2019 SPEAKERS

Ericka Hart

A kinky, poly, cancer-warrior, activist, sexuality educator and performer with a Master’s of Education in Human Sexuality from Widener University, Ericka Hart has taught sexuality education for elementary aged youth to adults across New York City for the past 10  years. Her work in sexuality education was catalyzed by her service as a Peace Corps HIV/AIDs volunteer in Ethiopia from 2008-2010.

Diagnosed with bilateral breast cancer in May 2014 at the age of 28, she realized that neither her identity as a queer black woman, nor her sex life as a survivor, was featured prominently in her treatment.

Ericka is shifting ingrained cultural modes and attitudes on chronic illness and posits visibility as a sociopolitical stance, one vital to any radically inclusive progressive movement toward equity. From framing desire and pleasure as political to dismantling the ways that systemic patriarchy and anti-black standards of beauty affect our everyday lives, her work is part of a larger conversation on healing that forces us to see our institutions and systems of care as complicit in the perpetuation of illness in marginalized communities; unabashedly centering and sentient such that queer, trans black, brown and femme voices aren’t lost among the drone of scholarly research less skilled than Hart in bringing academia to the places it refuses to go.

Audiences around the world admire Ericka for her ability to use what has swelled to a cult following on social media among young QTPOC (Queer and Trans People of Color) cancer survivors, activists, artists, medical professionals alike to assert the personal as political and challenge anti-blackness everywhere it rears its head–from the front pages of magazines, runways to the university; white supremacist patriarchy does not stand a chance.

Pronouns: She/They.

Erika Totten

HEALER. ACTIVIST. FACILITATOR.

Erika Totten is a dynamic facilitator, trainer, activist, healer, spiritual life coach, and community builder from Washington, D.C. committed to the movement for Black liberation and the evolution of our collective consciousness. She is the founder and director of Unchained Visioning, a core member of Harriet's Apothecary Healer's Collective, and co-creator of Black Lives Matter: DC where she focuses on centering healing and visioning within activism.

 

From South Africa to Charlottesville, Erika creates and facilitates transformative healing spaces for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color of all

identities to process racial stress and trauma, and to experience embodied liberation & collective Joy, in the midst of dismantling systems of oppression. She is also a devoted wife and mother of two who organizes to build chosen families of health, restoration and radical love.

 

"I believe that if we can create whole communities that are authentically supported in being their highest Selves, we can shift entire generations." - Erika Totten

 

Erikaʼs commitment to Black liberation has garnered international attention, including Al Jazeeraʼs America Tonight, The Washington Post, CNN's "The Disruptors," Essence Magazineʼs “Black Lives Matter” Issue February 2015, sharing panels with activist and scholar Angela Davis, Washington City Paperʼs “People Issue”, Sojournerʼs Magazine, Truth-Out, discussing the controversy of Beyonce's Super Bowl Half-Time show on CNN and the award winning television feature “Fist Up, Fight Back” for Al Jazeera America. Erika is a soul-stirring speaker who has given keynotes, facilitated workshops, and spoken on panels at universities including Georgetown University, Duke University, American University, and Howard University, among others. She has also been a featured speaker at several national conferences for Amnesty International, Roots Camp, The American Anthropological Association, Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy, and more.

 

Her Washington, D.C. based practice, Unchained Visioning, exists to support the collective healing and liberation of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color all over the world through identifying and unlocking the mental, emotional and spiritual chains that hinder us from being exactly who we were uniquely designed to be. Through individual coaching sessions, workshops, retreats, healing villages, and Emotional Emancipation Circles, Erika focuses on breaking the chains of internalized oppression, self- hatred, anger, perfectionism, feelings of unworthiness and inadequacy, multigenerational trauma, self- limiting beliefs, fear, rejection, silence, abandonment, denial, shame, guilt, and judgment. Guided by the principle of self-determination, she teaches the importance of visioning, creating the time to heal, learning and practicing essential emotional wellness skills, and intentionally detoxifying our minds and spirits by replacing the lies weʼve been fed with the truths of who we really are.

 

"I believe that each of us are Divine expressions of the Creator on this earth and everything that God/Spirit/Universe/Source is, we already are." - Erika Totten

Dalychia Saah LMSW

How is it that white men systematically raped black women and faced no penalty but then lynched so many black boys and men under the accusation of raping white women? Why did I grow up not seeing any public displays of affection in my African household?  Why was I acting fast and he just being a boy? Why was I told black people have rhythm and then chastised for dancing in a way that felt natural to my spirit? Why was I responsible for our chastity? Why was the horniness that came with my puberty not seen as lady like? Why is it that we're seen as hypersexual? That our men are reduced to a big penis, our women to big butts? Why do I feel shame when I orgasm? Are we being impacted from past trauma? How do we heal from this trauma? Do we love ourselves? Do we feel like there's something to love? Do we love one another? What is love? 

These are some of the questions that have always weighed heavy on my heart but for so long I shied away from talking about sex. I felt like discussing sexuality was a luxury granted only to white and privileged people. Because when Blacks as a global community are struggling with hunger, financial stability, constant violence, just trying to survive; who has the time or energy to sit around and talk about sex? But then somewhere, rereading Audre Lorde, I'm sure, I began to see the connections between systematic change and individual liberation. How if this constructed White supremacist system was built and continues to operate on the denial of our humanity and exploitation of our Black bodies, then reclaiming our bodies is pivotal in the destruction of it all. How immersing our bodies in feelings of pleasure and love is an act of rebellion in a system that only wants us to internalize & externalize self-hate. How having healthy relationships to self & other Blacks is to resist the anti-Black messages we consume on a consistent basis. If I commit these statements into truth, then sexual liberation is a key component to Black liberation despite this idea not being discussed enough.

For me, Afrosexology is an outlet to search for those answers to my questions concerning Black sexuality. To continue the work of those before me who brought Black sexual politics to the forefront. To leap into my own journey of reclaiming my sexuality, body, and love in all its forms.  And to learn and teach to and from others along the way with a deep desire for healing and liberation.

Other things about me: I’m a first-generation Liberian American, I think Spongebob is one of the funniest cartoons ever created, I have a Masters in Social Work, I almost only eat spicy foods, and I love a good trap beat. 

Afrosexology

Meet Dalychia 

How is it that white men systematically raped black women and faced no penalty but then lynched so many black boys and men under the accusation of raping white women? Why did I grow up not seeing any public displays of affection in my African household?  Why was I acting fast and he just being a boy? Why was I told black people have rhythm and then chastised for dancing in a way that felt natural to my spirit? Why was I responsible for our chastity? Why was the horniness that came with my puberty not seen as lady like? Why is it that we're seen as hypersexual? That our men are reduced to a big penis, our women to big butts? Why do I feel shame when I orgasm? Are we being impacted from past trauma? How do we heal from this trauma? Do we love ourselves? Do we feel like there's something to love? Do we love one another? What is love? 

These are some of the questions that have always weighed heavy on my heart but for so long I shied away from talking about sex. I felt like discussing sexuality was a luxury granted only to white and privileged people. Because when Blacks as a global community are struggling with hunger, financial stability, constant violence, just trying to survive; who has the time or energy to sit around and talk about sex? But then somewhere, rereading Audre Lorde, I'm sure, I began to see the connections between systematic change and individual liberation. How if this constructed White supremacist system was built and continues to operate on the denial of our humanity and exploitation of our Black bodies, then reclaiming our bodies is pivotal in the destruction of it all. How immersing our bodies in feelings of pleasure and love is an act of rebellion in a system that only wants us to internalize & externalize self-hate. How having healthy relationships to self & other Blacks is to resist the anti-Black messages we consume on a consistent basis. If I commit these statements into truth, then sexual liberation is a key component to Black liberation despite this idea not being discussed enough.

For me, Afrosexology is an outlet to search for those answers to my questions concerning Black sexuality. To continue the work of those before me who brought Black sexual politics to the forefront. To leap into my own journey of reclaiming my sexuality, body, and love in all its forms.  And to learn and teach to and from others along the way with a deep desire for healing and liberation.

Other things about me: I’m a first-generation Liberian American, I think Spongebob is one of the funniest cartoons ever created, I have a Masters in Social Work, I almost only eat spicy foods, and I love a good trap beat. 

Meet Rafaella 

Providing tools for healing in the Black community has always been the goal of my dedicated work. Originally, I thought that I would work exclusively in the field of Mental Wellness--alcohol and substance, depression, anxiety, trauma…

It was not until I fully faced my own experiences with sexual trauma that I realized the need and importance of addressing sexual violence, health, and development. I knew all of the statistics concerning childhood sexual abuse and adult sexual violence. But as I gained the courage to share my stories with others, I had the opportunity to hear their own. Many Black women that I knew, be it for months or years, had experienced the discomfort of an inappropriate touch, a kiss on the cheek that lasted one second too long, feeling that her voice was not loud enough to yell “STOP,” or knowing that she did not have the physical strength to push someone off of her.  

What I found even more interesting was the pattern of relationships and sexual experiences that these women were having in adulthood. There was an entire spectrum of what being a survivor of abuse and violence looked and felt like; it was beautifully diverse. This discovery empowered my voice and passion to find and understand my sexuality outside of unwanted experiences, to know that I deserve fulfillment and pleasure, to be honest with myself and others, to break away from societal expectations as a Black woman and reclaim a position of self-empowerment, and to enter a brave space that encourages stories that heal and inspire.

Afrosexology—we are here: to discuss and discover Black sexuality, relationships, identity; to dismantle oppression; to claim our bodies as unique, progressive, and sexual beings; and, to be empowered and liberated!

Please reload

 
 
 

The symposium is open to anyone. We believe all people desire to freely express all relationships and diverse ways of interacting within relationships.   

Ruby B Johnson Founder and Organizer

PolyDallas Millennium LLC

2020 PolyDallas Millennium LLC

  • Facebook PolyDallas Millennium
  • Instagram PolyDallas Millennium
  • Twitter PolyDallas Millennium
  • Twitter BlackSexGeek

PROUD COALITION PARTNER SINCE 2016

COALITION PARTNER

COALITION PARTNER