What does liberation look like? What does it sound like? What does it feel like?
These and other questions were on the mind of LGBTQ Center Director Terri Phoenix in advance of Pride Week at Carolina, which begins today and runs through Friday. The theme this year is “Imagine Liberation.”
“Imagine what could be,” Phoenix said. “If we can collectively imagine what will be and work collectively toward that end, then something better can come.”
Pride Week at Carolina is a partnership between the LGBTQ Center, student organizations, University departments and community organizations to host events that center themes of history, inclusion, intersectionality, expression and advocacy within LGBTIQA+ communities.
This year’s theme was inspired by Afrofuturism, in particular an interpretation by journalist, filmmaker and author Ytasha Womack, in which she defines Afrofuturism as “an intersection of imagination, technology, the future and liberation.”
“We have all been impacted by the heaviness of the events of the current moment and the previous year,” Phoenix said. “We hope that folks will feel validated about their experiences of these difficult moments but also will call forth visions about what the future could be.”
Historically, those visions often come from marginalized communities. “If you look back at major changes in society and culture, the people who have been marginalized are the people who have the vision of what might be,” he said. “Because we — and I say this as a queer trans person — are the ones who know how systemic and institutional privilege and oppression are impacting us, and we can see the places where change needs to happen.”
Visit the LGBTQ Center’s website for more information. Here are highlights for the week:
Letters of Liberation
“To counter the narratives that there is something wrong with us, create handmade messages for LGBTQ youth under 18 about the resilience of the past and the hope for the future.” Learn more.
When: all week
Photovoice: What Does Liberation Look Like at UNC?
Members of the Carolina community can take and upload photos about what liberation on campus looks like to them. Learn more.
When: 11 a.m.-1 p.m. April 5-6 at The Pit; 5 p.m. April 7 at the Frank Porter Graham Student Union
Tabling at The Pit
Talk to the people at the LGBTQ Center in The Pit, where they will also be writing Letters of Liberation to send to LGBTQ youth. Learn more.
When: 11 a.m.-1 p.m. April 6
A Conversation with adrienne maree brown on Afrofuturism
Hosted by student Mariel Eaves, this hybrid talk with writer adrienne maree brown covers how to use the philosophy of Black imagination and liberation as a path to the future. Followed by a reception with vegan and gluten-free food. Learn more.
When: 5-8 p.m. April 7 at the Student Union or via Zoom
- Counseling and Psychological Services
- Diversity and Student Success Program, The Graduate School
- New Student and Family Programs
- LGBTQ Center
- The Spotted Dog
- Student Life and Leadership