This coalition-building action is born out of a desire to create a more just and equitable world and in direct response to the urgent need for historically undervalued and marginalized communities to deepen their understanding of ONE ANOTHER. You are invited to one of many conversations where we explore the intersecting histories, struggles, experiences, and strategies of Indigenous, Black, and immigrant/refugee lives within our own community through the LENS OF ART.
By naming one’s reality, listening with radical empathy, humanizing the struggles of our neighbors (however distant), and finding common ground, WE CATALYZE CHANGE.
ARTogether is excited to host our first panel with an amazing panel of speakers, facilitated by Patricia Rojas-Zambrano, as we explore topics such as: equity; sense of belonging to a community; multicultural spaces; the role of art / the artist during such times. After hearing from our speakers the audience will be able to ask specific questions to deepen their understanding.
Facilitator: Patricia Rojas-Zambrano is a psychotherapist, activist, artist, and educator. She completed a B.S in Psychology at Universidad de Los Andes in her native Colombia where she worked in community-based programs. Upon relocating to the US to complete graduate studies at CIIS (EXA, 02), she focused her practice towards community mental health settings that serve immigrant and refugee communities. In her clinical practice she has specialized in the treatment of trauma using both Expressive arts and somatic approaches including focusing, movement-based, and mindfulness approaches such as Hakomi. She is the co-founder and Director of Wellness in Action at the Center for Empowering Refugees and Immigrants, a community-based training program for unserved and underserved communities and mental health practitioners of color. Ancestral knowledge, relational wisdom and embodied practices are central to this work. Her passion for education inspired her to pursue doctoral studies in Multicultural and International Education with a special emphasis on decolonizing methodologies and critical pedagogy, which is currently underway at the University of San Francisco. Patricia is also a book artist and painter. Her explorations in this field began with her love of books and her desire to process her everyday life through the arts. She has been dancing and swimming from a young age, and loves urban walks around her Berkeley neighborhoods.
Panelist: Rhatura is a mystic, sage, healer, activist, youth worker, and creative genius with a touch of East Coast and soulful swagger. Rha has been working with youth for over 20 years as a summer school instructor, after school teacher, camp counselor and after school program director at various non-profits serving Oakland communities. In the realms of spirituality and art, Rha is a Jack of all trades who reads tarot, concocts elixirs and cordials, creates spell candles, prescribes crystal remedies, designs sigils, and explores healing with sound, hands and crystals. He is a painter, poet, beat maker, t-shirt designer, jewelry maker, illustrator, writer, actor, crafter and freelance graphic designer. The light of his soul serves as a beacon and his manifestations radiate love, wisdom, spirituality and dope vibes.
Panelist: Rulan Tangen is the founder and Artistic Director of DANCING EARTH CREATIONS (DE) since 2004. After years of teaching dance workshops to reservation youth, she strove to create hope and opportunity for aspiring performers, theater artists and technicians, who also serve as culture carriers, art educators, and leaders. Dancing Earth has thus inspired a new generation of Indigenous performers to express their culture in vital contemporary and experimental forms. Her work values movement as an expression of plurality of indigenous worldview, dance as functional ritual for transformation and healing, and the energetic connection with all forms of life on earth. Her professional experience spans international ballet, modern dance, opera, circus, film and television production. Her vision for Dancing Earth is recognized through honors for the company which include the first dance fellowship for Artistic Innovation by the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation which supported the making of “Walking At The Edge Of Water”, the Costo Medal for Education, Research and Service from UC Riverside, and as Dance Magazine’s pick as one of “25 To Watch,” the New Mexico School for the Arts‘ Community Arts Leadership award, the 2015 Arts & Social Change Award from Arts and Healing Network, and was honored as a top ten finalist across all disciplines for the Nathan Cummings Fellowship for Social Change. “To dance is to live, to live is to dance.”
Panelist: Shawn Sockie Chizito was born and raised in Uganda and lived in Kenya for close to 4 years as a refugee after fleeing his home country. In June 2018, Sockie moved to America and has lived in Oakland since. He has worked with a number of nonprofits both in Uganda and Kenya, mostly focused on the marginalized members of society. Sockie currently works as a clerk at a grocery store and is going to school to be a registered nurse.
Panelist: Rhummanee Hang is a second generation Khmai American, performance artist, and educator who was born and raised in Oakland, CA. She has used art as education since she was 13, honing her dance, theatre, and spoken word skills as a member of performance and dance companies in Oakland and Sacramento. Rhummanee has had many years of experience in racial equity work, culturally specific programming, youth development, and Southeast Asian anti-deportation organizing and has worked with organizations like World Trust Educational Services, Banteay Srei, and the Center for Empowering Refugees & Immigrants. She has earned a Bachelors Degree in Sociology at UC Davis and a Masters Degree in International & Multicultural Education at the University of San Francisco. Rhummanee is an Aquarian dragon, crafter, and most importantly, Mommy to the amazing toddler, Noreak!