The Art Gallery of York University is working in partnership with artists Amoya Reé, Keosha Love and The Poet MJ on Truthsgiving 2020, a one-day virtual festival taking place on Saturday, Oct. 10, from 2 to 8 p.m. Truthsgiving reimagines and redefines Thanksgiving by challenging its colonial roots. Deconstructing the mythology that has shaped the holiday in Canada and the United States, this day of workshops and performances will shine a light on the suppressed histories and enduring legacy of imperial/settler genocide and oppression. It is powered by Our Women’s Voices.
Truthsgiving begins with a discussion facilitated by The Poet MJ that will explore strategies for decolonizing Thanksgiving. This discussion is followed by three separate workshops. The first is led by Sylvia Plain, a member of Aamjiwnaang First Nation, a water walker, and founder of the Great Lakes Journey, who will facilitate a workshop on Indigenous food sovereignty. Abdifatah Hussein, a spoken word poet, Black Muslim youth advocate, and founding member of Hidaayah House, leads the second workshop on decolonizing Black Indigenous People of Colour (BIPOC) mental health and well-being. The final workshop is on radical healing and gratitude and is facilitated by Sincerely Shyy, a Toronto-based wellness practitioner, spoken word poet and educator.
The workshops will be followed by a performance showcase featuring a lineup of artists, including musician and educator Mahlikah Awe:ri, spoken word poet Lul Yoseph, Reggae singer Kirk Diamond, dancer Keylah, and a surprise guest DJ.
- 2 p.m. – Open Discussion with The Poet MJ: What does Thanksgiving mean to you? Exploring strategies to re-define and decolonize Thanksgiving
- 3 p.m. – Workshop by Sylvia Plain: Land Defenders & Indigenous Food Sovereignty
- 4 p.m. – Workshop by Abdifatah Hussein: Decolonizing Mental health and Wellness
- 5 p.m. – Workshop by Sincerely Shyy: Radical healing and Gratitude for BIPOC
- 6 to 6:30 p.m. – Intermission: Surprise DJ Guest & Raffle Contests
- 6:30 to 8 p.m. – Performance showcase featuring Mahlikah Awe:ri, Lul Yoseph, Kirk Diamond, Keylah & Surprise DJ Guest.