A Conversation with Ayize Jama-Everett, Kufikiri Imara and Nicholas Powers

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Wednesday, July 28th from 12-1:30pm PST

Listen to a new story! For years, the psychedelic renaissance has focused on healing trauma as the reason to bring these medicines into the mainstream. The trauma of racism has become increasingly important to this overall strategy but at the cost of imprisoning the image of Black people as victims. In this conversation, three Black men will bring a more holistic view of our experience that goes beyond trauma. The panel will look at the joy, fraternity, and bonding that already exist in the cultures of the African Diaspora, and the role that psychedelics can play in increasing these experiences inside and outside psychedelic spaces. The panel will discuss current and potential future efforts and initiatives that include a focus on Black male joy, in regards to the container holding space for this work, as well as what happens when joy is not centered in these spaces. There will also be a look at how efforts to deny access to Black male joy have been a part of everything from the school to prison pipeline, to the War on Drugs, to the willful neglect of the social net in Black communities. This is not just a conversation about Black joy, it is also meant to spark joy, as well as a deeper consideration around actions for how we can collectively move towards greater access to joy.

Ayize Jama-Everett holds three Master’s degrees: Divinity, Psychology, and in Fine Arts, Writing. He blends these degrees in all his work, often identifying as a guerilla theologian, a community-based therapist, and an afro-futurist in the same breath.  He’s taught at Starr King School for the Ministry, California College of the Arts, The University of California, Riverside, and a host of private High schools for over twenty years.  His expertise includes working with adolescents, the history of substance use in the United States, the history of Sacred Plant medicines in the Maghreb, the religious roots of political violence from Ireland to the Middle East, educational arts pedagogy, and Afrofuturism.  He’s the author of three novels (The Liminal People series) and one graphic novel (Box of Bones). His shorter works can be found in the LA Review of Books, The Believer, and Racebaitr. He is a board member of the Tupac Amaru Shakur Foundation, leading their initiative to look at the role of psychedelics in the mental health of people of color and poor people.

Kufikiri Hiari Imara

Kufikiri Imara; born and raised on Huichin territory of the Ohlone people (Oakland, California). With parents that were involved in the Civil Rights and Black Power movements of the 1960’s and 1970’s, he grew up in a family and community that strongly emphasized cultural awareness and social responsibility. He volunteered with Green Earth Poets Society in NYC, bringing poetry to incarcerated African-American youth. An early member of the Entheogen Integration Circle in NYC, supporting marginalized communities. He is a friend of Sacred Garden Community as a facilitator. Former member of the Decriminalize Nature Oakland grassroots collective he went on to head the DNO committee on Outreach, Education, Access, & Integration. He lent his voice to the Horizons Media documentary film Covid-19, Black Lives, & Psychedelics. He also facilitates a BIPOC Entheogen Integration Circle with the San Francisco Psychedelic Society. Kufikiri Imara is a voice championing the important issues of access, education, and inclusion within the larger psychedelic community.

Nicholas Powers is the author of The Ground Below Zero: Burning Man to 9/11, New Orleans to Darfur, Haiti to Occupy Wall Street, a hybrid narrative of journalism and memoir published by Upset Press in 2014. He writes on race and psychedelics for DoubleBlind, Chacruna, Lucid News and TRUTHOUT & has been interviewed for Psychedelics Today. Brooklyn Psychedelic Society developed his three-part course Altered States in America and his talk Psychedelic Socialism. His 2017 Horizon’s talk “Black Masks, Rainbow Bodies” was published in the Spring 2018 MAPS newsletter. He earned a Ph.D in Literature from the CUNY Graduate Center in 2007 and has been writing on psychedelics since 2008. The next project is a book on trauma and psychedelics.

This talk will be recorded and immediately available for rewatch for all attendees.

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