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Affirmation as a form of Resistance with Gabriel Ramirez

A catalyst to choosing oneself through difficult times and practicing the importance of our truth “I Am Here: Affirmation as a form of Resistance” is a workshop where participants can speak back to that which has made us feel small, invisible and impossible throughout our lives. This workshop encourages participants to reclaim their bodies and histories. Whether it is a bully from your childhood, someone who told you that you can’t or a country with systems that has showed you it doesn’t care whether you are alive or not, it’s time to become bigger. It’s time to denounce the false truths others have given us about who we are and our worth. In these workshops we will be reading texts by Audre Lorde, Lucille Clifton, James Baldwin, Jericho Brown, and Ocean Vuong in conversation with visual artists like Frida Kahlo, Kehinde Wiley, Flying Lotus and Nick Cave all of whom’s work reminds us to speak our truth, love and do more than survive.

Gabriel Ramirez is a Queer Afro-Latinx poet, activist, and teaching artist. Gabriel has received fellowships from The Conversation Literary Arts Festival, Palm Beach Poetry Festival, The Watering Hole, CantoMundo and Callaloo. Gabriel has performed on Broadway at the New Amsterdam Theatre, United Nations, Lincoln Center, Apollo Theatre and other venues & universities around the nation. Gabriel was featured in Huffington Post, VIBE Magazine, Blavity, Upworthy, The Flama, and Remezcla. You can find his work in various spaces, including Youtube, and in publications like The Volta, Winter Tangerine, Wusgood, Drunk in a Midnight Choir, VINYL, and in ¡MANTECA!: an Anthology of Afro-Latino Poetry (Arte Público Press 2017), Bettering American Poetry Anthology (Bettering Books 2017) and forthcoming in What Saves Us: Poems of Empathy and Outrage in the Age of Trump (Northwestern University Press 2019)

Thank you to our funders, the Toronto Arts Council and the Ontario Arts Council for making Voices of Today possible.