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Boston Talks About Racism

MFA City Talks: Narratives of Resistance

In partnership with:
With support from: Lowell Institute
Date and time
Wednesday, May 22, 2019

How do we practice solidarity among liberation movements? In this MFA City Talks, organizers Vanessa Silva and Lily Huang join D. Farai Williams, founder of Dynamizing Equity (dEQ) and MIT Community Innovators Lab strategist Lawrence Barriner, II, for a discussion inspired by the themes found in “Bouchra Khalili: Poets and Witnesses,” on view at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston from March 21 – August 25, 2019. They consider how individuals fighting for their own goals can find solidarity among liberation movements. Image: Pixabay

Lawrence is a communications strategist, connector, and systems thinker. He loves quotes, facilitating groups and processes, baking bread, feeding his worms, and cooking/eating good food with good friends. His current work includes communications and narrative strategy at the Community Innovators Lab at MIT and running a productivity coaching practice. His previous work includes food systems & food justice research and consulting, web design, and graphic design. He plays a lot of volleyball, keeps busy with a million side projects, writes daily, and has a weekly newsletter. He has an undergraduate and graduate degree, both in City Planning, from MIT. Image: Instagram / [@lqb2](http://www.instagram.com/lqb2/?hl=en)
Lily is a native of Boston's Chinatown and Quincy, Massachusetts. Her commitment to social justice was formed early, as a child of immigrant parents and low-wage workers in the local restaurant, hotel, and health care industries. She studied Political Geography at Vassar College and spent two years abroad at the US-Mexico borderland where she deepened her passion for migrant justice. For three years, Lily was a volunteer organizer with the Student Immigrant Movement (SIM), recruiting and developing immigrant youth leaders across the state. In the summers of 2010 and 2011, Lily led two-week vigils in front of the MA State House against proposed anti-immigrant amendments. She also built a coalition of more than 40 community organizations for the DREAM Act. Lily joined Mass JwJ as an Organizer in 2012. She helped the organization expand its geographic reach and develop educators, parents, and students into movement leaders. When Holyoke schools were being taken over by the state, Lily trained public high school students in organizing skills and political education in order to take action. Along with educators of color and immigrant parents and students, Lily led a winning campaign to implement bilingual education in Spanish and Portuguese for newcomers in Framingham's Fuller Middle School. In 2016, Lily played a key role in the "No on Question 2" victory to stop the charter school industry's privatization agenda in Massachusetts. Lily is on the Massachusetts Education Justice Alliance (MEJA) steering committee. She has deep organizing experience in the cities of Boston, Framingham, New Bedford, Fall River, Taunton, Worcester, and Fitchburg. Lily speaks Spanish, Toisanese, Cantonese, Mandarin, and English. Image: [Massachusetts Jobs with Justice](http://www.massjwj.net/about/our-staff)
D. Farai Williams, Founder & Facilitator with, Dynamizing Equity (dEQ) & Idjeli Theater Works (ITW), is an artist, theater of the oppressed facilitator, racial equity strategist and cultural organizer. “I use theater and culture-based tools, as a method of personal and social inquiry; to synergies the head, heart & body for radical healing. By acting and dramatizing personal stories, our reflective minds begin to shape stronger ideas against racial oppression and inequity [particularly the racial oppression we have internalized]”. The result-invigoration to rebuild healthy, equitable communities. Farai holds a master’s of fine arts degree from the Institute for Advanced Theater Training at the American Repertory Theater at Harvard University and Moscow Theater Arts School. Farai currently serves as a, partner and racial equity strategist with The Disruptive Equity Education Project (DEEP). She is also the Core-Coordinator for the Network of Immigrants and African Americans building Solidarity and a faculty member with Southern Jamaica Plains’, Racial Reconciliation and Healing Project. Image: [Dynamizing Equity](http://www.dynamizingequity.com)
Organizer, Trauma Informed Facilitator