Since my last report to you in January, I have been to two conferences with audiences that symbolize the range of groups I Am My White Ancestors appeals to. I met so many enthusiastic people and hope to soon be able to announce the next stop on the exhibit tour. There are several possibilities in the works.
In February I attended the College Art Association conference in NYC. As advertised, I wore a costume from my Pilgrim ancestor Desire Howland Gorham during the ArtExchange. It was hard to tell how many people avoided talking to me or were drawn to talking with me. What do you think?
In late April, I went to the 18th Annual White Privilege Conference in Kansas City, MO. I was so pleased to be there and learn about this community that comes together to find ways of ending racism and white privilege. I led a workshop based on I Am My White Ancestors as an example of how art can be an effective tool for social change. Sometimes it is the best way to leap over barriers and help people understand complex issues. I have found that everybody has family and ancestors and are eager to share what they do or don't know. My project invites them take it a few steps further. In addition to my slide show and talk, I taught the participants a paired listening process to help them think about their own families.
There were daily keynotes, hundreds of workshops, and caucuses by ethnic identity. One highlight was the keynote by Jacqueline Keeler, a fellow Portlander and Native journalist. She prefers the term "colonizers" rather than "settlers" when referring to the Europeans and their descendants who invaded Native space. We have actually never settled, we are still taking over land. Also, consider this unanswerable question she posed: "What would ethical colonization look like?"
Thanks for your ongoing support. It makes a tremendous difference.