Tricia Hersey on Sleeping While Black

Tricia Hersey
ACT at MIT

This fall, ACT is co-sponsoring a lecture series as part of MAS.S63 | Black Mobility and Safety in the US I, a new course taught by Ekene Ijeoma, Director of the Poetic Justice Group at the MIT Media Lab.

On Tuesday, October 13, 2020, beginning at 2pm, Tricia Herseywill join the class, and will be responding to the prompt of Sleeping While Black.

Tricia Hersey is a teaching artist, community organizer, poet, performance artist, theater maker and Founder of The Nap Ministry, an organization that examines the liberating power of naps to address disparities in sleeping while Black. She believes that rest is a form of resistance and sleep deprivation is a racial and social justice issue. More broadly, her research interests include black liberation theology, womanist theology, somatics, healing trauma and reparations. Her work as a teaching artist, archivist assistant, community activist and trainer of arts integrated curriculum has been seen with Chicago Public Schools, Columbia College Chicago, Steppenwolf Theatre, United States Peace Corps, Google Chicago, Emory University Rare Books and Manuscript Library, and numerous community organizations and universities nationwide. Tricia Hersey holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Public Health from Eastern Illinois University and a Master of Divinity from Emory University, Candler School of Theology.

In this seminar and studio, Ijeoma will guide students to listen, learn, reflect and respond to issues around mobility (physical, mental, socio-economical, political, etc) and safety for Black Americans through words, images, and sounds that reference social science and anti-racist research. Weekly meetings will be organized around public lectures from guests ranging from designers and urban planners to activists and social scientists, and private individual presentations for the group.

Part of a two-semester course, Black Mobility and Safety in the US is organized into two-week topics around living while Black. The first semester (Fall 2020) will include: birthing, breathing, sleeping, eating, and walking; the second: learning, voting, driving, working, and loving. By the end of each semester, students will have the resources and tools to actively listen and respond critically to issues of Black mobility in the context of their own fields and their purposes.

Register for the lecture.