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Lecture & Master Class Series

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Terrance Hayes inaugurated this popular series in 2014 with “Turning into Dwelling: the Space between the Poet and the Poem,” a lecture on poetic community, poetic advocacy and poetic isolation. Since, audiences have continued to engage with provocative ideas and topics as diverse and insightful as the presenting poets, writers and scholars, themselves.

Walking the Walk: Poetry, Equity & Anti-Racism in the Literary Arts

A workshop with Ama Codjoe
February 8th, 2019
9am-3:30pm, Cave Canem

The current socio-political climate illuminates the need to continue to grapple with the presence of racism in our workplaces, relationships and daily lives. It is imperative that leaders in the arts remain steadfast and strategic in the ways power, privilege and racialized oppression are analyzed and dismantled. In fall 2017, Cave Canem Foundation offered its first-ever anti-racism workshop for those working in the literary arts. We are so pleased to offer another installment of this workshop.

Walking the Walk: Poetry, Equity & Anti-Racism in the Literary Arts is a five-hour integrative anti-racism workshop & training geared towards leaders working in the literary arts. This workshop intends to impact the programming and work environments of arts institutions by training key administrators in anti-racist approaches, language and understandings. The workshop is led by “Social Justice Pedagogy Team” co-creator, Ama Codjoe.

This program is closed to the public. Attendance is by invitation only. For inquiries, contact Elizabeth Bryant at 718.818.0000.

The Work & The Why by Ama Codjoe

I do this work because I believe in our interconnectedness or in ubuntu, which, as Archbishop

Desmond Tutu has taught us means “I am, because you are.” Ubuntu implies that our liberation can only be collective, that if one of us is in prison, we all are imprisoned, if one of us is in chains, we all are in chains. Whether these chains are literal or figurative, I facilitate and teach with the purpose of freedom: freedom from oppression, inequity, and injustice and freedom to heal, flourish, and thrive.

Our work together will build a common language to name, examine, and problem-solve about how racial justice, anti-oppression, and issues of equity impact institutions, individuals, and the communities we serve. In order to create the world we want to inhabit we’ve got to do the work.

In the course of this hands-on training, you will:

  • Discuss and commit to community agreements
  • Develop a common language and analysis of power, privilege, and race
  • Participate in interactive social justice activities
  • Reflect on how racism and anti-racism impact you personally and professionally

Ama Codjoe is a highly skilled facilitator and consultant whose work continues to support teaching artists, administrators, and executive directors with new, organization-wide initiatives. Ama has conducted anti-racism trainings and workshops for numerous organizations, among them, National Guild for Community Arts Education, Pratt Institute, New York University and The Met Museum. As the former director of the DreamYard Art Center in the South Bronx, Ama has taught and directed arts and social justice programming for young people as well as professional development for educators and administrators.

Breakfast and lunch provided by Starbucks and  Westville.



Con Edison


Boarding the Voyage: A Lecture by Robin Coste Lewis, October 18th, 2018

Cultural Publicity for Poets of Color, a workshop by Jack Jones Literary Arts co-founder Kima Jones, May 10th, 2018

Poetry’s Musical Bloodline: A Sociohistorical Soundtrack, a master class with Tyehimba Jess, February 1st, 2018

Walking the Walk: Poetry, Equity & Anti-Racism in the Literary Arts, an anti-racism workshop with Ama Codjoe, December 8th, 2017

What Time We Leaving for the Club?: A Lecture by Patricia Smith, July 20, 2017

Nevertheless, Live: Adynaton, the Promise of Silence, and the Key of Life: A Lecture by Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon, April 28, 2017

The Spirit That Is Charged: A Conversation about Poetry and Friendship with Tina Chang and Tracy K. Smith
, May 19, 2016

Duende: Art That Possesses: A Lecture by John Murillo, March 15, 2016

I’ve Known Rivers: Speaking of the Unspoken Places in Poetry: A Lecture by Martín Espada, February 6, 2016

Fall No More: Some Thoughts on the Imagination: A Lecture by Ross Gay, July 9, 2015

Seeing Home from a Distance: Panel on James Baldwin with Dante Micheaux and Darryl Pinckney, moderated by Tracyann Williams, March 19, 2015

It’ll Have You Trippin’: Pacing and Payoff in Stand-up and Verse: A Lecture by Adrian Matejka, March 16, 2015

The Concept Book—All Bark & No Bite? A Lecture by Kimiko Hahn, October 14, 2014

Turning Into Dwelling: A Lecture by Terrance Hayes, October 9, 2014