Past Talks & More


Director's Dialogue on Art and Social Change

Featuring Hanif Abdurraqib, Camae Ayewa (Moor Mother), Anaïs Duplan, and Rasheedah Phillips
Moderated by Kimberly Drew


A photo collage featuring all 5 panelists for the conversation

400Forward, this year's Director's Dialogue on Art and Social Change, considers how the year 2020 marked not only 400 years of Africans in America, but also signaled a dramatic time of significant social change in America and around the globe. 

Organized in partnership with Dr. Mark Lomax II, the composer and scholar behind the Wex-supported 400: An Afrikan Epic, 400Forward seeks to envision what being Black in America might embody over the next 400 years. Featuring a panel of important voices in the arts and humanities, the conversation promises to catalyze new thinking and new actions to facilitate the creation of a more just, equitable, and inclusive society.

This event will be made available on this page for future viewing.

More about the Director's Dialogue

Since 2006, the center's annual Director's Dialogues have explored social justice, identity politics, climate change, and health care, among other issues, with such leading cultural and academic figures as Ann Hamilton, Wil Haygood, Kerry James Marshall, Paul D. Miller (aka DJ Spooky), Jason Moran, Anna Deavere Smith, Lynne Tillman, and Patricia Williams.

Kimberly Drew

Kimberly Drew | Photo courtesy of Kimberly Drew

Hanif Abdurraqib

Hanif Abdurraqib | Photo by Megan Leigh Barnard

Camae Ayewa (Moor Mother)

Camae Ayewa (Moor Mother) | Photo by Uv Lucas

Anaïs Duplan

Anaïs Duplan | Photo by Ally Caple

Rasheedah Phillips, Esq.

Rasheedah Phillips, Esq. | Photo by Gene Smirnov

About the speakers

Hanif Abdurraqib chevron-down chevron-up

Hanif Abdurraqib is a poet, essayist, and cultural critic from Columbus, Ohio. In 2021, he became a MacArthur Fellow. His poetry has been published in Muzzle, Vinyl, PEN American, and various other journals. His essays and music criticism have been published in FADER, Pitchfork, New Yorker, and New York Times. His first full-length poetry collection, The Crown Ain't Worth Much (Button Poetry, 2016) was named a finalist for the Eric Hoffer Book Prize and nominated for a Hurston-Wright Legacy Award. With Big Lucks, he released a limited-edition chapbook, Vintage Sadness, in summer 2017. His first collection of essays, They Can't Kill Us Until They Kill Us (Two Dollar Radio, 2017) was named a book of the year by Buzzfeed, Esquire, NPR, Oprah Magazine, Paste, CBC, Los Angeles Review, Pitchfork, and Chicago Tribune, among others. He released Go Ahead in the Rain: Notes to a Tribe Called Quest with University of Texas Press in February 2019. The book was a New York Times Bestseller, finalist for the Kirkus Prize, and longlisted for the National Book Award. His second collection of poems, A Fortune for Your Disaster (Tin House, 2019), won the 2020 Lenore Marshall Prize. In 2021, he released the book A Little Devil In America with Random House.

Anaïs Duplan chevron-down chevron-up

Anaïs Duplan is a trans poet, curator, and artist. He is the author of the book of essays Blackspace: On the Poetics of an Afrofuture (Black Ocean, 2020), the poetry collection Take This Stallion (Brooklyn Arts Press, 2016), and the chapbook Mount Carmel and the Blood of Parnassus (Monster House Press, 2017). His video works have been exhibited by Flux Factory, Daata Editions, the 13th Baltic Triennial in Lithuania, and the Institute of Contemporary Art in LA. As an independent curator, he has facilitated projects in Chicago, Boston, Santa Fe, and Reykjavík. He was a 2017–19 joint public programs fellow at the Museum of Modern Art and the Studio Museum in Harlem. In 2016, he founded the Center for Afrofuturist Studies, an artist residency program for artists of color, based at Iowa City’s artist-run organization Public Space One. Duplan was the guest editor for Poem-a-Day for June 2021.

Rasheedah Phillips chevron-down chevron-up

Rasheedah Phillips currently serves as the director of housing at PolicyLink, a national research and action institute dedicated to advancing racial and economic equity. Phillips previously served as managing attorney of housing policy at Community Legal Services of Philadelphia. Phillips began a career at CLS in 2008 in the Community Economic Development Unit, providing legal advice, representation, and engaging in community lawyering on behalf of small childcare for profit and nonprofit organizations. Phillips has trained on racial justice and housing law issues and skills throughout the country, previously serving as the senior advocate resources and training attorney at Shriver Center on Poverty Law. Phillips is the recipient of the 2017 National Housing Law Project Housing Justice Award, the 2017 City & State Pennsylvania 40 Under 40 Rising Star Award, the 2018 Temple University Black Law Student Association Alumni Award, the 2018 CLS Equal Justice Award, and the 2019 Barristers Association of Philadelphia Outstanding Young Attorney Award. Phillips is also a 2021 PolicyLink Ambassador for Health Equity, 2016 Shriver Center’s Racial Justice Institute Fellow, 2018 Atlantic Fellow for Racial Equity, 2020 Givelber Distinguished Public Interest Lecturer, and recently awarded a research fellowship with Vera List Center for Art and Politics at the New School.

Camae Ayewa (Moor Mother) chevron-down chevron-up

Camae Ayewa (Moor Mother) is a national and international touring musician, poet, visual artist, and workshop facilitator and has performed at numerous festivals, colleges, galleries, and museums around the world, sharing the stage with King Britt, Roscoe Mitchell, Claudia Rankine, Bell Hooks, and more. Camae is a vocalist in three collaborative performance groups: Irreversible Entanglements, MoorJewelry and 700bliss.

Kimberly Drew chevron-down chevron-up

Kimberly Drew received her BA from Smith College in Art History and African-American Studies. She first experienced the art world as an intern in the director’s office of The Studio Museum in Harlem. Her time at the Studio Museum inspired her to start the Tumblr blog Black Contemporary Art, sparking her interest in social media, and her success in both arenas lead to her becoming the social media manager at The Met.

Drew’s writing has appeared in Vogue, Glamour, and Vanity Fair and she has executed Instagram takeovers for Prada, The White House, and Instagram. She is the author of international bestseller This Is What I Know About Art and Black Futures and the host of Hulu’s Your Attention Please podcast, as well as her personal web series, Black Power Lunch Hour.

American Electric Power Foundation

Ingram-White Castle Foundation
Ohio Arts Council
Martha Holden Jennings Foundation
State Farm
Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation
Karen Bell and Ben Maiden
Barb and Al Siemer
Chalmers P. Wylie VA Ambulatory Care Center

The Wexner Family
Greater Columbus Arts Council
The Columbus Foundation
Ohio Arts Council
American Electric Power Foundation
L Brands Foundation
Adam Flatto
Mary and C. Robert Kidder
Bill and Sheila Lambert
Institute of Museum and Library Services
Nationwide Foundation
Vorys, Sater, Seymour, and Pease
Arlene and Michael Weiss

Mike and Paige Crane
Pete Scantland
Axium Packaging
Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams
President Kristina M. Johnson and Mrs. Veronica Meinhard
Nancy Kramer
Lisa Barton
Johanna DeStefano
Russell and Joyce Gertmenian
Liza Kessler and Greg Henchel
Ron and Ann Pizzuti
Joyce and Chuck Shenk
Bruce and Joy Soll
Clark and Sandra Swanson
Jones Day


Past Talks & More