Online showcase to share work from inaugural Arts and Social Justice Fellows program

By Emma Yarbrough | Emory Report | Dec. 8, 2020

Six Atlanta artists came into Emory classrooms this semester, working with faculty to help students translate their learning into creative action and activism in the name of social justice. Learn about the work they created in an online showcase Dec. 15.

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Members of the Emory community are invited to join a project showcase and conversation with the inaugural cohort of the Emory’s Arts and Social Justice Fellows program on Tuesday, Dec. 15, at 12 p.m. The online event, presented by the Emory College Center for Creativity and Arts  (CCA) and Emory University Center for Ethics, is free and open to the public. Registration is required.

Created at a moment of national crisis and inspired by the power of art to open spaces for conversation, community-making and collective action, the Arts and Social Justice Fellows program brought six Atlanta artists into Emory classrooms.

As co-instructors with Emory faculty members this semester, the Arts and Social Justice Fellows were tasked with helping students translate their learning into creative action and activism in the name of racial justice.

“It is powerful to see the way students have been able to participate in this national dialogue,” says Carlton Mackey, director of the Ethics and the Arts program at the Emory Center for Ethics. “This fellows program hopes to give birth to a new generation of activists — a new generation with multiple forms of resistance that can allow students, scholars and community to connect in our different ways of being so we can collectively work toward a world that is a better place for us to live and to thrive.”

“We’re excited to open these conversations to the broader Emory and Atlanta communities, to talk together about how we as well as artists — and this includes every student engaged through this program — can work together to make our world a more just, caring and ethical place,” says Kevin Karnes, associate dean for the arts.

At the Dec. 15 event, each artist and faculty pairing will present a short video showcasing the music, poetry, documentary filmmaking, visual art and monologues their students created this semester. A brief conversation will follow, with participants answering questions from the community. Emory President Gregory L. Fenves will provide opening remarks.

“Through the exhibits, installations and films that are created through this program, we hope to provide opportunities for the dialogue to continue beyond a singular moment,” says Mackey.

The courses and faculty/artist pairings are:

  • Social Justice: Zoning, Contracts and Environmental Racism
    Allison Burdette, professor of practice, business law, Goizueta Business School, with Olivia Dawson, actor and playwright
  • Epigenetics and the Human Condition
    Arri Eisen, professor of pedagogy, biology and the Institute for the Liberal Arts, Emory College, with Fahamu Pecou, visual artist
  • Georgia Civil Rights Cold Cases
    Hank Klibanoff, professor of practice, Creative Writing Program, Emory College, with Garrett Turner, actor and playwright
  • Film, Media and the Art of Social Change
    Carlton Mackey, director, Ethics and the Arts Program, Emory Center for Ethics, and Edward Queen, director, Ethics and Servant Leadership Program, Emory Center for Ethics, with Ash Nash, arts advocate and administrator
  • The Feminist Art(s) of Activism
    Alix Olson, assistant professor of women’s, gender and sexuality studies, Oxford College, with Shanequa Gay, visual artist
  • Prevention of Mental and Behavioral Disorders
    Elizabeth Walker, research assistant professor of behavioral, social and health education sciences, Rollins School of Public Health, with Okorie “OkCello” Johnson, composer and cellist