Bridging the gap between theory and praxis
“The Graduate Students in the Department of Geography and Supporting Women in Geography (SWIG) welcome students, faculty, and community organizers to attend “Activism & Academia,” a virtual lunchtime series on Tuesdays at noon that is open to the public. This series will feature local and national work at the intersection of activism and scholarship for the purpose of enlightening the audience on how to use their expertise to contribute to a more just and equitable world. Led by guests that will speak toward a diverse selection of topics from indigenous solidarity to mutual aid, this series serves to enhance the diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives at the level of the Department of Geography, College of Earth and Mineral Sciences, and the University and to bridge the gap between theory and praxis regarding activism and academia.”
March 30, noon-1 pm EDT: Che Gossett
“The Dark Sublime''
I theorize abolition as an ecologically aesthetic project amidst the planetary afterlife of the plantation. I ask how the world is both unhoused and englobed by racial slavery. I closely read John Akomfrah’s film Vertigo Sea (2015) and Theo Esethu’s installation The Slave Ship (2015) to illustrate how these works speak to the ongoing disaster of the Plantationocene as the topographical and planetary afterlife of the plantation.
Che Gossett is a Black femme critical theorist. They are an alumnus of the Whitney Independent Study Program (2019-2020 in Critical Studies), a member of Creative Time's inaugural Think Tank cohort and currently a graduate fellow at the Center for Cultural Analysis, Rutgers University, New Brunswick.
April 13, noon-1 pm EDT: Nazshonnii Brown-Almaweri
Rematriation with Sogorea Te' Land Trust
Workshop on the work of Sogorea Te's practices of rematriation, redistribution, and reimagining. Learn more about the work of the land trust and how you can start the first step to engage with land acknowledgements.
Nazshonnii Brown-Almaweri is a STEM educator and mechanical design engineer working on both land and office projects at the land trust. She is passionate about STEM education and advocates for exposure and opportunities for underrepresented groups, especially Black and Native young women.
April 20, noon-1 pm EDT: Tierra Williams
Students, Staff, and Social Justice
What does it really mean to bring activism into the classroom? How does one be an activist in an academic arena? In this Black Tea exclusive, you will hear from students, professors, mothers, theatre majors, and activists about their experiences advocating for social justice in the classroom, not only for themselves, but for their children, department, and on stage. Lights. Camera. Activism."
ACTIVIST, PUBLIC SPEAKER, EDUCATOR, AND POET, Tierra Williams received her B.A. in Speech Communication with a concentration in theatre from Jackson State University. She is the co-lead of the 3/20 Coalition, a grassroots organization seeking justice for Osaze Osagie and engaging in meaningful change to better the lives of Black community members within State College. Tierra is also the creator of Black Tea, a community engagement show with the goal of sparking critical dialogue in State College regarding racism, diversity, and the experiences of Black people living in central Pennsylvania. She has also been named the Resident Poet during the Central PA Arts and Dance Festival for the last two years. Tierra is currently the Vice President of the State College Chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated which serves as a mentorship organization for Zetas at Penn State University. Tierra aims to use her diverse abilities to fight for, uplift, and inspire people of color within her local community "by any means necessary." Watch Black Tea on YouTube.
April 27, noon-1 pm EDT: Alleghenies Abolition
Roundtable on Building Spaces of Liberation
As a group dedicated to the struggle for liberation for poor, working class, and marginalized people, much of our work has centered around decommodifying and holding-in-common spaces in our communities. In the last year, we have developed mutual aid and community defense projects in the State College area and into Bellefonte. Through our Solidarity Sundays, we have held space in downtown State College for unsheltered and working class folks the local government would harass or run off by force and defended that space from bureaucrats and police. We are working on connecting exploited workers and tenants with one another through grocery and meal delivery, as well as survival supplies and political education. In the future, we are looking into developing these relationships with vulnerable community members further to organize against exploitation from landlords, bosses, and police. By working together to build these resources and centers of power, we hope to transform the flows of power, and create a more equitable landscape.
Alleghenies Abolition is a group devoted to the liberation of working-class and oppressed people. We believe this requires the abolition of capitalism, imperialism, racism, patriarchy, and prisons and policing. Our aim is to abolish these systems so we can bring about a new society based on care, cooperation, and need. We build autonomous or dual power as a tool for waging struggle against the exploiter classes in the Alleghenies region of so-called Central and Southern Pennsylvania. We seek to win a world where all people are valued, have their needs met, and enjoy a life of dignity and creativity. We practice mutual aid, political education, and community defense. For most of last year, many of us organized under the name Centre County COVID-19 Community Response (or 4CR), and some of our current projects include a free grocery initiative, a survival supplies project, our Solidarity Sundays, a care not cops program, and housing organizing.
Connect with Alleghenies Abolition