Funded: Beyond the Nonprofit Industrial Complex.

Dr. Smith’s talk will take place at Thursday, February 19, 2009, 6:30 pm at Resistencia Books, 1801-A South First Street, and is co-sponsored by the DDCE Indigenous Studies Speakers Series and Red Salmon Arts.

Abriendo Brecha Activist Scholarship Conference

This is the sixth annual Abriendo Brecha conference. This conference series features research and creative intellectual work that aligns with communities, organizations, movements, or networks working for social justice. This year's public events include a roundtable discussion on activist scholarship with invited guests Joy James, Andrea Smith, Dylan Rodriguez, Jessica Gordon Nembhard, and Astrid Ulloa, from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm, on February 20, 2009 at the Office of Thematic Initiatives and Community Engagement's Community Space at 1009 E. 11 th Street in East Austin.

On Saturday, February 21 from 9:00 am to 11:30 am, a workshop on activist scholarship will be held by Drs. Smith, Rodriguez, Gordon Nembhard and Ulloa, also at 1009 E. 11 th Street. Students, faculty and community organizers are invited to participate.

Freedom Weekend Reception

Freedom Weekend welcomes participants with a reception at the Carver Museum and Cultural Center on Friday, February 20, 2009 from 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm . Enjoy the Prison Protest Poetry spoken word show and food for the soul.

Bringing Human Rights Home

Veteran activists, international and criminal law attorneys, community leaders, historians and others from Texas and around the country will come together for the Bringing Human Rights Home community forum to facilitate an important conversation about the relevance of human rights as a tool for Black self-determination and racial justice. The forum will reveal little known history about the Black human rights movement in the U.S. prior to the pre-civil rights era and discuss how local community struggles for dignified lives are reaching the international stage.

Bringing Human Rights Home features a session called, ‘Let My People Go,' which will confront the destructive impact of the criminal justice system on Black lives and communities, from the phenomenon of police brutality and the massive incarceration, to the Black population and the school-to-prison pipeline.

The interactive forum will challenge participants to ‘imagine justice,' or imagine the ways justice would need to look for communities to be repaired and self-determined. The discussion will be strategy-oriented and consider the issues in light of the new Obama Administration.

Bringing Human Rights Home community forum, Saturday, February 21, 2009 from 12:30 pm to 6:15 pm in the Eidman Courtroom of the University of Texas at Austin School of Law, 727 East Dean Keeton Street. Reception to follow.

Performance of Sugar by Robbie McCauley

"Sugar" is a play that deals with the relationship between Black bodies, diabetes, sugar cane and the slave trade. Ms. McCauley will perform excerpts. It is free and open to the public. Saturday, February 21, 2009 at 8:00 in the Winship Drama Building, room 2.180 at the corner of 23rd and San Jacinto streets on UT's campus.

Robbie McCauley is an Obie Award-winning playwright and a nationally recognized performance artist. Her provocative play centering on race relations, Sally's Rape, was the subject of a PBS broadcast and was featured in the documentary Conjure Women. One of the original cast members who devised for colored girls who have considered suicide when the rainbow is enuf , Ms. McCauley has gone on to write and perform regularly in cities across the country, striving to facilitate cross-racial dialogues.

In 1998, one of her pieces was highlighted as one of the "The 51 (or So) Greatest Avant-Garde Moments" by the Village Voice, a roster that included work by artists such as Igor Stravinsky, Pablo Picasso, and John Cage. Ms. McCauley recently earned promotion to Full Professor at Emerson College.

Freedom Weekend 09 is sponsored by the Center for African and African American Studies (CAAAS) , the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement (DDCE) , the History Department, the Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice, the Thurgood Marshall Legal Society, the George Washington Carver Museum and Cultural Center, the Law Offices of Bobby Taylor, P.C., Joel B. Bennett, P.C. and Walker Bright P.C.

Download the fliers for the event

Freedom Weekend 09 Flyer (PDF)

Abriendo Brecha Flyer (PDF)

(Note: these files require Adobe Reader software or equivalent)