Diving In: IofC USA grapples with Something in the Water (Press Release)

For immediate release

December 21, 2018

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2019 marks the 400th year observance of Jamestown, Virginia, and specifically, the earliest record of enslaved Africans arriving in 1619 to a strange new world - the tumultuous beginnings of a nation-state called the United States of America. With increased national and global efforts to center inclusive histories, truth and reconciliation processes, and racial equity today, we ask, how far have we come in 400 years? 

Something’s in the Water brings to light our relationship to The James River. Lead. The Middle Passage. Life. Immigrant border travelers. Birth. Blood and Oil. Osmosis. 

This January 2019, Initiatives of Change USA’s National Day of Racial Healing points to the complex layers that are embedded below and underneath water. National Day of Racial Healing is as much about grappling with ongoing structures of racism, trauma, loss and injustice as it is about journeying toward healing and reconciliation. The art posters for this critical event were made by 23-year-old visual artist and illustrator, AMANDA BARNES, and demonstrates the heavy and light aspects of water work.

What remains hidden and unseen? What floats to the surface? More importantly, with predators lurking all around how do we create and sustain routes towards life, energy and regeneration?

Join us as we partner with leading artists, cultural historians, creative influencers, grassroots activists and organizations in a range of activities including conversations, installations, exhibitions, workshops, film screenings, live music and performances. We will also launch the Narrative Change Collaborative, IofC USA’s 12-month creative program to implement projects of deep truth, racial healing and transformation in Richmond.

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Something’s in the Water is a call and response. A wave pattern emitting frequencies of disruption and connection underneath the skin. A reminder that our fates are entwined. Just as our histories are wound around one another, so too are our presents and futures. It is a recognition of patterns of collective thinking and behaviors that are odd, off and in need of course correction. It is also where emergent bubbles rise to the top, resisting the waves of history to push to the shore of a new day. We confront these systems of oppression and marginalization as ways toward greater hope, dignity, truth telling, accountability and freedom-making.

Initiatives of Change USA contemplates the conditions of our making as a city, state, and country through this exciting 2-day event that kicks off on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day (Jan. 21) and continues on the National Day of Racial Healing (Jan. 22). Join in the event here.

#HowtoHeal #IntheWater #TruthRacialHealingTransformation

#Narrative Change #UnearthingVA

National Day of Racial Healing is a nationwide event, created by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, under the thematic approach of Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation. Initiatives of Change USA is leading this process in Richmond, one of 14 cities that has received a multi-year grant to conduct this work, and will be producing activities on January 22, 2019.

For press questions, please contact sionne.neely@iofc.org.

Here is a shortlist of some of our partners for National Day of Racial Healing.

Here is a shortlist of some of our partners for National Day of Racial Healing.

NCC, NDORHSionne Neely