Using Tricia Hersey’s liberatory framework of “rest is resistance” as inspiration, The Center for Black Visual Culture (CBVC) at the Institute of African American Affairs commits to making Black rest visible. The Black Rest Project (BRP) seeks reparative justice and healing through the exploration of rest as a revolutionary act. Black people’s collective exhaustion is not an acceptable byproduct of Black life or struggle but rather a crisis of depletion that threatens every aspect of our goals and well-being including social justice. The BRP aims to push past the walls of academia and support healing in diverse spaces and forums.

Through strategic partnerships with visionary scholars, cultural workers, artists, and community organizations, the BRP will excavate, curate, and amplify both visual narratives of Black Rest and leisure to create meaningful discourse. We ask: What does Black rest look like? What are the necessary disruptions and interventions in our institutions, artistic and scholarly praxis that must happen in order to make Black rest possible? How do we eradicate the lingering feelings of guilt, projected laziness, shame, and worthlessness that often impede Black rest? As America undergoes “The Great Resignation” and re-evaluates its relationship to work, we subject this moment to a deliberately diasporic Black, brown, queer and immigrant lens.

The Black Rest Advisory Council:

H. Samy Alim, PhD, David O. Sears Presidential Endowed Chair in the Social Sciences and Professor of Anthropology at UCLA

Awam Amkpa, PhD, Dean of Arts and Humanities at NYU Abu Dhabi; Professor of Drama, Social and Cultural Analysis at NYU

Esther Armah, Journalist and Executive Director, The Armah Institute of Emotional Justice

Dejha Carrington, Co-founder of Commissioner, Miami

Bridget Cooks, PhD, Joint appointment in the Program in African American Studies and the Department of Art History at University of California, Irvine

Brittney Cooper, PhD, Professor of Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies at Rutgers University

Michael D. Dinwiddie, PhD, Playwright/Composer and an Associate Professor at the Gallatin School of Individualized Study at New York University

Jake Goldbas, Musician and Program Director at The Louis Armstrong House Museum

Gayatri Gopinath, PhD, Associate Professor of Social and Cultural Analysis and Director of the Center for the Study of Gender & Sexuality at New York University

Rosie Gordon Wallace, Founder of The Diaspora Vibe Culture Arts Incubator (DVCAI)

Lyle Ashton Harris, Artist and Professor of Art and Art Education at NYU Steinhardt

DaMaris Hill, PhD, Associate Professor of Creative Writing, English and African American Studies at The University of Kentucky

Jason King, PhD, Chair of the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music at New York University

Michelle Lanier, Director, North Carolina Division of State Historic Sites

Treva B. Lindsey, PhD, Associate Professor and the Chair of Undergraduate Studies of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at The Ohio State University

Jennifer L. Morgan, PhD, Professor of Social & Cultural Analysis & History; Chair of the Department of Social & Cultural Analysis at New York University

Pamela Newkirk, PhD, Author, Journalist, and Professor of Journalism at New York University’s Arthur Carter Journalism Institute

Kristina Newman-Scott, Executive Director of The Jerome L. Greene Performance Space of WNYC and WQXR (New York Public Radio)

Lauren Snelling, Artistic Director at YoungArts

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