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AFS Review: Notes

A Guide to 2017 Annual Meeting Events Sponsored by the Cultural Diversity Committee

Wednesday, October 11, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Lorraine Cashman
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The Cultural Diversity Committee (CDC) is a standing committee of the AFS Board. Its purpose is to undertake research and other activities regarding priorities and strategies to diversity the Society’s membership and to keep the Society engaged with diverse communities, and, based on those activities, to recommend policies and actions to the Executive Board. For more information, see

The CDC has organized the following meeting events:

Thursday, October 19

8:00-10:00 am, Deer Lake
01-04 Precarity, (In)Visibility, and Inclusion: A Conversation on Privilege within Our Own Ranks

10:15 am-12:15 pm, Deer Lake
02-04 Art and Activism: Lessons from the Black Lives Matter Movement of Minneapolis

12:30-1:45 pm, Deer Lake
Cultural Diversity Committee Brown Bag Welcome Lunch

Open to all interested in learning more about the work of the Cultural Diversity Committee and becoming allies in the mission of increasing diversity, inclusion and equity within our Society and our field.

2:00-4:00 pm, Deer Lake
03-04 Fostering Empathy Beyond the “Echo Chamber”

7:00-8:30 pm, Ballroom 1-2
Resistance, Reclamation and Re-Creation in Minnesota Native American Women’s Storytelling


Friday, October 20

8:00-10:00 am, Deer Lake
04-02 Folklore and Critical Race Studies: Practice, Theory, Curriculum, and Pedagogy Within and Beyond the Discipline

10:15 am-12:15 pm, Deer Lake
05-04 Women of Color and Folklore

12:30-4:00 pm, Ballroom Prefunction
Cultural Diversity Committee Reimagination Lounge: A Nonconference Incubator for Action

Drop by the AFS Reimagination Lounge area, located on the fourth floor, between the book exhibits and Ballroom 1/2 on Friday, October 20, 12:30-4:00. It’s our first ever “unconference hub”—an informal participatory space where you can connect with local activists, be inspired and recharged, widen your circles of support and deepen our collective capacity to do meaningful work around issues of inclusion, equality, and diversity in our Society and our field.

Stations include:

What’s Going on Here? Connect Locally; Mobilize Globally
Hear what is going on in the Twin Cities area around social justice and community well-being, around folk arts and social change, from local activists and artists. Meet community organizers, learn about their struggles for racial justice, peruse their books, and discover what their work means for you. Connect at the intersection of the local and global.

A Voice in the Streets: Making an Impact with Social Justice Posters
Hear how one Minneapolis activist/designer is using his art to support the frontline actions for social/economic justice. Working closely with movements and organizations such as Black Lives Matter, Standing Rock, and March for Science, his multidisciplinary workshops train students and activists alike to amplify their voices, distill their passion and ideas into clear visual narratives through poster art.

On Whose Shoulders Do You Stand? Expanding the Canon
Share your favorite resources on critical race theory, queer theory or other progressive influences and writings for the folklore field. Who are your models for engaged and critical folklore? What scholars, teachers, texts, were transformational, changing how you see the world? What top three resources must an engaged graduate student toolkit hold?

Values to Live By: Making a Statement; Taking a Stand
Share your ethics, values, and core principles that guide your folklore work. What are the words you live by? Make a name tag and collectively source some favorite proverbs, values or words to live by from the field.

Flipping the Script: Folk Histories of AFS
Name a watershed moment of conscience in our Society’s history that made you proud. Or name a moment you wish we could do over again, or a wake-up call for work that still needs to be done. The public-academic split? The Long Beach labor dispute? The Standing Rock proclamation? Open the door to a frank conversation about race and privilege within our own Society and field.

Allies for Change: Building a Toolkit for Action
Share stories and samples of engaged, activist folklore practice in our communities. Hear how your colleagues have mobilized their folklore talents to ally with community action—archiving ephemera; documenting marches; designing protest posters; facilitating dialogues, creating exhibits. Create a toolkit of actions for allies.

Speaker’s Corner
Scheduled declamations, readings, performances, and conversations with local community artist/activists, and mentors from our field. Join our President, Kay F. Turner, for an open mike reading of Gerald Davis’ inspired 1995 address to the Society in which he takes stock of both the excesses, the limitations, the blind spots and the promises of our field and our Society. Listen to Native American poets and writers Gwen Westerman and Margarita B. Martín-Dale read from recent works; and learn from visual artist/activist Leon Wang about his use of design to support the frontline actions for social/racial/economic justice throughout his city. And more…..



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