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Harmonies of Liberty: A Conversation with Tatyana Fazlalizadeh

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  • Edward St. John Learning and Teaching Center
A pink silhouette of Harriet Tubman imprinted with the lyrics of Lift Every Voice and Sing. To the right is the event title, Harmonies of Liberty

The Harriet Tubman Department of Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies presents “Harmonies of Liberty,” a conversation with artist and activist Tatyana Fazlalizadeh. We will also be joined by Ms.

Ernestine "Tina" Wyatt, Harriet Tubman's great-great-great grandniece, who will bring greetings on behalf of Tubman's descendants. Sunday, March 10, in the Edward St. John Teaching and Learning Center, The University of Maryland, College Park, Room 1309, and online, 3:00-5:00.

In-person and online registration required:

This year, our theme, “Harmonies of Liberty,” draws from James Weldon Johnson’s “Lift Every Voice and Sing.”

Lift every voice and sing,

Till earth and heaven ring,

Ring with harmonies of liberty

To call us together under the idea of “harmonies of liberty” is not an invocation to think the same thing or sing the same note. Time taken to commemorate Harriet Tubman is time spent re-envisioning communities and pathways to justice. We metaphorically draw on Black musical traditions that come alive on the downbeat, subvert the expected meter, and deliberately improvise in order to learn and teach each other how to walk out of time with the world (hostilities) around us. We come together to improvise the solutions we need and new ways of imagining ourselves.

This year, we think about alternative pathways to justice in conversation with Brooklyn-based artist Tatyana Fazlalizadeh. Fazlalizadeh is a Brooklyn-based artist who combines visual art and activism as an entry point to consider “how people, particularly women, queer folks, and Black and brown people, experience race and gender within their surrounding environments—from the sidewalk to retail stores, to the church, to the workplace.” In 2012, Tatyana Fazlalizadeh started her ongoing international series, "Stop Telling Women to Smile,” this project has traveled to multiple sites globally (e.g., Germany, France, Mexico), where she collaborates with local communities to rewrite spaces of harm. Fazlalizadeh’s work travels multiple terrains – including the African American Museum of History and Culture, serving as the Public Artist in Residence for the New York City Commission on Human Rights, as well as her artistic collaboration with Spike Lee on his Netflix Series, “She’s Gotta Have It.”

While at UMD, Fazlalizadeh will hold a workshop for student artists and activists, followed by her keynote, which begins at 3:00 p.m. For further information, please send inquiries to

WGSS wishes to thank Arts for All for their support.


Edward St. John Learning and Teaching Center

Located in Edward St. John Rm 1309


Harriet Tubman Department of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

For disability accommodations, please contact Elece Smith at

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