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The Journey to Black Liberation Symposium

Black liberation to me means that we will all be treated as equals, and not having racism anymore.”– Jaaziah, 13

The Journey to Black Liberation Symposium returns to Harbourfront Centre for its second edition! This year, the focus is to have a series of conversation between various Black communities around the world engaging in discussions that are affecting us on a micro as well as macro level. The goal is not to just bear witness to the oppression and injustice, but it is to create a series cross borders network of Black activists, academics and other stakeholders looking at sharing ideas, strategizing, educating each other and community building in efforts achieve Black liberation globally. The goal is touch lives, enrich lives and also change lives in the process.

For the 2019 edition, the conversations will be around the themes of Love, Honesty and Healing in Black Communities in the 21st century.

Co-curated by Brandon Hay (Black Daddies Club/Toronto), Twysted Miyake Mugler (Toronto Kiki Ballroom Alliance/Toronto), Michael Roberson Maasai Maison-Margiela (NYC).

Find out more and register here

The Black Liberation Ball was life…

A big shout out to the co-curators Icon Michael Roberson Maasai Milan and Twysted Miyake Mugler! of the Black Liberation Ball that was apart of the first Journey to Black Liberation Symposium  that Brandon Hay of Black Daddies Club curated on February 9th and 10th, 2018 at the Harbourfront Centre, in Toronto, Canada.

Thank you to the Harbourfront Centre for partnering with Black Daddies Club to make this historical event possible in Canada.

Now Magazine covers the Black Liberation Ball

Many thanks to the community partners and sponsors for making this event possible.

Sponsors and Community Partners for Kuumba and the Journey to Black Liberation Symposium // Black Liberation Ball 2018 

  • Government of Canada
  • City of Toronto
  • Canada Council for the Arts
  • Ontario Arts Council
  • Consulate General of the United States – Toronto, Canada
  • Musagetes, Guelph, Canada
  • Black CAP, Toronto
  • The University of Western Ontario, London
  • Union Theology, Columbia University, New York
  • Brock University – Hamilton Campus
  • City of Toronto
  • Glad Day Bookstore, Toronto
  • Inspirit Foundation, Toronto
  • OCAD University, Toronto
  • Mount Saint Vincent University, Nova Scotia
  • Queen West – Central Toronto Community Health Centre, Toronto
  • Sherbourne Health Centre (SOY, BQY), Toronto
  • University of Toronto
  • WeSpeak Research project, Toronto
  • Dr. Winston Husbands, Toronto
  • Women’s Health in Women’s Hands Community Health Centre, Toronto
  • York University (YUGSA + ACE + PHeSSA), Toronto

Harbourfront Centre and Black Daddies Club partner for Kuumba 2018

Greetings Community,

The Black Daddies Club (BDC) and Harbourfront Centre present the Journey to Black Liberation Symposium.  This symposium will take placeFebruary 9th-10th, 2018, in Toronto, Canada, at Harbourfront Centre, as part of its annual KuumbafestivalToronto’s longest-running celebration of Black History Month.

The Journey to Black Liberation Symposium is a follow-up as learnings from the Black Love Matters 2017 Un-Conference at York University, co-developed by the Black Daddies Club, and an extension of the idea of cross-border conversations and community-building within Black communities globally (Brazil, USA, United Kingdom and Canada) dealing with various forms of oppression that affect our communities. The focus of the JTBL symposium is not to just bear witness to the oppression and injustice, but to also a cross-borders network of Black activists, academics and other stakeholders looking at sharing ideas, strategizing, educating each other and community-building in efforts to achieve Black liberation globally.

The two-day symposium will include a mix of plenaries, covering themes from Womanism and HIV addition to Black masculinity and issues around liberation for the Trans Black community.  There will also be a photography exhibit, film screening, vogue workshop and a House Ball event. More details about all Kuumba events can be found here.

The purpose of having such a mix of entry points into the dialogue around Black Liberation is,  as one elder puts it, “When our (Black) communities put on a symposium or conference, we must include the boring pieces (i.e. panel discussions) and fun pieces (i.e. House balls), because of the fact that some people will be interested in the panel discussions and some people will only be interested in attending the House ball, so why not include both pieces so that we can get more people apart of the dialogue?”. With the theme of Journey to Black Liberation, making the symposium accessible was important, so all the plenary discussions are free to the general community. Only The Black Liberation Ball is ticketed, at $10.

More details about the plenary discussions can be found here, below is the list of themes. Please note you can pre-register for many events.

  • The Trans Sounds of Black Liberation
  • Womanism, Black Feminism, And the Politics of Love: A conversation around liberation for Black women
  • Am I not A Black Man? Black Masculinity, Male Sexuality and Respectability Politics
  • HIV and Black people in the Americas, preceded by the Canadian debut screening of feature documentary parTy boi 
  • Self Care and healing space
  • Open Space Technology
  •  I Am For You Can Enjoy by UK-based artists Khalil West and Ajamu

The Black Liberation Ball with celebrity guest judges Pony Zion and the legendary Leiomy Maldonado. The ball is co-curated by Michael Roberson Maasai Milan (NYC) with commentator The Rocksocking Twysted Miyake Mugler (Toronto)

Come and be apart of the cross borders dialogues around Black Liberation, taking place at the Harbourfront Centre in Toronto, February 9th and 10th, 2018.