Locally Grown: Brilliance Remastered Garden Walks (Fall Edition!!!)

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Another part of the Brilliance Remastered Durham Advantage!   It is FALL!!!!  I am celebrating the gorgeousness of Durham by focusing my energy on the community I love!!!!!  Are you or someone you know someone who could benefit from a personalized Brilliance Remastered Conversation this Fall?

Maybe you are at the beginning of a new semester or from something or about to embark on your own social justice minded project.  Maybe you are ready to have a breakthrough around making your creative or intellectual work more community accountable.  Maybe you are hoping to launch an art project that will make our world a better place.  Maybe you need to quit your job and are looking for a way to transition out.  Maybe you want to make your side project the center of your life.  Maybe you just know a walk and conversation with Sista Docta Lex about your passionate work would increase its value for our whole community.  If that is you or someone you love you should sign up for a garden walk!  (Also if your accessibility or allergy needs call for it we can certainly sit in a garden or walk near a river or do something else.)

images-1So here is how it works!

1.  Sign up for one of only 7 available one hour walks (On select Monday and Wednesday afternoons in October and November )

2.  Send an email to Lex at brillianceremastered@gmail.com about what you are up to right now and your hopes and dreams for our conversation.

3.  Recirculate the love!  Donate $50 to Eternal Summer of the Black Feminist Mind (the same donation that folks not lucky enough to live in or near Durham pay for a phone consultation) OR donate $25 and a delicious healthy vegetarian meal that can feed Lex and Julia!

That’s it!!!!  Looking forward to your locally growing brilliance!!!

Love,

Lex

Been There Lecture #2: Anjail Ahmad

The Been There Online Lecture Series is a series of inspired interactive conversations with experienced community accountable scholars offering their lessons learned while navigating multiple institutions and putting their brilliance to work with and in honor of oppressed communities. These lectures are open to scholars, writers, activists and folks in all walks of life ready to be inspired!

Been There Lecture #2  Dr. Anjail Ahmad  Tuesday, April 16th 7pm ET/6 CT/ 5 MT/4 PT

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Dr. Ahmad is a poet, educator and activist writing, speaking and teaching in venues throughout the United States. She received her PhD in African American Literature and 20th Century American Poetry from the University of Missouri-Columbia, her MA in Creative Writing from New York University and her BA in Creative Writing from Agnes Scott College.

She is also a blind woman advocating for disability justice in collaboration with a diverse community of disabled activists in Greensboro, NC and a Mobile Homecoming superstar.

Her areas of interest include: African American Literature and Oral Traditions; Twentieth Century American Poetry; The Poetics of Resistance in African American Poetry; Spoken Word and the poetics of Performance; Poetic Entrepreneurship; E-Texts and Publication; Women’s Voices; Social Justice and Disability Rights Advocacy

She has written two books of poetry, is published widely in journals and has won numerous awards. She teaches writing classes at North Carolina A&T State University where she is also Director of Creative Writing. In 2010, she has used her depth of writing knowledge and experience in working with writers to found The Fractured Writer: A Creative Resource for Writers (http://www.thefracturedwriter.com). She also leads writing and publishing workshops and sees clients in her home office in Greensboro, North Carolina where she offers training, coaching, consulting, and mentorship to groups and individuals of all ages.

As Artistic Director of The Fractured Writer aka The Loving Boot Camp for Writers, she leads writers through the Sunday 5-Week Writing Intensives, a year-long, workshop series designed to support writers through the completion of a writing project.  In her unique approach to creative writing, she offers a blend of spirituality and creative pragmatism to writers seeking to transform their creative ideas  and aspirations into work suitable for publication and performance.

This workshop is free for one-on-one and cohort coaching clients.  Other geniuses are free to sign up for the lecture with an email about your interests to brillianceremastered@gmail.com by April 14th and a donation of $20-50 to Eternal Summer of the Black Feminist Mind

Response: The Need Ensemble Responds to Audre Lorde’s Call for Healing

Last night was the final performance of the Need Ensemble streamed live on the internet and then dissolved into the ether.  Thank goodness for poetry. Thank goodness for our profound past and future presence.  Thank the Lorde for this moment.  Last night we celebrated, affirmed, showed in our bodies what this week has given us.  Testifed and held hands across space and time.   We also engaged Audre Lorde’s poem “Call” where she repeats that the rainbow serpent representative of all the unnamed and forgotten dieties aka Aido Hwedo is coming.   What is the name of the divinity that is coming for us?

 

Response

“We are learning by heart

what has never been taught.”

-Audre Lorde “Call”

 

light is coming

justice is coming

peace is coming

fearless mothers and happy babies are coming

gardening time is coming

fresh spring days, long summer nights, cozy winter cuddles and fall leaves are coming

 

a safe harbor is coming

a soft place to fall is coming

 

release is coming

reprieve is coming

a party with cake is coming

celebrating your miraculous body-self every morning as soon as you awaken is coming

 

khahlia is coming!

 

clean ocean water is coming

miracles are coming…

a lifetime of labors of love is coming

new adventures are coming

more understanding, more grace, and more listening is coming…

more feminist visionaries are coming…

fully accountable telepathy is coming

more community-building (like this) is coming

We Are the Open We Need: The Need Ensemble Opens Up!

Audre Lorde's Poetry in Motion (Indeed)

The brilliant and brave Brilliance Remastered Need Ensemble has me wide open, reaching into my dreams and the dreams of my ancestors.   Last night after working with Audre Lorde’s Coal and my brother Seneca’s teachings about the relationships between dreams, wisdom and nightmares we wrote this poem together.   May you be as open to it as you need to be.

We Are the Open We Need

 

“Love is a word, another kind of open.”

-Audre Lorde “Coal”

 

ancestors screaming in my ear: open

headache in the center of my forehead open

fears open. hate open. terrors open. light open

pain i can use, open

i been here before, open

 

got my heart and ears ready to hear whatever you have to say open

remembering grandmothers with cleansing tears open

got my door open come in any time type open

mountains open with wisdom and protection open

rocks under pillows open

 

letting the light in open

magic portals open

sky open

 

hitting the ground so that i CAN open

breathing so my breathing can breathe open

alchemizing wasted-blood-into-lifeblood open

 

spirit emerging through this physical body open

legs open mouth open nostrils flaring open

arms stretched wide ready to receive open

water rum juice and tea bladders open

shamefully open. embrassingly open.

listening to my body, open

ecstatic womb open

birth open

 

hands open

hands reached out to hold other hands open

hands up to the computer open

 

heart open

heart mind body break-through open

breaking down emotional walls open

 

sleeping under the stars open

dancing in the rain open

rural night sky open

tired, good tired open

fed souls–open

chest crackingly open

belly laughing out loud open

 

eyes open with clarity open

knowing i’m noteworthy open

nobody can see me who i can’t see open

dr. g arms open open

building community open

faith open

 

 

bars open

asylum open

borders open

church open

temples open

mosque open

altars open

mounds open

heaven open

 

consent open

lovers open

words open

need that tastes like love open

futures open

past open

now open

love open

faith open

ritual open

mothering ourselves open

 

in love with the souls making up this webinar open

seeing my reflection in you, open

saying your name in my prayers, open

seeing your smile open

universe open

we are the open we’ve been waiting for open

we are the open we need

open

 

 

 

 

We Know What We Need: The Need Ensemble Convenes!

Last night was the first session of our  weeklong digital performance intensive honoring Audre Lorde’s “Need: A Chorale for Black Women’s Voices” as a resource for community accountable artist/intellectuals.  Inspired by Omi Osun/Joni L. Jones and the Jazz Aesthetic Manifesto we created this group poem as a performance, practice and primer on what we need in order to be present in our lives and in this intimate work together across time zones and geographical borders.  Here is one arrangement of our poem:

We Know What We Need

i know

i need love

i know

i need to know that

i am loved

 

i know that

(i need hugs on hugs on hugs)

 

i know

we need water

i know

we need art

i know

we need our imaginations

i know

we need trust

i know

we need to breathe deeply

i know

we need LIFE

i know

we need to trust the miracles

yes! i know

we need miracles

 

i know

I’m needing

dancing

 

i know i

need to forgive

i know i

need to let go

i know i

need to accept that

I exist.

 

i know we

need to stop being shamed of our natural smells shapes ideas loves

i know we

need to remember what we hid

i know we

need to forgive ourselves

i know we

need to be courageous

i know we

need our ancestors breathing

i know we

need to continue learning

i know we

need to surrender to freedom

i know we

need to cry

i know we

need to work it all out

i know we

need to exhale

i know we

need to laugh… belly laughs…

i know we

need to mother ourselves

I know we

need to (continue to) connect

i know we

need to reach out for support when the terrors begin

i know we

need to hold hands

i know we

need to practice self love

 

 

i know

we need each other

we know

we need one another

i know

we need to heal

i know

we need to speak each others names

i know

we need to speak each others names in prayer

i know

we need sacred space

i know

we need ritual

i know

we need space to dream

i know

i need this space

this space!!!!

 

I know

i needed to come here tonight… this week.

i know

i need this life because i am here

i know

i need to overcome fear of the unknown

i know

it takes presence to perceive the miracles

i know

that i can always find this space when

i need it

 

yessss

!!!!!!!

 

The Durham Advantage: Deeper Roots

Ask anyone!  I have probably already told them that I strongly believe that Durham, North Carolina is the best place in the world to be a community accountable genius!  I love this place!  So as an act of love to my chosen geographical community and in gratitude for all that Durham has offered to my intellectual growth, I am offering some special Brilliance Remastered love specifically for those of you who are in the Durham radius (you lucky brilliant well-placed people!)

Community Organizations in and around Durham, NC

Audre Lorde’s insights for personal growth and transformation apply not only to individual community accountable intellectuals, but also to community organizations at many stages of organizational development.  I am available to customize any of my existing workshops for your organization and to conduct them at a discounted rate…with no travel and housing fees!

And especially for Summer 2013 check out my custom Summer Lovin’ relationship building retreats for organizations in NC!

Email brillianceremastered@gmail.com to set up a phone assessment where we can decide what workshop is best for the growth and development of your organization or group.

 

Individual Students Based In and Near Durham, NC (Shouts out to NCCU, Duke, UNC, NC State, Durham Tech, St. Augustine, Meredith, Peace, Shaw and everybody!)

  • grad students get DEEP discounts on any of the coaching or advising curricula
  • get the major benefit of in-person meetings in Duke Gardens, central park, my favorite tea spot and maybe even my porch (sign up here for one of our Spring one on one garden walks)
  • get plugged into quarterly mixers I will be hosting for other local community accountable intellectuals
  • undergrads get access to in person application consultations and a special “Never Leaving Durham” series of conversations!

Email brillianceremastered@gmail.com to set up a phone assessment and get started!

Colleges and Universities in and around Durham, NC

Hey there visionary administrators, faculty and organizers at NCCU, Duke, UNC-Chapel Hill, NC State, UNC-Greensboro, Meredith, Shaw, St. Augustine, Peace College, Elon, Guilford etc.

Take advantage of the fact that I LOVE WHERE I LIVE and offer your graduate students or prospective graduate students my key workshops on mentorship, community accountability, resilience and wellness and more without having to raise a budget for travel and housing!    I am also available to do ongoing work with student groups, and student services units.

Email brillianceremastered@gmail.com schedule a phone assessment so we can scheme up our partnership!!!!

Better Together: Brilliance Remastered Cohorts

After the successful launch of the three course Brilliance Remastered One-on-One coaching curriculum in 2012 we are expanding the brilliance by offering the courses to distinguished passionate cohorts of visionaries in 2013!

The cohort model allows a set of aligned visionaries to experience the life-changing curricula and to benefit from one-on-one attention from Sista Docta Lex while building community with each other.   Doing it together also allows Brilliance Remastered to provide this service at a lower rate.  (However the one-on-one version of this curriculum is still available for those of you who want me all to yourself! :)

Cohort Participants Commit to a 3-Month Experience with:

  • weekly transformative assignments
  • bi-weekly google-hangout discussion sessions with fellow cohort members facilitated by Lex
  • weekly email check-ins with Lex
  • access to Lex’s online office hours
  • song dedications and motivation

all for sliding scale $750-1000 per participant.  Payment plans are available.  I am committed to making this accessible to you!

Participants join the cohort through a phone assessment conversation where we will determine the best way to engage the curriculum.  Email brillianceremastered@gmail.com to schedule a phone assessment for $25.  More on phone assessments here.

Here are this year’s offerings! Looking forward to working together!

Coaching Modules:

Jan-March 2014 “My Words Will Be There”:  Eternal Strategies for Sustainable Community Accountable Scholarship  (Apply by December 10th)

This advanced stage of the coaching curriculum is for graduates of the Doing What I Came to Do and Community is Not a Luxury coaching curricula or scholars who are  committed to a specific community accountable educational project in its early design stages.  This coaching process will provide you with a supportive space for transformative curriculum and program development and the tools to build a sustainable ecology for your own community accountable intellectual practice that does not depend on the economy of the university/non-profit funding.  This is a crucial tool-set for scholars who want their work to live in community organizing, to be interdependent with educational institutions, or to create their own educational/activist institutions.  More info here.

Past Cohorts:

 

Summer 2013 Community is Not a Luxury: Necessary Praxis for Degree Survival*  (Apply by May 20th)

“Look how you print yourself on my heart.” -Audre Lorde

This intermediate stage of the coaching curriculum trains you to implement and build a community of accountability outside of the limits of your university setting.  Community accountability is what distinguishes meaningful intellectual labor from elitist word games.  This coaching module is for scholars who are committed to making a difference in the lives of the communities that inspire them and also activates community as a superpower to sustain your wholeness and to support and celebrate you in your degree process.  More info here.

Spring 2013 “Doing What I Came to Do”: Activating Your Purpose*

*Email brillianceremastered to set up a phone assessment by Feb 15th.

“I am who I am doing what I came to do.”-Audre Lorde

This is the first and most crucial coaching module in the Brilliance Remastered curriculum.  In this coaching process also known as the “purpose-keeper,” I will facilitate and support you in remembering/crafting and supporting an intentional, generative, empowering and energizing greater purpose for your intellectual work.   This process will give you a touchstone for every step of your intellectual work, giving you consistent access to the superpower of PURPOSE which will provide energy and perspective when the going gets tough.  More info here.

 

 

Been There Lecture #1: Omi Osun/Joni Jones

The Been There Online Lecture Series is a series of inspired interactive conversations with experienced community accountable scholars offering their experience navigating multiple institutions and putting their brilliance to work with and in honor of oppressed communities.

Been There Lecture #1: Dec. 11th, 2012    8pmET/7pm CT/6pm MT/5pm PT

Dr. Omi Osun/Joni L. Jones is a beacon of black queer feminist community accountable intellectual praxis.  Her work to create the Austin Project, a transformative community performance project centered on the experiences of women of color in Austin, TX and her creation, navigation, critque and transformation of institutional spaces inside and outside of the academy make her experiences a priceless resource for all us who aspire to create inclusive space for (never again) silenced brilliance with our lives!

 

Omi Osun Joni L. Jones, Ph.D is an artist/scholar whose most recent exploration in the theatrical jazz aesthetic include the role of GreGre Gurl in Sharon Bridgforth’s, blood pudding in the 2010 New York SummerStage Festival.  Omi is Director of  The John L. Warfield Center for African and African American Studies and is Associate Professor of Performance Studies in the Department of African and African Diaspora Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. She is the founder of the Austin Project—a collaboration of women of color artists, scholars, and activists who use art for re-imagining society, and is lead editor of Experiments in a Jazz Aesthetic, that documents this work (UT Press 2010). Omi is completing work on a forthcoming ethnography on jazz aesthetics and Yoruba cosmology in theatre titled, Jazz, Ase, and The Power of the Present Moment.

The offering for each Been There Lecture is sliding scale $18-35 and supports the continued work of the  Eternal Summer of the Black Feminist Mind community school.

Registration for this Been There lecture will close on Dec 3rd. Use the paypal button above to register for the course.  Please include a current email address with your paypal payment to receive instructions for how to tune in to the online conversation.

And to get excited by a small example of Dr. Omi Osun/ Joni L. Jones’s brilliance check out her inspiring lecture at University of Texas at Austin where she taught and directed the center for Black Studies on the role of allies in academic institutions  “6 Rules for Allies” right here (note the emphatic and powerful shouts out to Audre Lorde and the Combahee River Collective!!!!): 6 Rules for Allies

 

Need: A Cyber Performance Ritual for Community Accountable Intellectuals

Concrete Ritual: For Audre Lorde’s 79th Birthday

Join the Brilliance Remastered community the first week of March for an interactive webinar investigation of performance and online ritual in relationship to community accountable intellectual work.  Participants will learn about performance practices from Audre Lorde’s Chorale Need, a classic text designed to end violence against black women and the shared experience of creating a healing multi-media cyber performance for our community about who we are and what we need as community accountable intellectuals.

Registration Due by Feb. 18, 2013 (Audre Lorde’s Birthday!)

*the ensemble will be limited to 9 participants

Intensive dates: March 4,5,6,7,8  2012   (9pm Eastern Time)

Fee: Sliding Scale $150-250

Required Reading:

  • “Need” “Coal” “Power” and “Litany for Survival” by Audre Lorde,
  • One Campus Guide to Performing “Need” edited by Alexis Pauline Gumbs
  • Excerpts from Experiments in a Jazz Aesthetic by Omi Osun
  • (all readings available via pdf and snail mail to registered participants)

Registration for this webinar is now closed.  Here are some insights from the participants:

We Know What We Need: The Need Ensemble Convenes

We Are the Open We Need: The Need Ensemble Opens Up

What is Coming?: The Need Ensemble Responds to the Moment

To Support the Ongoing Work:

  • https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=3VHV86GHPK56J

 

Daily Bread: Nourishing Sustainable Practices for Community Accountable Scholars

(images by Mekhi Baldwin)

Audre Lorde’s contemporary and interlocuter James Baldwin talked about the passion of making love and breaking bread as equal versions of presence and purpose.  Last night during the LAST (sniffle) session of the first every Brilliance Remastered Webinar on a Sustainable Erotics of Community Accountable Scholarship we talked about how to make passionate and connected work our everyday practice and how to put spaces, places, times and reminders in our lives to bring us back to passionate purpose whenever we feel disconnected from the source of our transformative brilliance.

This may look like a group poem, but it is really a spell, blessing everyday forward and binding our love-filled Brilliance Remastered crew together forever!!!!!!!

Daily Bread

By the Sustainable Erotics Crew

 

connected to purpose like daily bread

giving thanks like daily bread

poetry like daily bread.

forgiveness like daily bread.

laughter like daily bread.

creating is my daily bread

 

loving like daily bread

making love like daily bread

loving my muscles like daily bread

(especially especially my heart)

smiling from the inside out like dailybread

celebrating me like daily bread

celebrating us like daily bread

 

embracing the now like daily bread

moving the body like daily bread, making new shapes

living in my body like daily bread

 

claiming my breathing like daily bread

shining my light like daily bread

affirming my being like daily bread

 

dancing like daily bread

sitting in silence like daily bread

listening like daily bread

listening to hear like daily bread

profound connection like daily bread.

sharing truth like daily bread

 

 

drinking water like daily bread

eating fruit like daily bread

good food like daily bread

deep breaths like daily bread

bubble baths and candles like daily bread

 

books on the bedside like daily bread.

feet on the ground like daily bread

walking with loved ones like bread (daily)

thanking my ancestors like daily bread

 

reaching out with love like daily bread.

showing affection like daily bread

touching things lightly like daily bread

being accountable like daily bread

being aware of surroundings like daily bread

immersing in the process like daily bread

 

questions rising like the bubbles of yeast in daily bread

speaking my mind even when my voice shakes like daily bread

 

thankful for another day’s daily bread