2021 Program

The 2021 William and Louise Greaves Filmmaker Seminar is an online gathering — March 19 to 21, 2021 — of Black, Brown, and Indigenous artists working in cinematic realms. Learn more about the origins and application process for the program here.

Day One

March 19

  • 10:00 AM ET — Mindfulness & Hatha Yoga with Sheena Sood
  • 12:00 PM ET — Homeroom
  • 2:30 PM ET — Blacklight Film Program panel, curated by jeanelle augustin
  • 5:00 PM ET — Keynote: Nuotama Bodomo

Day Two

March 20

  • 10:00 AM ET — Yoga & Self Massage with Jean-Jacques Gabriel
  • 12:00 PM ET — Homeroom
  • 2:30 PM ET — deskt0p_cinema Film Program panel, curated by Greg de Cuir Jr.
  • 5:00 PM ET — Industry Panels: Film & Art World | Pitching and Negotiation Skills | Financing In This Moment

Day Three

March 21

  • 10:00 AM ET — Breath and Embodiment with Shesheena Bray
  • 2:00 PM ET — WIP discussion – Adam Khalil and Zack Khalil
  • 4:00 PM ET — Director’s Commentary: Yance Ford’s “Strong Island“

Seminar Presenters

deskt0p_cinema Film Program

Paula Albuquerque

Artist and scholar with a Postdoc in Artistic Research, University of Amsterdam. Head of the Master of Artistic Research at this university and Senior Researcher at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy. Published Enter the Ghost – Haunted Media Ecologies (exhibition project book 2020) and The Webcam as an Emerging Cinematic Medium (Amsterdam University Press, 2018). Regularly presents at conferences, i.e. Media in Transition, MIT, and Visible Evidence, School of Cinematic Arts, Los Angeles. Artwork shown at, i.e. Nieuw Dakota Gallery, Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam, Bradwolff Projects Gallery (Amsterdam), International Film Festival Rotterdam and Sheffield DOC|Fest.

Industry Panels: Film & Art World

Onye Anyanwu

Onye Anyanwu’s work weaves through the avant-garde and the everyday to expand the boundaries of narrative and experimental filmmaking. She began her career in New York City as a casting director and helped cast music videos with directors such as Mark Romanek for Jay-Z’s “99 Problems” and director Paul Hunter for the artist Stevie Wonder. Anyanwu is co-founder and president of Gamma Wave Films, a film,TV, and fine arts production company that has collaborated with artists including Arthur Jafa, FKA twigs, Sampha, and Kendrick Lamar. Since the inception of Gamma Wave Films, Anyanwu has produced genre-defying works that are now held in the collections of art museums and institutions around the world. Anyanwu currently serves as a founding board member of The Underground Museum, a family operated and internationally-recognized fine art exhibition space in Mid-City Los Angeles that was founded by the late artist and visionary Noah Davis and his wife, the artist Karon Davis. Anyanwu is producing an ongoing project called BLKNWS, a post-media company conceived by husband and creative partner Kahlil Joseph that uses an innovative practice of conceptual journalism to reimagine what the news can look like. Operating as both an artwork and a conceptual business endeavor, BLKNWS presents a highly-curated fugitive newscast that blurs the line between fine art, journalism, entrepreneurship, and cultural critique.

Blacklight Film Program

jeanelle augustin

jeanelle augustin is a Haitian-American film programmer, curator, and artist development professional. Born in New York City and currently based in Los Angeles, her work is centered on the visual and sonic culture of the future — what does creative freedom for artists of color look and sound like, how can institutions support and set the conditions for radical, inclusive, and liberatory art making and viewing experiences, and most importantly, how are we willing to be transformed? As Doc Society’s Film Officer, jeanelle serves as first point of contact for artists in the earliest stages of development forward. Before Doc Society, jeanelle worked in the Documentary Film and New Frontier Lab Programs at Sundance Institute, as well as contemporary art museums and nonprofits from Haiti to Hawai’i. She has also programmed for True/False Film Fest, Camden International Film Festival, served on juries for Creative Capital, Define American, Film Independent, International Documentary Association, Open City Documentary Film Festival, and teaches yoga.

Keynote Address

Nuotama Bodomo

Nuotama Bodomo is a Ghanaian filmmaker who earned a BA in Film Studies at Columbia University and an MFA in Film Production at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. Her award-winning short films Boneshaker (2013) and Afronauts (2014) both premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and Everybody Dies! premiered at SXSW as part of the omnibus feature film Collective:Unconscious (2016). Afronauts was exhibited at the Whitney Museum in 2016, Venice Biennale Architecture in 2018, and at the Lubumbashi Biennale in 2015. Nuotama has also served as staff writer & director on the Peabody Award-winning first season of Random Acts of Flyness (HBO) and co-founded the New Negress Film Society. She was named one of Filmmaker Magazine’s 25 New Faces of Independent Film in 2014 and a United States Artists Fellow in Film in 2019.

Industry Panels: Negotiating a Streaming Deal

Caitlin Mae Burke

Caitlin Mae Burke is the Supervising Producer for IF/Then Shorts, a fund and mentorship program for short documentary films at Field of Vision. An Emmy-winning producer, inaugural inductee into DOC NYC’s 40 Under 40 and alumna of Berlinale Talents, Caitlin’s work has been broadcast worldwide, and screened in movie theaters internationally. Caitlin’s films currently in digital release include Gotham Award-winning FOURTEEN (dir. Dan Sallitt, Berlinale 2019) and ANBESSA (dir. Mo Scarpelli, Berlinale 2019), winner of the SIMA Award for Best Cinematography. She produced the documentary features NUTS! (dir. Penny Lane, Sundance 2016) which won a Special Jury Prize at Sundance and was nominated for Cinema Eye Honors and a Critic’s Choice Award, and OBIT. (dir. Vanessa Gould, Tribeca 2016) one of Entertainment Weekly’s “Ten Best Movies of 2017.” Other acclaimed productions include FEAST OF THE EPIPHANY (dir. Michael Koresky, Jeff Reichert, Farihah Zaman) Film Comment’s “Best Unreleased Films 2018″, WE COULD BE KING (dir. Judd Ehrlich, Tribeca 2014) winner of a Grand Clio and Sports Emmy for Outstanding Sports Documentary, and APPROACHING THE ELEPHANT (dir. Amanda Rose Wilder, True/False 2014) a nominee at the Gotham Awards, Cinema Eye Honors, and Independent Spirit Awards. Caitlin is also the lead producer on the Webby-nominated podcast, Other Men Need Help, a playful poke at how the masculine performance attempts to camouflage a need for connection. Caitlin lives in Brooklyn, NY with a pigeon named Valentina.

deskt0p_cinema Film Program

Greg de Cuir, Jr

Greg de Cuir, Jr. is an independent curator, writer and translator who lives and works in Belgrade, Serbia.

Director’s Commentary: Strong Island

Yance Ford

Yance Ford is an Oscar-nominated, Emmy Award-winning director-producer based in New York City. His debut film Strong Island won a Sundance Film Festival Special Jury Prize and the Gotham Award for Best Documentary. Strong Island was nominated for Best Documentary Feature at the 90th Academy Awards, where Ford made history as the first openly transgender director nominated for the Oscar. In 2018 Ford won the Primetime Emmy for Exceptional Merit in Documentary Filmmaking. Yance was named to Variety’s 10 Documakers to watch, The Root 100 and was selected for the Ryan Murphy Half program shadowing on season two of POSE. Ford’s profile of former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich can be seen on the new Netflix series Trial by Media and he directed the 90’s episode PRIDE, premiering soon on FX. Ford is a former Series Producer of the PBS documentary series POV. During his tenure at POV, his curatorial work garnered 5 Emmy Awards and 16 Emmy nominations. He is a MacDowell Colony fellow and a member of the Sundance Collective. In September 2019, Ford was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in Film.

Industry Panels: Negotiating a Streaming Deal

Makiah Green

Makiah Green is a life-loving entrepreneur and entertainment activist. Makiah recently joined Lizzo’s new production company as Senior Vice President and previously worked as a Manager of Original Series at Netflix, where she developed and oversaw a number of hit shows including Dead to Me, Master of None, Dear White People and Gentefied. Prior to joining Netflix, Makiah broke into the industry as an intern at MACRO, where she quickly rose the executive ranks and developed a number of films including Judas and the Black Messiah, Sorry to Bother You, and Really Love. Through her work, she aims to empower and delight diverse audiences through media, tech, and community organizing. She is the Founder of Black Book LA, a thriving community of over 20,000 people that connects Black millennials to the best events and Black-owned businesses in the Greater Los Angeles area. Makiah is a double graduate of the University of Southern California with a Master’s degree in Professional Writing and a B.A. in English-Creative Writing.

Industry Panels: Film & Art World

Deana Haggag

Deana Haggag is the newly appointed Program Officer in Arts and Culture with the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, effective May 2021. Deana comes to the Mellon Foundation after a successful four year run as the President & CEO of United States Artists, a national arts funding organization based in Chicago, IL. Before joining USA in February 2017, she was the Executive Director of The Contemporary, a nomadic and non-collecting art museum in Baltimore, MD, for four years. In addition to her leadership roles, Deana lectures extensively, consults on various art initiatives, contributes to cultural publications, and has taught at institutions such as Johns Hopkins University and Towson University. She is on the Board of Trustees of the Detroit Institute of Arts and The Underground Museum, as well as the Artistic Director’s Council of Prospect.5 and Advisory Council of Recess. She received her MFA in Curatorial Practice from the Maryland Institute College of Art and a BA from Rutgers University in Art History and Philosophy.

Industry Panels: Negotiating a Streaming Deal

Lauren Jane Holland

Lauren Jane Holland is an agent in the TV Scripted Literary Group at CAA. She was a programmer for Outfest and BlackStar Film Festival, where she also managed corporate partnerships. Lauren was a fellow of the third annual Industry Academy at Film Society of Lincoln Center. Lauren is an experienced administrator, having served in a range of posts in the private, nonprofit, and government sectors, including as an aide to Congresswoman Maxine Waters. Lauren is a graduate of Howard University.

Industry Panels: Financing in this Moment

Caroline Kaplan

Caroline Kaplan is the Director of Content at Cinereach, a leading Production Company and Film Foundation based in New York where she oversees project and artistic development, artistic programs and serves as producer and executive producer on select Cinereach productions and co-productions. At Cinereach, Caroline is currently producing After Yang directed by Kogonada, starring Colin Farrell for A24 and Marcel the Shell with Shoes On, directed by Dean Fleischer-Camp and executive produced Boots Riley’s Sorry to Bother You. Caroline built her career as one of the founders of The Independent Film Channel where she spearheaded programming, development and acquisitions and oversaw productions including Erroll Morris’ First Person and Werner Herzog’s cult classic My Best Fiend. She went on to lead Production, Development and Acquisitions at IFC Entertainment where she shepherded and executive produced a brand of singular and award-winning films including Boys Don’t Cry, Our Song, Waking Life, Monsoon Wedding, Mr. Death, Me and You and Everyone We Know and Boyhood.

Work-in-Progress Discussion

Adam Khalil

Adam Khalil, a member of the Ojibway tribe, is a filmmaker and artist from Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, whose practice attempts to subvert traditional forms of image making through humor, relation, and transgression. Khalil is a core contributor to New Red Order and a co-founder of COUSIN Collective. Khalil’s work has been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art, Sundance Film Festival, Walker Arts Center, Lincoln Center, Tate Modern, HKW, Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, Toronto Biennial 2019 and Whitney Biennial 2019, among other institutions. Upcoming exhibitions will be held at Gasworks in London, Spike Island in Bristol, and Artists Space in NYC. Khalil is the recipient of various fellowships and grants, including but not limited to Creative Capital, Sundance Art of Nonfiction, Jerome Artist Fellowship, Cinereach and the Gates Millennium Scholarship.

Work-in-Progress Discussion

Zack Khalil

Zack Khalil is a filmmaker and artist from Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, currently based in Brooklyn, NY. His work centers indigenous narratives in the present—and looks towards the future—through the use of innovative nonfiction forms. His work has been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, Lincoln Center, Walker Arts Center, New York Film Festival, and the Sundance Film Festival among other institutions. Khalil is the recipient of various fellowships and grants, including the Jerome Hill Artist Fellowship, Sundance Art of Nonfiction Grant, and the Gates Millennium Scholarship. Khalil received his BA from Bard College.

deskt0p_cinema Film Program

Kevin B. Lee

Kevin B. Lee is a filmmaker, media artist, and critic. His award-winning Transformers: The Premake introduced the “desktop documentary” format, was named one of the best documentaries of 2014 by Sight & Sound and screened in many festivals including Berlin Critics Week, Rotterdam International Film Festival and Viennale International Film Festival. Through Bottled Songs, his collaborative project with Chloé Galibert-Laîné, he was awarded the 2018 Sundance Institute Art of Nonfiction Grant, the 2018 European Media Artist Platform Residency, and the 2019 Eurimages Lab Project Award at Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. He was 2017 Artist in Residence of the Harun Farocki Institut in Berlin. In 2019 he produced “Learning Farocki”, a series of video essays on Harun Farocki, commissioned by the Goethe Institut. In 2020 he is co-curating the Black Lives Matter Video Essay Playlist with Will DiGravio and Cydnii Wilde Harris. He is Professor of Crossmedia Publishing at Merz Akademie, Stuttgart, where he co-directs the Masters Program in Artistic Research.

Blacklight Film Program

Nelson Makengo

Born in 1990, Nelson Makengo lives and works in Kinshasa. Nelson Makengo is a Congolese director and visual artist whose work oscillates between contemporary art and cinema. Makengo’s latest film Up at Night won the Best Short Documentary Award at IDFA 2019, Best Film Fidadoc, Dérives Prize FIFF Namur. It was screened at more than 40 prestigious festivals around the world, including SUNDANCE, Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, True False Film Fest and Cinéma du réel. His 2018 short film E’ville has been presented at more than 30 festivals around the world, winning several awards, including the Sharjah Art Foundation Residency Prize at the 2019 Videobrasil Biennial and Best Short Documentary at the 2019 Rwanda Film Festival. Makengo participated to the 2020 Berlinale Talents and was a jury member at the 2020 International Documentary Film Festival of Amsterdam (IDFA). Up at Night is his sixth short documentary. Recently his installations, photographs and films have been exhibited at WIELS, Videobrasil Biennial, Lubumbashi Biennale, Paiz Art Biennial, Musée International des Arts Modestes, and currently at the Cité de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine in Paris.

Blacklight Film Program

Kyla McMillan

Kyla McMillan is a gallerist, art dealer and writer based in New York. She is currently Director at David Zwirner. An advocate for arts of the African diaspora, McMillan is passionate about building community among Black art practitioners. She has lived and worked in Johannesburg, South Africa and Vienna, Austria, consulting for artists, galleries and fairs, as well as brands including AirBnB and adidas. McMillan is a member of Entre Nous, a collective of black dealers and advisors.

Industry Panels: Financing in this Moment

Raeshem Nijhon

Raeshem Nijhon is the founder of Culture House – a Black, Brown and Women owned production company where she and her partners, Carri Twigg and Nicole Galovski, produce entertainment forward work at the intersection of pop and politics. Select current projects include premium doc-series for Netflix, Disney+, Hulu and OWN and development projects with Amazon, Freeform and AMC Studios. Raeshem sits on the board for the New York Center for Communications, an organization dedicated to bringing more diversity to the media and entertainment industry, serving over 4500 students from 185+ colleges and universities annually. She serves on the Creative Council for EMILY’S List. Select pro-social work includes partnerships with Planned Parenthood, the National Council for Behavioral Health and the Committee to Protect Journalists. In 2021, Raeshem launched the Culture House Consultancy, a resource for films, series and multi platform projects to engage with a range of experts across issues like race, gender, mental health and socio-economic diversity that require nuance and knowledge when being addressed through entertainment and media.

Industry Panels: Film & Art World

Meg Onli

Meg Onli is the Andrea B. Laporte Associate Curator at the Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania. She has curated the exhibitions Speech/Acts (2017) and Colored People Time (2019). Onli is the recipient of a 2012 Creative Capital/Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant; a 2014 Graham Foundation Grant; a 2019 Transformation Award from the Leeway Foundation; and is currently a Warhol Foundation Curatorial Fellow. In the summer of 2020, she founded the initiative, Art for Philadelphia, which raised over $100,000 for community-led abolitionist organizations. Currently, she is working on the solo exhibition Jessica Vaughn: Our Primary Focus is to be Successful (2021); co-curating, with Erin Christovale, a retrospective of Ulysses Jenkins work, Ulysses Jenkins: Without Your Interpretation (2021); and is a Visiting Professor at Williams College.

deskt0p_cinema Film Program

Suneil Sanzgiri

Suneil Sanzgiri is an Indian American artist, researcher, and filmmaker. His work spans experimental video and film, essays, and installations, and contends with questions of identity, heritage, culture, and diaspora in relation to structural violence. He graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) with a Masters of Science in Art, Culture and Technology in 2017. His film “At Home But Not At Home” made its World Premiere at the International Film Festival Rotterdam in January 2020, with a nomination for the Found Footage Award. His follow-up film “Letter From Your Far-Off Country” made its world premiere at the New York Film Festival in the fall of 2020, and was entered into the Ammodo Tiger Shorts Competition at IFFR in 2021. Sanzgiri’s work has been screened at festivals and galleries nationally and internationally. Sanzgiri was a 2016 resident of the SOMA program in Mexico City and will be a resident of the Pioneer Works Studio Residency in Spring 2021.

Industry Panels: Negotiating a Streaming Deal

Cela Sutton

Cela Sutton is the Director, Original Content at Paramount+, where she works in television development and current across multiple genres. Previously, she was the Manager of Development and Production at filmmaker Ava DuVernay’s ARRAY Filmworks, serving as the point executive on shows such as QUEEN SUGAR (OWN), THE RED LINE (CBS) and CHERISH THE DAY (OWN). Prior to ARRAY, Sutton worked at Creative Artists Agency in their foundation and scripted television departments. During the summer of 2020, Sutton founded The Audacity Co. with the mission of cultivating an energizing and nourishing space for communities through programming, merchandise and content. She also serves as an advisor for Young Entertainment Activists as well as an Advisory Board member and DEI committee member for The Geffen Playhouse. She previously served as the president of Colour Associates, the junior organization of Colour Entertainment, which supports and builds community among the executives, coordinators and assistants of color working in the entertainment industry. In 2019, Sutton received the Impact Award from the Los Angeles Urban League Young Professionals group. Sutton holds a Bachelor’s degree in History from the University of Chicago, where she graduated with general honors.

Industry Panels: Negotiating a Streaming Deal

Adam Tillman-Young

Adam Tillman-Young is Co-Founder and Chief Creative at PASSERINE. Adam has spent the past decade dreaming, ideating, strategizing, directing, and otherwise creatively shepherding highly effective campaigns for web and TV. His work for Nike, eBay, Netflix, Sony Music, The Movement for Black Lives, and many others has established PASSERINE as a sought-after foundry for fresh and exciting ideas. Currently, Adam is overseeing development of PASSERINE’s original content for cable and streaming, including branded unscripted concepts and PASSERINE’s first book acquisition, Gloria Naylor’s seminal 1985 novel, Linden Hills.

Industry Panels: Financing in this Moment

Noland Walker

Noland Walker is the VP of Content at ITVS where he develops a portfolio of programs while providing editorial and production support to a broader slate of ITVS films. He co-programs the Emmy Award-winning Independent Lens series and was an Emmy and Peabody Award-winning filmmaker prior to coming to ITVS.

Blacklight Film Program

Leilah Weinraub

Leilah Weinraub is an artist and director living in New York. She is the CEO and Creative Director of Hood By Air, the New York-based fashion collective known for luxury ready-to-wear. Weinraub helped to radicalize fashion by championing what she calls “modern people”: the rising class of consumers who subvert traditional markers of race, class, and gender and revel in freedom, lawlessness, and spectacle. As a filmmaker, Weinraub has helped document such unacknowledged tastemakers, particularly those belonging to queer, autonomous communities of color whose creative output is often plundered by mass culture but whose stories are rarely told on their own terms.

Industry Panels: Financing in this Moment

Chi-hui Yang

Chi-hui Yang is a Senior Program Officer for Ford Foundation’s JustFilms initiative, a global effort that supports filmmakers and organizations whose work addresses the most urgent social issues of our time. Yang has also worked extensively as a film curator and educator, including work with: San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival, MoMA’s Documentary Fortnight and the Flaherty Seminar.


Facilitation Team

Facilitation Designer

Nate Mullen

Nate Mullen is an artist and educator based in Detroit, working primarily as a facilitator and consultant for arts education and social justice nonprofits.His work as a facilitator focuses on creating relationship centered spaces that use curiosity as a starting place for inquiry. Best exemplified by People In Education’s Rida Institute, a year long training that supports educators to work towards more humane classrooms and lives. Since 2008, Nate has worked at a variety of arts education nonprofits across southeast Michigan. Currently he is the Interim Director of the James and Grace Lee Boggs Center to Nurture Community Leadership, advisor for Emergent Strategy Ideation Institute and the Special Advisor to People In Education, an arts and education project committed to humanizing schooling.

Sonya Childress

Sonya Childress is a cultural strategist and impact producer. Sonya currently serves as Senior Fellow with the Perspective Fund, where she will conduct field-building research, writing and initiatives through 2021. She offers project consultations, talks and workshops through her consulting arm, Pa’lante Strategies. Sonya previously served as the Director of Partnerships and Engagement for Firelight Media, where she led impact campaigns for veteran filmmaker Stanley Nelson’s films, including Freedom Summer and The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution, and led a fellowship for impact producers of color. Sonya has worked for leading documentary organizations; Active Voice, California Newsreel, Kartemquin Films, ITVS and Working Films, and has advised countless filmmakers on their impact strategies; including Yance Ford (Strong Island), Peter Bratt (Dolores), Steve James (The Interrupters), Cristina Ibarra & Alex Rivera (The Infiltrators), and Byron Hurt (Hip-Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes). She is a board member at The Whitman Institute and Center for Cultural Power, a steering committee member of the Global Impact Producers Assembly, and was an inaugural Ford Foundation JustFilms/Rockwood Fellow. Her writing has been commissioned by the Ford Foundation, MacArthur Foundation, and has appeared in Documentary Magazine and SEEN journal. She is co-host of the podcast, A Liberated Lens, with Ligaiya Romero. She holds a B.A. from UC Berkeley where she studied under Loni Ding, B. Ruby Rich, June Jordan and Ling-Chi Wang. She lives in Southern California with her two children.

Set Hernandez Rongkilyo

Set Hernandez Rongkilyo is an undocumented immigrant filmmaker and community organizer whose roots come from Bicol, Philippines. They are the fruit of their parents’ sacrifices, their siblings’ resilience, and their community’s nurturing. Set envisions a filmmaking landscape that centers equity and abundance, where all artists have the resources to thrive using the unique skill sets they embody. Set’s short films have been televised, featured, and awarded in film festivals across the U.S. As part of the inaugural cohort of the Disruptors Fellowship by Joey Solloway’s 5050by2020 and the Center for Cultural Power, Set is developing a half-hour, TV comedy pilot about the undocumented experience. Set also directed/produced the short documentary “COVER/AGE” (2019) about healthcare expansion for undocumented adults. They served as Impact Producer for projects such as “In Plain Sight” and the award-winning “Call Her Ganda” (Tribeca, 2018). Since 2010, Set has been organizing around migrant justice issues from education equity to deportation defense. Along with Rahi Hasan, they are the co-founder of the Undocumented Filmmakers Collective which advances equity for undocumented immigrants in the media industry.

Farrah Rahaman

Farrah is a Trinidadian scholar and cultural worker who follows throughlines in postcolonial and decolonial theory, critical geography studies, film, performance and cultural studies. She situates herself within a constellation of Caribbean theorists and cultural workers who have prompted us to unhinge modernity’s category of the “human” from the “white male ethnoclass” and locate ourselves within more expansive modes of being and relating to our environments in the longue durée of life on earth, outside of the nation state, militarism and empire. Currently, she is producing on a media ethnography focusing on the reemergence of Third Cinema exhibition and production spaces in North America, being highly attune to the role of radical artists, organizations and collectives whose liberation work unavoidably brush up against and strategically reject neoliberal impulses around representation, diversity and the industries which fuel them. She is also the creator of a performance intensive study space dedicated to the life and legacy of Trinidadian communist and Notting Hill Carnival founder Claudia Jones.

PG Watkins

PG Watkins (they/them) is a Black, nonbinary organizer, facilitator, trainer and organizational strategist from Detroit. PG has supported and facilitated collaborative strategic planning processes, organizational retreats and strategy meetings for social justice non-profits and grassroots organizations locally and nationally. They also facilitate workshops around racial and gender diversity, equity and justice in the workplace for non-profits, educational institutions and media organizations. PG is a member of Blackout Collective’s Dark Matter Network, training in direct action and civil disobedience with groups around the country. They were a founding member of Black Youth Project 100 (BYP100)’s Detroit chapter and currently sit on the Council of the James & Grace Lee Boggs Center to Nurture Community Leadership. They graduated from the Master of Community Development program at the University of Detroit Mercy, with a concentration in Organizational Development and currently work as the Director & Co-Founder of Black Bottom Archives, a community-based archive of Black Detroit history.


Wellness Instructors

Breath and Embodiment

Shesheena Bray

Mother, therapist, activist, educator. Shesheena A. Bray is a Boston native who has taken up roots in Philadelphia. Shesheena came to Philadelphia to attend Temple University in 2003 and fell in love with the rich culture of the city. In service to her new home, Shesheena dedicated over a decade to deepening her understanding of her community’s needs as an educator and social justice advocate. In 2014, Shesheena realized her service to Black and Brown communities was best actualized through her passion, mental and emotional wellness. Honing her focus and training, Shesheena earned her M.S.Ed in mental health counseling from The University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education in 2016. In 2017, Shesheena launched Going Inward Wellness, LLC. Through Going Inward Wellness, LLC Shesheena sees individuals and couples for psychotherapy; hosts wellness workshops for global majority women; teaches mindfulness to youth and adults; and hosts a 10-day morning routine program, The Morning Routine Refresh. Notable assignments and partnerships include The People’s Emergency Center; the Life After Trauma Organization (LATO); the North Philadelphia Community Healing Project; Village of Arts and Humanity; GirlTrek; What is Mindfulness (WIM); the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia; and ArtWell. You can join Shesheena in the community at her weekly virtual meditation space, The 720 Meditation.

Yoga & Self Massage

Jean-Jacques Gabriel

Jean-Jacques Gabriel is a Haitian born artist and yoga teacher. He’s been practicing yoga since 2001, and teaching since 2006. He has taught in prisons, public schools, nonprofits, businesses, yoga studios, and large festivals. In addition to sharing self-care practices and co-leading a yoga teacher training in West Philly that both center black bodies, he co-designed a clothing line called the Embodied Collection with Philadelphia Printworks and continues to create portraits from his home studio.

Mindfulness & Hatha Yoga

Sheena Sood

Sheena Sood, PhD (she/her) is a Philly-based activist, educator, and healing justice visionary of South Asian descent. Sheena has studied yoga, Ayurvedic Kundalini Massage therapy, Reiki, and sound healing traditions at Kailash Tribal School of Yoga and Holistic Healing in Mcleodganj, India (YTT – 200hr, AYTTC – 500hr). Sheena teaches a gentle hatha practice infused with embodied liberatory philosophy. She is also launching Yoga Warrior Tales, an adventure-based online program for kids. She curates healing justice offerings through frameworks that recognize yoga’s oppressive layers and its liberatory potential. Rather than propagate narratives that glorify yoga’s ancient past, Sheena envisions a futuristic yoga that centers collective freedom and embodies political action. In her wildest dreams, she envisions a liberatory yoga that centers all of humanity, all living beings, and Mother Earth. Sheena is grateful to call Philly home and to be in relationship with the incredible organizers of the Campaign to Bring Mumia Home, The MOVE Organization, and grassroots collectives that work to abolish the carceral state and free all political prisoners.


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