‘Telling Our Stories of Home’ festival explores meaning of ‘home’ for African and African diaspora communities

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‘Telling Our Stories of Home’ festival explores meaning of ‘home’ for African and African diaspora communities


Free panels, workshops, films and performances will take place March 31-April 2 and April 6-8


(Chapel Hill, N.C. – March 7, 2016) – A festival on March 31-April 2 and April 6-8 will bring national and international scholars, activists and performers to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s campus to discuss the meaning of home in African and African diaspora communities.


“Telling Our Stories of Home: Exploring and Celebrating Changing African and African Diaspora Communities” is the brainchild of two Carolina faculty members in the College of Arts and Sciences – Tanya Shields, associate professor of women’s and gender studies, and Kathy Perkins, professor of dramatic art. They were awarded a Humanities in the Public Square grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities for the project.


War, globalization, gentrification, environmental catastrophe and incarceration offer layered meanings of “home” for women across the globe. “Telling Our Stories of Home” will provide a platform for these women to engage in storytelling across national boundaries.


Artists and scholars from countries as varied as India, Grenada, Brazil and Rwanda will participate in panel discussions, film discussions, workshops and performances. The inaugural reading of the play, “Torn Asunder,” based on the book “Help Me to Find My People” by former UNC faculty member Heather Andrea Williams, will be among the highlights.


Events will primarily take place at The Sonja Haynes Stone Center for Black Culture and History.


Participants will address the questions like: What is home in the lives of these women; How is home shaped by exile, incarceration, war, stress, anxiety or climate change; How do we belong to our homes, if our experiences have been erased, marginalized or misrepresented.


The festival is made possible through collaboration with community and campus partners including the Marian Cheek Jackson Center in Chapel Hill, the Durham Arts Council, the Hayti Heritage Center in Durham, the Town of Chapel Hill Parks and Recreation, the Chancellor’s, Provost’s and Dean’s Offices, the Institute for the Arts and Humanities, the Center for Global Initiatives and others.


For more information and a complete schedule, visit http://tellingourstories.web.unc.edu. Follow @tosh_uncch on Twitter and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/tellingourstories.




About the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the nation’s first public university, is a global higher education leader known for innovative teaching, research and public service. A member of the prestigious Association of American Universities, Carolina regularly ranks as the best value for academic quality in U.S. public higher education. Now in its third century, the University offers 77 bachelor’s, 113 master’s, 68 doctorate and seven professional degree programs through 14 schools and the College of Arts and Sciences. Every day, faculty – including two Nobel laureates – staff and students shape their teaching, research and public service to meet North Carolina’s most pressing needs in every region and all 100 counties. Carolina’s more than 308,000 alumni live in all 50 states and 150 countries. More than 167,000 live in North Carolina.


Telling Our Stories of Home contact: Wilma Mallya, program coordinator, mallya@live.unc.edu

Communications and Public Affairs contact: MC VanGraafeiland, (919) 962-7090, mc.vangraafeiland@unc.edu