An online gathering for black people and people of colour who are in need of space to remember, share and root themselves in generational resilience. With Serayna Keya Solanki.
Black people and people of colour, we need to take space too. Let’s connect by sharing our stories that root us in the history, creativity and imaginations of those that stood before us and with us. In times of amplified crisis, such as pandemics, climate change and conflicts, people of colour bare the disproportionate impacts. This can be heavy and fuelling at the same time; as is holding many cultural identities in different spaces, feeling connected and disconnected to many lands. Join us in a holding space, to share stories of memories and philosophies / beliefs / spiritual practices. Poems and artwork are welcome to be shared during the gathering.
In this session, Serayna Keya will be prompting participants to remember through a series of questions; to share across cultures and experiences. A few questions to start with: What’s your favourite fruit with a story? Tell us a story an elder told you? How are you and aren’t you connected to the Earth?
Principles of holding space: Allowing each other to just be; active listening; compassion and anti-oppression in practice; no judgement, empathy; witnessing pain and joy and all in between; putting our own stuff aside; being present with ourselves together; making heart space for memories and stories that make us.
Note: This is event is for black and people of colour (POC) only. Healing and holding spaces are needed for resilience building when experiencing structural, institutional, interpersonal and internalised oppressions. Our communities have a connected and complex experience of oppression, but we are not all the same as the acronym implies. The term POC has been used here to address the power dynamic of racism and the experience of race. As individuals and communities we all have many nuances and differences. Many people even feel conflicted with this label, as like the commonly used terms ‘BAME’, ‘BIPOC’, ‘brown and black communities’. When each person speaks, we do not speak for all, but from our own uniqueness sometimes in connection to our communities.
Once you have registered, you will receive a reminder email a week before the event and a zoom link 2 hours before the dialogue start time. If you can not attend the event please let us know as we can give your space to someone on the waiting list.
About Serayna Keya Solanki: Serayna Keya is a freelance consultant, advocating for the design of sustainability focused projects to be inclusive and representative of the diverse and disproportionate realties of climate change. Her practice assists organisations and community initiatives towards equity and anti-oppression. She spent some time working in the field of Sustainability, but left to freelance because of the field-wide problem of western-centrism and power dynamics. Serayna Keya also co-founded Diaspora Dialogues for the Future, a BAME-centred space to discuss climate change through the lens and diaspora community realities; discussing what it means to build a future where Diaspora Communities in connection to Global South communities are centred in mitigation and adaptation solutions, having agency and safe participation in design. Serayna Keya is always inquiring what decolonisation means for her personally, as Gujarati-Ugandan diaspora. Through artwork, poetry and craftwork; she connects into the creativity of a culture with fragmented history, to speak with her community on social and ecological issues, releasing her poetry zine ‘Speaking with Mother Earth with my Broken Mother Tongue’ in Autumn 2020. Serayna Keya is an alumnus of St Ethelburga’s Radical Resilience programme.
Check out her Stand Up Comedy Piece ‘Climate Crisis Colonised Cats’ or her most recent documentary with BBC Midlands Inside Out ‘Race, Class and Climate Activism’ on BBC Iplayer.
This dialogue is part of the series Listening to each other: Listening to Earth. This event strand is a response to the urgent need for climate justice and to build peace with Earth as a living sacred being. It explores the integration of spirituality with grounded action through the lives and leadership of people of colour.
St Ethelburga’s is a ‘maker of peace-makers’. We inspire and equip individuals and communities to contribute, in their own particular contexts, to activating a global culture of peace.