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Tanya Shields and Kathy Perkins hold copies of "Help Me to Find My People"

A festival organized by Tanya Shields (left) and Kathy Perkins will feature a reading of a play based on the book, "Help Me to Find My People." (Photo by Alyssa LaFaro)

A year-long UNC project, “Telling our Stories of Home: Exploring and Celebrating Changing African and African Diaspora Communities,” was awarded a Humanities in the Public Square grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The project kicks off March 31-April 2 and April 6-8 with a festival featuring national and international scholars, activists and performers offering critical and artistic approaches to discourses on home. Most events take place at the Sonja Haynes Stone Center.

The project is led by Kathy Perkins, professor of dramatic art, and Tanya Shields, associate professor of women’s and gender studies.

War, globalization, gentrification, environmental catastrophe and incarceration offer layered meanings of “home” for women across the globe. Telling Our Stories of Home provides a platform for these women to engage in storytelling across national boundaries.

Activities include panel discussions, workshops, films and performances. Participants will address the following questions:

  • What is home in the lives of these women?
  • How is home shaped by exile, incarceration, war, stress, anxiety or climate change?
  • How do we belong to our homes, if our experiences have been erased, marginalized or misrepresented?

Humanities in the Public Square brings together humanities scholars and the public for dialogue on contemporary issues of concern to communities.

For more information, visit

Published in the Spring 2016 issue | The Scoop

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