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Talk / Lecture

CANCELED—Community Conversations: Jeanette Charles

May 22, 2024 | 12:30PM - 2:00PM

This conversation focuses on the historical relationship between African-derived traditions and political struggles for Black liberation. Through the lens of Pan-Africanism and African and Afro-Diasporic cosmologies, Charles will examine how spiritual traditions have been engaged in communal fights for systemic change and movement building.

How does this historical relationship shape the present and future campaigns for social justice and liberation? This conversation will lean into three primary Ifá concepts: 

  1. Egbe, a term that speaks to communities whose spiritual and personal destinies are interwoven
    2.  The Odu Ifá, sacred stories and lessons captured in the spoken word of Yorùbá and its diasporic descendants
    3. Ìyánífá, or women who serve their communities, train in ancestral traditions, and are at the center of political victories and spiritual grounding

Jeanette Charles-Márquez (she/her) is a proud daughter of the Haitian diaspora and German working class, born and raised in Los Angeles. She is a historian pursuing her PhD in the African Diaspora of Latin America and the Caribbean at UCLA, where she also received her MA. She was awarded the 2023–24 Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad scholarship to study in Trinidad, Tobago, and Nigeria. Her research focuses on the contemporary history of Afro-Venezuelan grassroots organizing and its relationship to African-derived religious traditions. She is a long-time international solidarity activist, language justice interpreter, independent journalist, multimedia producer, certified life coach, and founder of Ìyá Global

Community Conversations are co-curated with artist and abolitionist Patrisse Cullors, whose installation formed part of the exhibition The House Was Too Small. These dialogues bring together community partners, leaders, artists, and Ifa practitioners to explore and celebrate the orisha divinities who play a vital part in our everyday lives.

This program is funded by the Nissan Foundation and co-sponsored by the Center for Religion and Cities at Morgan State University, supported by the Henry Luce Foundation. Co-curation of this program is part of Patrisse Cullors’ artist residency at the Fowler Museum in 2023-24.

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