(Note: this is the conference i have been working to plan as part of my job at school. i would really appreciate y’all getting the word out. we want this year to be packed and amazing!)
ASK 2013: Saturday, March 30, 2013
"Why Can’t I: Exploring Cultural Appropriation"
This year’s ASK conference focuses on cultural appropriation on Hampshire’s campus in the context of our larger society. This theme was born out the frustrations many students of color have when it comes to seeing aspects of their cultural, racial, or religious identities reduced to a costume, a fashion statement, or stripped of their original meaning and symbolic significance. When not consistently addressed, cultural appropriation can feed into the many microaggressions students of color experience while navigating Hampshire as a predominantly white academic and social space. In order to begin a much-needed conversation, the ASK conference committee and Cultural Center staff want to provide a safe space where students, faculty, and interested people can come together and begin to work out grassroots solutions and strategies in a safe environment. The goal of the ASK conference is not to provide finite answers, but allow the identities often marginalized by cultural appropriation a platform to discuss and engage with many intersecting issues related to both cultural appropriation and their identities.
Guiding ideas: Why can’t I wear a Native American headdress if I’m not Native American? Why can’t I wear a bindi if I’m not Desi/Indian? Why is blackface offensive to African diasporic people? Why can’t I say the N-word if I’m not black? Why are these things (and much more) considered cultural appropriation? How is cultural appropriation a form of racism? What is the link between cultural appropriation, cultural genocide, and cultural theft? How can I work to dismantle cultural appropriation as a non-person of color? How can I work to dismantle cultural appropriation between people of color as a person of color? How can I learn the difference between cultural appreciation and cultural appropriation?
9:30 a.m.-6:00 p.m.: 90-minute interactive workshops with breaks and lunch included.
10 p.m.-1 a.m.: Dance party for conference attendees.