After seven months in the program, the Tamejavi fellows spent May 25 through 27 at a retreat in Wonder Valley for the second of three residential gatherings they will participate during the two-year program. At the gathering, the fellows engaged in intensive popular education learning, decolonization analysis, storytelling, art making, and social media training.
The gathering also featured the Tamejavi Heritage Gallery, an exhibit of artifacts provided by the fellows, curated by Rebekah Gutierrez and Estela Galvan. The gallery was an excellent way for the fellows to share their history through meaningful cultural and artistic artifacts.
I learned so much at the gallery. I feel very proud and excited. It made me realize that when researchers come to our communities, they learn from secondhand or thirdhand accounts. The conversation we had at the gallery was coming from our own knowledge and our own experiences. This firsthand knowledge needs to be documented. –Bee Yang, Tamejavi Fellow
Tamejavi fellows also participated in a decolonization session facilitated by Gaspar Rivera Salgado, Ph.D. In this session, fellows engaged in a deep dialogue and explored issues of identity and belonging. They shared their own identities, analyzed the challenges faced within their communities, and examined power structures to address issues of gender, class, and race/ethnicity.
Rebecca Bauen facilitated art making and storytelling workshops that provided the fellows with an opportunity to discover their artistic talents. They also learned new techniques for engaging people in their communities through dialogue and storytelling.
This gathering ends the first phase of learning and exploring for the Tamejavi fellows. Now they will move to the next stage: applying what they have learned. They’ll be very busy in the next few months building stronger community relations and identifying ways cultural organization can add to the vitality of their communities.
If you attended the gathering, please tell us your thoughts in a comment. What was your favorite part? How can you use this new knowledge as you continue in the program?