“Motus Theater & Spirit of Grace: Re-imagining Public Safety in Alliance with Anti-Racism”
July 9, 2020 program
12 pm to 2 pm
Brought to you by a partnership of
the Matrix Center for Advancement of Social Equity and Inclusion,
Dazzle Presents &
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“Re-imagining Public Safety in Alliance with Anti-Racism”
Hear autobiographical Motus Monologues from those on the frontlines of inhumane and racist incarceration, policing, and immigration policies, with musical reflections from the powerful voices of Spirit of Grace. Reflect together on why those concerned with true justice, systemic racism, and community health are coming together to re-vision the U.S. approach to threat and public safety in policing and immigration policy enforcement. Learn more about the context for calls to defund the police and abolish ICE.
Special Guest Panelist
Jessica (Yesika) Ordaz is an Assistant Professor of Ethnic Studies at the University of Colorado Boulder. She received her doctorate from the University of California Davis in American History, with a minor field in Latin American History. During the 2017-2018 academic year, Ordaz was the Andrew W. Mellon Sawyer Seminar postdoctoral fellow at the University of Washington, which focused on comparative racial capitalism. Professor Ordaz is currently completing her first book, The Shadow of El Centro: Migrant Incarceration and Solidarity, which is under contract with the University of North Carolina Press’s Justice, Power, and Politics series.
Monologist for the UndocuAmerica Project & Motus Theater National Outreach & Education Director
Tania Chairez is an undocumented immigrant born in Chihuahua, Mexico, and raised in Phoenix, Arizona. She received a B.S. from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania and M.Ed. from Grand Canyon University. For the past decade, Tania has prioritized her passion for the intersection of immigration and education. Watch her TedX Talk on being Undocumented and Unafraid, share her journey in the local documentary Five Dreamers, and uplift her nonprofit for immigrant youth, Convivir Colorado. She is Motus’ National Outreach & Education Director and a monologist in the UndocuAmerica Series
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Monologist for the UndocuAmerica Project
Victor Galvan spent 8 years at the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition. His work at the coalition led to many pivotal victories in Colorado. These included the passage of ASSET which granted undocumented students, who graduated from high school in Colorado, instate tuition, the passage of the Law Enforcement and Community Trust Act which did away with Colorado’s “Show me you papers” law, and expanded access to Colorado driver’s licenses for undocumented people. All of this wouldn’t have been possible without the robust voter integrated organizing that Victor led for 8 years at CIRC as the Civic Engagement Director. Through his 8 years Victor led campaigns that targeted over 175,000 low propensity voters of color throughout Colorado. His door campaigns contacted over 75,000 of those voters to inform them of their rights to vote and how to make their voices heard on the issue that they care most deeply about. Coupled with an organizing strategy, Victor organized those voters to engage their legislators even after elections and led to bi-partisan work on license legislation that increased access to driver’s license to undocumented Coloradans through improvements to SB13-251, the Road and Community Safety Act of 2013. Victor is now the Political Field Director at United for a New Economy, a grassroots organization that focuses on economic justice on the local and state level.
Brian (CB) Lynch
Monologist for the JustUs Project
Brian (CB) Lynch is the owner of ICU Visuals, Niche Media Works, and League of Extraordinary Producers. Brian produces and films the upcoming YouTube series “Cypher Saturday” and has also had his productions on national television. His music has been featured on Oxygen’s “Preachers of LA”, “Preachers of Atlanta”, and “Preachers of Detroit”; BET’s “Next Big Thing”; Netflix “On My Block” Season 2 and VH1’s “Love and Listings”. His goal is to bring all the positive aspects of Hollywood to Colorado. He wants to unite individuals from all creeds, colors, and overcome any obstacle that they face. He supports those who have been jerked around by the system and hopes to make a change – less jerking and more justice …. real justice. He is very confident that with the help of Motus Theater and various individuals, that he can make a difference.
Monologist for the JustUs Project
Juaquin Mobley is the Vice President of Community Works and co-owner of Community Ties and The Community Barber Shop based out of Colorado Springs. Juaquin helps those individuals who were recently incarcerated and/or at risk at becoming incarcerated realize their true potential and manifest their limitless potential. Juaquin was once incarcerated for the better half of a decade and knows all too well how a “helping hand,” as opposed to a “hand out,” can motivate one to succeed. A proud father of three beautiful girls, he refuses to let the next generation follow into the same footsteps and traps both him and his peers fell into.
Spirit of Grace
Spirit of Grace is an a capella choir of three sisters (Shamae William, Christin Grant, and Larea Edwards) who regularly tour with Colorado’s most famous experimental rap-rock band, the Flobots, as its core backup singers. They have a particularly pronounced presence in the Flobots album NOENEMIES. Shamae, Christin, and Larea are also founders of the sanctuary choir at Rapture Missionary Baptist Church. With their original songs, Spirit of Grace hopes to bring encouragement, hope, and inspiration to those who hear them sing.
Motus Theater Artistic Director & Founder
Artistic Director, founder and visionary of Motus Theater, Kirsten is a narrative artist, editor and master teacher in the field of autobiographical monologue work. She has created several award-winning multi-media performance pieces. She excels in supporting individuals in writing compelling narratives aimed at opening hearts and minds. She has been collaborating with leaders on the frontlines of violence in the U.S. since 2013 and is known for creating safe places of civic hospitality where the stories of Motus Theater’s undocumented and formerly incarcerated monologists are paired with law enforcement, national artists, and Colorado State House Representatives who read their stories. She has won multiple regional awards for leadership, as well as her artistic works. She has received funds and commissions from the National Endowment for the Arts for numerous projects. Her work has been featured in media as diverse as Theater Magazine, NPR, FAST Company Magazine, Ms. Magazine, and USA Today.
Motus Theater’s mission is to create original theater to facilitate dialogue on critical issues of our time. Motus uses the power of art to build alliances across diverse segments of our community and country.
Since our founding in 2011, Motus has developed two types of original theater: first, multimedia performances exploring U.S. history through the lens of race and class; and second, monologue performances in which Motus’ artistic director collaborates with people who are marginalized, misrepresented or underrepresented to write and perform autobiographical monologues. All Motus monologists to date have been people of color.
From 2013-present, Motus has been working with undocumented leaders to write and perform autobiographical monologues on stage (Do You Know Who I Am?, 2013; SALSA Lotería, 2015; UndocuMonologues, 2019). For some performances, we invite law enforcement, legislative, business or education leaders to stand with Motus monologists on stage and read their stories (Law Enforcement Leaders Reader DREAMer Stories, 2017; Women of Resolution, 2018 and 2020). We recently launched the UndocuAmerica Series Podcast to share these monologues in two forms: Shoebox Stories – stories read by prominent Americans; and Motus Monologues – a companion podcast where they are read by monologists themselves.
Since 2019, Motus has been collaborating with formerly incarcerated leaders to write and perform their autobiographical stories about their experiences of injustice within the criminal justice system for the JustUs Project. Monologues cover themes as diverse as racial profiling, inequity in the bond/bail system, human rights abuses in prison, the criminalization of substance abusers, and the systemic racism and poverty that pushes young people into illicit economies. The pilot monologues for the JustUs project, produced in partnership with the National Association of Community and Restorative Justice (NACRJ), premiered at the NACRJ Conference in 2019 in front of more than 1600 people.