There are some conversations you could not have prepared for, but then you stand amazed and grateful you could be part of them. How do those conversations happen? In the Firelight Wisdom Circle, we will practice careful listening and clear speaking to each other. We will invite one another to risk sharing what's most valued in our minds, hearts, and souls based on our lived experience and the wisdom of our being.
In this stirring and insightful analysis, activist and scholar Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor surveys the historical and contemporary ravages of racism and persistence of structural inequality such as mass incarceration and Black unemployment. In this context, she argues that this new struggle against police violence holds the potential to reignite a broader push for Black liberation.
Join Embrace Yoga DC teachers on the first Monday of each month at the landmark café/bookstore, Potter’s House, for a free community yoga class. This flowing open level vinyasa yoga class is an expression of love to our community. Dive in, flow and celebrate life with some of the Embrace Your Flow teachers and friends! Open to all levels. Bring a yoga mat, a smile, and a friend.
Join a group created especially for Grandparents and their grandchildren! Have a cup of coffee and share ideas, anecdotes and helpful advice, as well as entertain your grandchildren in a group setting.
Each meeting will have a general theme related to the special relationship between grandchildren and grandparents as well as stories/songs for the children.
Robert P. Jones, CEO of the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI), challenges us to grasp the profound political and cultural consequences of a new reality—that America is no longer a majority white Christian nation.
Join authors Christine Fischer Guy and Lana Pesch as they discuss their latest works, The Umbrella Mender and Moving Parts. Unfamiliar landscapes give their characters the chance to map new territories of the self, a place to explore, reimagine and reconsider identity. Can stories only ever be set inside ourselves?
Join us for the Recovery Cafe Open Mic! All DMV recovery communities, musicians, artists, supporters, families, friends are invited! This event is open to all.
In Partnership with The Potters House of Washington, DC, Recovery Cafe has a vibrant and much loved history. With a renovation complete, let's reignite the hope that anyone going through Recovery of any type, has a place to come and express themselves as they find their way. You will be supported at this open mic.
It is a good time to ask ourselves, particularly those of us who are clearly "settlers" in the U.S. colonial state, "What is our role in the recovery of land, respect, resources, and true sovereignty of the native people's upon whose land we reside?"
Reclaim "Columbus Day", and join us for a movie screening and community discussion to explore this important question.
// The revolution WILL be improvised!
Longform improv is improvised theater with a team of other players. At Soulful Improv, we explore improvisation as "practice" for the real world: Engaging in that vulnerable-but-gratifying act of making something beautiful out of chaos - in the partnership of others.
People have been gathering in coffee houses, pubs and public spaces for ages, talking about life,philosophy,faith and deep questions of meaning. We are rediscovering the coffee house/pub as a safe,open space to explore and express questions and questions, learn from others,and engage one another of caring religious traditions or of none. As our society becomes increasingly fractured these public conversations about race and racism are not only welcomed,but needed. The Chapel of Mary invites you to come, bring your questions and pull up a chair
Some Americans cling desperately to the myth that we are living in a post-racial society, that the election of the first Black president spelled the doom of racism. In fact, racist thought is alive and well in America--more sophisticated and more insidious than ever. And as award-winning historian Ibram X. Kendi argues in Stamped from the Beginning, if we have any hope of grappling with this stark reality, we must first understand how racist ideas were developed, disseminated, and enshrined in American society.
Until now there has been no biography of Fred Ross, a man who believed a good organizer was supposed to fade into the crowd as others stepped forward. In America’s Social Arsonist, Gabriel Thompson provides a full picture of this complicated and driven man, recovering a forgotten chapter of American history and providing vital lessons for organizers today.
Join The Potter's House and DC Stampede for an evening of fiction and discussion about the relationship of humans and animals in the modern world. From the anthology Among Animals 2, C.S. Malerich reads from her short story "Phoenix Cross" in which science, fantasy, and industrial agriculture meet.
The event will feature readings from Hell Is a Very Small Place: Voices from Solitary Confinement, a new book from the New Press edited by Jean Casella, James Ridgeway, and Sarah Shourd. The book provides firsthand accounts from 16 current and formerly incarcerated people of what it is like to be kept completely alone in a small cell, often for years or decades on end—offering a perspective that should inform any debate about human rights and prison reform. The afternoon will feature one of the book’s editors, advocates reading from the work of contributors still in prison, and Johnny Perez of the Urban Justice Center in New York, who will share from his first-hand experience with solitary confinement and the national movement to end it.
Open a window each day of Advent onto the natural world. Here are twenty-five fresh images of the foundational truth that lies beneath and within the Christ story. In twenty-five portraits depicting how wild animals of the northern hemisphere ingeniously adapt when darkness and cold descend, we see and hear as if for the first time the ancient wisdom of Advent: The dark is not an end but the way a new beginning comes.
Please join us for a remarkable journey through Switzerland! Around Switzerland in 80 Maps is the latest book by Switzerland-based British author Diccon Bewes.
The concept of intersectionality has become a hot topic in academic and activist circles alike. But what exactly does it mean, and why has it emerged as such a vital lens through which to explore how social inequalities of race, class, gender, sexuality, age, ability and ethnicity shape one another?
In Building the Commune, George Ciccariello-Maher travels through the many radical experiments of Venezuela, assessing how they have succeeded and failed, and how they are continuing to operate. Speaking to community members, workers, students and government officials, Ciccariello-Maher provides a balance sheet of these projects, that movements throughout the world can look to for lessons and inspiration.
Race literacy changes everything. It changes the way we view ourselves and our nation. Race literacy gives us the proper context in which to ground our conversations on Race. It touches our heart, and leaves us free to have healthier relationships, and greater compassion for self and other. We don’t know what we don’t know, but if we open ourselves up to new possibilities, everything changes.
The poems of this fourth collection from Wayne Miller exist in the wake of catastrophe. It is a world populated by rogue gunmen on shooting sprees, a world where the only inheritance a father has to pass on is his debt. The collection coalesces around three primary occurrences: the birth of a child, the death of a father, and the seeming explosion of sociohistorical and political conflict and violence over the past fifteen years. Throughout this series, Miller processes grief, but also cuts through pain to open up a way forward in the aftermath of shared loss. Post- thrums with pathos and humor, pain and the beauty of living.
Calling is a sense that something bigger than you invites you to greater purpose; that risk and trust are required; and that saying yes will ultimately lead to a deeper understanding of self. Part of exploring calling is understanding what it means to you. How broad or narrow is it? What areas of life does it touch? What has grabbed you?
One thing we can be certain of is that capitalism will end. Maybe not soon, but probably before too long; humanity has never before managed to craft an eternal social system, after all, and capitalism is a notably more precarious and volatile order than most of those that preceded it. The question, then, is what will come next?
Waking Up White is the book Irving wishes someone had handed her decades ago. By sharing her sometimes cringe-worthy struggle to understand racism and racial tensions, she offers a fresh perspective on bias, stereotypes, manners, and tolerance.
Sass Brown’s darkly funny debut collection of poems explores both the isolation and the absurdity of twenty-something apartment living. The world Brown creates in USA-1000 overflows with infomercials, classic Hollywood films, billboard messages, strip clubs, and fortune-tellers, illuminating our complex relationship with consumerism. In the absence of personal intimacy, everyday objects take on unexpected importance: the clothing of a would-be couple mingles in a washing machine; a father watches pornography in a hotel room with his wife and daughter; a woman searches a shopping mall to put on hold items she’ll never buy; a broken hair dryer prompts a complaint letter to the Better Business Bureau. Brown’s dazzling poems probe the disappointment of domestic reality in the face of America’s glossy facade, abundance and emptiness hand in hand. Ultimately, the book finds beauty in the deliciously artificial and resurrects “the missing world” with words and memory.
Join DC Stampede and Release Aging People in Prison (RAPP) to write letters to elders who are incarcerated. RAPP will share a bit about their work to get aging prisoners back to their families and communities.
We'll provide all the materials and a quick "how to" for writing to people in prison. It'll be a good chance to meet and hang out with other folks who are fighting for change.
Studs Terkel was an American icon who had no use for America’s cult of celebrity. He was a leftist who valued human beings over political dogma. In scores of books and thousands of radio and television broadcasts, Studs paid attention – and respect – to “ordinary” human beings of all classes and colors, as they talked about their lives as workers, dreamers, survivors. Alan Wieder’s Studs Terkel: Politics, Culture, But Mostly Conversation is the first comprehensive book about this man.
"The depth of subjects she tackles in her poetic lyrics are perfectly complemented by a unique blend of neo-soul, with just the right dash of pop...a truly compelling act to watch in person, with the ability to create an intimate setting in locations big and small."
RACHEL JOY PLETTS
The words and delivery are paramount, so accompanying music is purposefully kept simple and sweet allowing the focus and gaze of the audience to be swept up into the story.
Versatile guitarist Paul Pieper brings technical and improvisational prowess to every song he plays. As a jazz musician he's toured the world, performing across upwards of twenty countries from Japan to Turkey and from Iceland to Ecuador. Grounded in the melodic traditions of post-Coltrane jazz and the pioneering influence of John Scofield, Paul's distinctive voice shines through his performances and compositions.
The primary goal of many companies is to make profit — but should it be? A new social movement is advocating for a reevaluation of our economic model: encouraging companies to work towards the commongood rather than compete for financial gain. Thousands of companies are already on board, with hundreds implementing its first steps. Can this be the shift our society needs to find sustainability in an economically unstable world? Join Christian Felber, an internationally renowned lecturer at the Vienna University of Economics and Business, as he visits D.C. to discuss this project and his book Change Everything: Creating an Economy for the Common Good.
ON A TRANQUIL SUMMER NIGHT in July 2012, a trio of peace activists infiltrated the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Nicknamed the “Fort Knox of Uranium,” Y-12 was supposedly one of the most secure sites in the world, a bastion of warhead parts and hundreds of tons of highly enriched uranium—enough to power thousands of nuclear bombs. The three activists—a house painter, a Vietnam War veteran, and an 82-year-old Catholic nun—penetrated the complex’s exterior with alarming ease; their strongest tools were two pairs of bolt cutters and three hammers. Once inside, these pacifists hung protest banners, spray-painted biblical messages, and streaked the walls with human blood. Then they waited to be arrested.
Come join the conversation that is intended to increase your awareness of death with a view to helping us make the most of our (finite) lives. The Death Café movement (deathcafe.com) is happening across the U.S. and worldwide. Death Cafés provide a free venue--with food and drink--for people to talk about death openly. Bring your questions, experiences and concerns—big and small—or just come to soak in the rich discussion and enjoy food and refreshments. This free event is sponsored by Community Hospices and the Potter’s House.
Calling is a sense that something greater than you invites you to deeper purpose.
Knowing what invites you is hard.
Knowing the purpose requires discernment.
Saying yes requires trust.
Join others for a time of creative listening, sharing, reflection, and engagement with calling. Come to trust your experiences, gifts, and desires. Come to honor your story, and how sharing it can empower you. Come to welcome how your sense of call might open you – and others – to something greater.
Phillips Manager of Exhibitions Liza Strelka discusses the upcoming exhibition People on the Move: Beauty and Struggle in Jacob Lawrence’s Migration Series, on view at The Phillips Collection beginning Oct. 8, which includes themes relevant to current events surrounding race and immigration.
The event includes a sneak peek of a new interactive website that features Lawrence’s first-hand accounts as well as contemporary responses to migration and a complimentary ticket to the exhibition. This event is free and open to the public.
Fungi (i.e. mushrooms, yeasts, lichens, molds) are everywhere around us, forming symbioses with all plants and animals, and performing critical roles that keep complex ecological webs intact. And yet, most people are completely unaware of the incredible and ubiquitous nature of the Fungal Kingdom. In this part presentation, part mushroom roadshow, author Peter McCoy will present many means for dispelling this paradox. From the ecological importance of mushrooms and other fungi, to their rich history with human cultures around the world, to the increasingly profound potential for mushroom cultivation to address a range of pressing global issues, this special event will take you deep into the fungal realm. The result just may change the way you look at fungi, and the world at large.
This event is FREE!!
History remembers Robert F. Kennedy as a racial healer, a tribune for the poor, and the last progressive knight of a bygone era of American politics. But Kennedy’s enshrinement in the liberal pantheon was actually the final stage of a journey that had its beginnings in the conservative 1950s. In Bobby Kennedy, Larry Tye peels away layers of myth and misconception to paint a complete portrait of this singularly fascinating figure.
Mary Helen Washington recovers the vital role of 1950s leftist politics in the works and lives of modern African American writers and artists. While most histories of McCarthyism focus on the devastation of the blacklist and the intersection of leftist politics and American culture, few include the activities of radical writers and artists from the Black Popular Front. Washington's work incorporates these black intellectuals back into our understanding of mid-twentieth-century African American literature and art and expands our understanding of the creative ferment energizing all of America during this period.
Tell Me the Number before Infinity: the story of a girl with a quirky mind, an eccentric family, and oh yes, a disability by Becky Taylor and Dena Taylor is a one-of- a-kind memoir, written from their two perspectives with interwoven chapters about Becky’s life growing up with cerebral palsy.
Join us for a coffee tasting featuring four varieties from Finca el Puente, followed by a co-presentation between Counter Culture Coffee and The Potter's House about the current challenges facing the coffee market in Honduras and the innovative work of Finca el Puente.
Coffee Tasting: 6:15pm-7:00pm
Field Report: 7:00pm-8:00pm
This event is free and open to the public!
Black Freak Mosh Heaven is a poetic autobiography about a black youth who rocks and rolls to his own beat and is forced to battle racism, stereotypes and ignorance. It is a thought-provoking tale of a man who struggles against society's intolerance and fights to create a world of acceptance. It is a literal companion to his autobiographical one man show, Dreadlocks, Rock 'n Roll & Human Rights.
What do you want in a president? Curators Natalie Campbell & Saisha Grayson invite the public to join in a writing workshop to adapt, update and engage with a 1992 text by artist and activist Zoe Leonard listing demands for a new U.S. president. The adapted texts from a series of workshops this fall will be archived online and will culminate in a public collective reading on Oct 16 at 5:30 pm in front of the White House.
“Art Between Us” is the DMV's quarterly all-women’s event for an all-women audience. (All persons who identify as women are welcome!) In an effort to create safe spaces for ladies from marginalized arts communities, “Art Between Us” aims to encourage creativity, develop sisterhood within the arts, and build a support network for women and girls of all backgrounds to connect with each other over artistic expression and celebrate our diverse voices and experiences in a space that's just for us.
Well before Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke out against nuclear weapons, African Americans were protesting the Bomb. Historians have generally ignored African Americans when studying the anti-nuclear movement, yet they were some of the first citizens to protest Truman's decision to drop atomic bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. Now for the first time, African Americans Against the Bomb tells the compelling story of those black activists who fought for nuclear disarmament by connecting the nuclear issue with the fight for racial equality.
Godless Circumcisions is a witty and forceful study of race, sex and politics in contemporary culture. Personal and poetic, these essays, poems and biographical trysts disrobe issues central to the black, queer and working class existences. Wilson speaks fluently—fluctuating between academic authority, queer griot and matter-of-fact honesty—to issues of racial-sexual terror; masculine anxiety; how Black men learn the erotic, sex and vulnerability; the stereotypes of Black and BlaQueer people in the United States. Paying special attention to the costs of assimilation—or cultural circumcisions—Wilson invites the reader on his personal and political journey to a practice of critical love ethics.
In The Poverty Industry, Daniel L. Hatcher shows us how state governments and their private industry partners are profiting from the social safety net, turning America’s most vulnerable populations into sources of revenue. The poverty industry is stealing billions in federal aid and other funds from impoverished families, abused and neglected children, and the disabled and elderly poor. As policy experts across the political spectrum debate how to best structure government assistance programs, a massive siphoning of the safety net is occurring behind the scenes.In the face of these abuses of power, Hatcher offers a road map for reforms to realign the practices of human service agencies with their intended purpose, to prevent the misuse of public taxpayer dollars, and to ensure that government aid truly gets to those in need.
The capital of the U.S. Empire after World War II was not a city. It was an American suburb. In this innovative and timely history, Andrew Friedman chronicles how the CIA and other national security institutions created a U.S. imperial home front in the suburbs of Northern Virginia. In this covert capital, the suburban landscape provided a cover for the workings of U.S. imperial power, which shaped domestic suburban life. The Pentagon and the CIA built two of the largest office buildings in the country there during and after the war that anchored a new imperial culture and social world.
The first released work of poetry from White, Found Them deals with physical and spiritual place along an arduous but liberating gender and sexuality journey. This chapbook includes seventeen poems which explore transformation and departure as means of survival, as well as ancestral magic as an omnipresent resource.
Francisco-Luis White is an agender, AfroLatinx writer, poet and storyteller currently residing in District of Columbia. They have presented at the Carolina Conference on Queer Youth (2014 and 2015), Fire & Ink Conference for LGBTQ Writers of African Descent (2015), and the United States Conference on AIDS (2014). In 2015, they were recognized by National Black Justice Coalition as an SGL/LGBTQ Emerging Leader to Watch and one of Qnotes Faces of The Future. White is a contributor toTheBody.com and for HIV Equal.
Mayors Richard M. Daley and Rahm Emanuel have touted and promoted Chicago as a "world class city." The skyscrapers kissing the clouds, the billiondollar Millennium Park, Michelinrated restaurants, pristine lake views, fabulous shopping, vibrant theater scene, downtown flower beds and stellar architecture tell one story. Yet, swept under the rug is the stench of segregation that compromises Chicago. The Manhattan Institute dubs Chicago as one of the most segregated big cities in the country. Though other cities including Cleveland, Los Angeles, and Baltimore can fight over that mantle, it's clear that segregation defines Chicago. And unlike many other major U.S. cities, no one race dominates. Chicago is divided equally into black, white, and Latino, each group clustered in their various turfs.
The Mask You Live In follows boys and young men as they struggle to stay true to themselves while negotiating America’s narrow definition of masculinity.
Pressured by the media, their peer group, and even the adults in their lives, our protagonists confront messages encouraging them to disconnect from their emotions, devalue authentic friendships, objectify and degrade women, and resolve conflicts through violence. These gender stereotypes interconnect with race, class, and circumstance, creating a maze of identity issues boys and young men must navigate to become “real” men.
The Mask You Live In ultimately illustrates how we, as a society, can raise a healthier generation of boys and young men.
In this innovative study, Crystal Sanders explores how working-class black women, in collaboration with the federal government, created the Child Development Group of Mississippi (CDGM) in 1965, a Head Start program that not only gave poor black children access to early childhood education but also provided black women with greater opportunities for political activism during a crucial time in the unfolding of the civil rights movement.
Collective Action for Safe Spaces is a grassroots, volunteer-powered organization working to make public spaces safer for everyone. We train community members to respond to street harassment and be active bystanders to help promote a culture where women, LGBTQ, and gender nonconforming folks are treated with respect. Join us for a workshop to learn effective skills for responding to harassment and to intervene if you witness it!
From the front lines of the wrongful conviction capital of the United States—Cook County, Ill.—these stories reveal serious gaps in the criminal justice system. Flowers depicts the collateral damage of wrongful convictions on families and communities, challenging the deeper problem of mass incarceration in the United States. As she tells each exoneree’s powerful story, Flowers vividly shows that release from prison, though sometimes joyous and hopeful, is not a Hollywood ending—or an ending at all. Rather, an exoneree’s first unshackled steps are the beginning of a new journey full of turmoil and triumph.
Chapbook Release Party!
I Wanted Just to Be Soft (April 2016, Anomalous Press)
by Temim Fruchter
Temim Fruchter, author of I Wanted Just to Be Soft (April 2016, Anomalous Press)
Seema Reza, author of When The World Breaks Open (March 2016, Red Hen Press)
Plus, other surprises!
Come join us to celebrate the release of new work by DC writers!
The smartest kid on his block in East Baltimore, D. was certain he would escape the life of drugs, decadence, and violence that had surrounded him since birth. But when his brother Devin is shot-only days after D. receives notice that he's been accepted into Georgetown University—the plans for his life explode, and he takes up the mantel of his brother's crack empire. D. succeeds in cultivating the family business, but when he meets a woman unlike any he's known before, his priorities are once more put into question. Equally terrifying and hilarious, inspiring and heartbreaking, D.'s story offers a rare glimpse into the mentality of a person who has escaped many hells.
D. Watkins is a columnist for Salon; his work has been published in the New York Times, the Guardian, Rolling Stone and other publications. He is also a professor of Creative Writing at the University of Baltimore and founder ofthe BMORE Writers Project.