Freedom as a Practice
“Freedom is not a secret. It’s a practice.” – Alexis Pauline Gumbs
The Leo T. McCarthy Center is co-sponsoring this year’s Critical Diversity Studies Forum. In this week’s blog, we introduce the keynote speaker Alexis Pauline Gumbs, the founder of Brilliance Remastered, an online network and series of retreats and online intensives serving community accountable intellectuals and artists in the legacies of Audre Lorde’s profound statement in “The Master’s Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master’s House” that the preceding statement is “only threatening to those…who still think of the master’s house as their only source of support.” Through retreats on ancestor accountable intellectual practice, and online courses on topics from anger as a resource to transnational intellectual solidarity Alexis and her Brilliance Remastered collaborators have nurtured a community of thinkers and artists grounded in the resources that normative institutions ignore.
This year marks the 12th anniversary of the Critical Diversity Studies (CDS) Forum and we are emboldened to explore the theme of interconnectivity amidst climate crisis, through art, poetry, resilience, and joy.
Alexis Pauline Gumbs is a Queer Black Feminist Love Evangelist and an aspirational cousin to all life. She is/they are the author of several books, most recently Undrowned: Black Feminist Lessons from Marine Mammals. Dr. Gumbs has also published works of poetry, non-fiction, and academic texts (Spill: Scenes of Black Feminist Fugitivity in 2016, M Archive: After the End of the World in 2018 and Dub: Finding Ceremony, all published by Duke University Press). Dr. Gumbs is the co-founder of the Mobile Homecoming Trust, an intergenerational experiential living library of Black LBGTQ brilliance.
Dr. Gumbs’s forthcoming book is titled The Eternal Life of Audre Lorde. Dr. Gumbs brings a passion for issues that impact oppressed communities and an intimate knowledge of the resilience of movements led by Black, indigenous, working class women and queer people of color.
All of Dr. Gumbs’ work is grounded in a community building ethic and would not be possible without her communities of accountability in Durham, NC the broader US Southeast and the global south. As a co-founder member of UBUNTU A Women of Color Survivor-Led Coalition to End Gendered Violence, Warrior Healers Organizing Trust and Earthseed Land Collective in Durham, NC, a member of the first visioning council of Kindred Southern Healing Justice Network and a participant in Southerners on New Ground, Allied Media Projects, Black Women’s Blueprint and the International Black Youth Summit for more than a decade she brings a passion for the issues that impact oppressed communities and an intimate knowledge of the resilience of movements led by Black, indigenous, working class women and queer people of color.
This year’s Critical Diversity Studies Forum is happening Friday, October 7th. You can register for this extraordinary, FREE event here.