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Inaugural HUEmankind Fest will be held online June 26-27

Originating from Silicon Valley, the festival features storytellers and others speaking up in voices not often heard

by Mike Ferguson | Presbyterian News Service

The inaugural HUEmankind Fest will be held online June 26-27.

LOUISVILLE — The first HUEmankind Fest, a two-day groundbreaking festival bringing together voices from communities in California’s Silicon Valley, will be held online June 26-27, according to a news release supplied by AWỌ, the word for skin and also color in the Yoruba language of Nigeria.

Whether one’s skin is Black, white, Indigenous, Asian, Middle Eastern, Latinx or of another culture or ethnicity, “most of our true stories have not yet converged into a larger American narrative,” the news release states. The HUEmankind Fest is “designed for all those stories to be heard so as to create more kind and inclusive local communities.”

The festival is sponsored by the County of Santa Clara.

Through storytelling, interactive dialogues and collective problem solving, AWỌ “brings people together across color, class and culture to dismantle inaccurate stories and re-imagine through kindness and ‘HUEman’ kinship more equitable collective narratives and social systems,” the news release states.

“We are taking a bold step to reconcile and live in the intersectionality of our shared ‘HUEmanity.’ By bringing together acclaimed artists, speakers, field experts and audiences for two days of dynamic performances, interactive workshops and a social justice hackathon, our festival celebrates and facilitates greater mutual understanding and care among all residents here in Los Gatos and Santa Clara County,” said AWỌ’s founder and executive director, Folake Phillips. “As one community, and in remembrance of George Floyd and for all those he represents, we need to come together to help transform the Black experience.”

The festival theme, “Our Community, Our Story,” features a rich tapestry of African American, African and immigrant storytelling artists, an African traditions workshop, a digital stories mosaic featuring Los Gatos and Santa Clara County residents, as well as an interactive social justice hackathon to explore the profound disconnects resulting from the historical slave trade and African migrations, and how the different shades of HUEmanity can help bridge those disconnects.

Online sessions are scheduled for 10 a.m. through 12:30 p.m. Pacific Time on Saturday, June 26, and from 2 p.m.-4:30 p.m. Pacific Time on Sunday, June 27. More information is here. Free registration for one or both days is available here.

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