Mental Health, Systemic Racism, and Young Black Artists, Designers, and Activists: A Panel Discussion

Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2021 | 7–8 p.m.

Joseph V. Canzani Auditorium
United States

Free and open to the public.

Columbus' next generation of Black artists, designers, and activists face extraordinary psychological pressures simply living within a culture of systemic white supremacy, let alone when they focus their energies and talents into anti-racist and abolitionist work. As part of his October residency at CCAD, author and activist Hanif Abdurraqib will moderate this panel discussion about the mental health challenges encountered by young Black, indigenous, and POC creatives and activists, including the unique intersectional and systemic prejudices which oppress LGBTQIA+ people and communities of color.

The panel will also dialogue about practical advice and community resources, as well as the benefits and importance of liberation art and politics, and their future in Columbus. This event, which is presented by CCAD's Counseling & Wellness Center, Visiting Artists & Scholars program, and Department of Liberal Arts, is free and open to the public.

Meet the speakers

Hanif Abdurraqib
Photo by Jodi Miller

Hanif Abdurraqib

Hanif Abdurraqib is a poet, essayist, and cultural critic who was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio, where he lives and works. They Can't Kill Us Until They Kill Us, Abdurraqib’s first collection of essays, was released in 2017 by Two Dollar Radio, a nationally recognized small press based in Columbus, and was named a book of the year by BuzzfeedEsquire, NPR, and many others. For the second consecutive year, CCAD's Writing, Literature and Philosophy Department has chosen They Can't Kill Us Until They Kill Us as the college's first-year common read. All incoming first-year students will read and write about the book in addition to taking part in class and college-wide discussions.

Abdurraqib is the recent winner of a 2021 MacArthur Fellowship, commonly referred to as a "genius grant" and one of the most prestigious awards in the nation. His most recent book of prose, A Little Devil in America: Notes in Praise of Black Performance (Random House, 2021), has been longlisted for the National Book Award. In 2019, he published Go Ahead In The Rain: Notes To A Tribe Called Quest (University of Texas Press). A prolific poet as well, Abdurraqib has published two books of poetry, The Crown Ain't Worth Much (Button Poetry, 2016) and A Fortune For Your Disaster (Tin House, 2019) which won the 2020 Lenore Marshall Prize. His writing has appeared in numerous publications including MuzzleVinylPEN AmericanThe FADER, PitchforkThe New Yorker, and The New York Times. Recently named an editor-at-large at Tin House, Abdurraqib also curates the online playlist and has created the podcasts Lost Notes: 1980 (KCRW) and Small Joys (NPR). He is a graduate of Beechcroft High School in Columbus.

Dionne Custer Edwards

Dionne Custer Edwards

Dionne Custer Edwards is a writer, educator, and the Director of Learning & Public Practice at the Wexner Center for the Arts. Her work at the Wex has included pioneering several groundbreaking education programs—including Pages, an art and writing program—serving hundreds of high school students a year from across central Ohio. Embedded in her art and education practices is Edwards’ commitment to work in diversity, equity, inclusion, and access, including partnering to conceptualize and sustain the work of the Shumate Council—a group of Wex supporters, ambassadors, and volunteers; committed to diversity, inclusion, and access.

Edwards has received awards and fellowships for her work in the arts, including a 12-month fellowship with Americans for the Arts and in 2021, a Greater Columbus Arts Council Arts Partnership Award. She has published critical and literary writing, internationally and nationally in Sanat Dünyamiz (“Our Art World”), Turkey; Journal GEARTE, Brazil; and in the University of Arizona’s Journal of Cultural Research in Art Education. Her poetry and nonfiction have appeared in 3Elements Review, Barren Magazine, Entropy Magazine, Flock, Gordon Square Review, Grist, Porter House Review, Storm Cellar, The Seventh Wave, Tahoma Literary Review, and others. Edwards has a MA in Arts Education and Creative Writing, Antioch University and a BA in English, The Ohio State University.

Lisa Hayes

Lisa Hayes

Lisa Hayes, MSW, LISW-S is a Clinical Social Worker based in Columbus, Ohio. Hayes graduated with a master’s degree in social work from The Ohio State University. Her undergraduate education is in sociology and gender studies; her academic and professional focus has always included special considerations for issues of gender identity, sexuality, race and social representation.

Hayes' clinical experiences include work with complex trauma; complex PTSD; anxiety; panic disorders; interpersonal relationship health; residential alcohol and drug treatment; inpatient psychiatric hospitalization; significant life transitions; racial/ethnic and culturally specific trauma and identity; LGBTQIA+ specific support needs; depression; complex dissociation; Military Veteran experiences; sexual assault and childhood sexual abuse. Hayes' clinical practice has primarily focused on the treatment of adolescents and adults.

Hayes is energized by environments of learning, collaboration and increased understanding; she has provided local and national trainings focused on the impacts of trauma and its effects on individuals, communities and families. In her therapeutic work, Hayes uses a variety of expressive and experiential therapeutic interventions all aimed at identifying and celebrating the strengths of each person. Hayes is currently employed by The Ohio State University, maintains a part-time private practice, is co-owner of The Ohio Institute for Trauma & Wellness and serves as the Director of the EMDR Therapy Training Program for BIPOC Clinicians with the Institute for Creative Mindfulness.

Bobby T Luck

Bobby T Luck

Bobby T Luck is a visual artist and education activist based in Columbus, Ohio who works in film, multimedia collage, and installation. After relocating to Columbus from Philadelphia he jump-started the Free Skool for Humans initiative, co-founded MINT Collective, and teaches collage and film theory workshops across the country.

Luck’s work focuses on decolonizing modern imagery and media, and re-imagining globalization and the self by breaking down diplomatic and emotional borders through collage.

His most recent work is “Drapetomania” a multi-sensorial installation piece about intergenerational trauma and comfort, “Composition” a three-part zine series sifting through the American sitcom’s familial values, and “Bethel” a video series re-documenting lost childhood memories.