YES! Fest is coming up on Oct. 7-8, and I want to share some more details about the program for the second day. After hearing from Vandana Shiva, David Korten, Sarah van Gelder, adrienne maree brown, and Fania Davis on Day 1, we have another fabulous lineup for Day 2 on Friday, Oct. 8. (Find an outline of the schedule for both days here.)
To kick it off, join our editors for an “Ask YES! Anything” panel. Bring your questions for editorial director Sunnivie Brydum, new racial justice editor Sonali Kolhatkar, environmental editor Breanna Draxler, and senior editor Chris Winters, who covers politics and economics. They’ll answer questions and talk about the work they’re most excited about in the coming year. The panel will be moderated by YES! board member Manolia Charlotin, co-founder of Press On, a collective that supports journalism by and for communities advancing transformative social change.
Next, Sonali will moderate an incredible panel on the theme of transformative justice, which rejects police and prisons in favor of community-based models of safety and accountability. Practiced by Black, Indigenous, and other marginalized communities for generations, it gained traction during last year’s racial justice uprisings. Calls to defund the police were part of a broader push to reinvest in communities and reimagine public safety. Together we’ll explore what this looks like in practice. Sonali will be joined by Amanda Alexander, executive director of the Detroit Justice Center, Mariah Parker, county commissioner of Athens-Clarke County, Georgia, elected on a platform of criminal justice reform, Dallas Goldtooth, an organizer with the Indigenous Environmental Network supporting Indigenous communities fighting fossil fuel extraction, and the Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis, co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign.
Finally, I’ll sit down with Alicia Garza, Principal at Black Futures Lab and co-founder of the Black Lives Matter Global Network. We’ll discuss what she’s learned as an organizer about how diverse groups of people, communities, and organizations can build power for transformative change, and other ideas from her book, The Purpose of Power: How We Come Together When We Fall Apart. (Bonus: Your registration for YES! Fest includes a special 40% discount on this book). I can’t wait for our conversation!
In between our main sessions on both days, we’ll be treated to performances from some of our favorite national recording artists and poets, including Brett Dennen, Dar Williams, Raye Zaragoza, Chris Pierce, Mollywop!, Taíni Asili, and Tawana Petty.
You’ll also get to meet more of the people behind YES!, have the chance to win prizes (including an electric bike!), and learn about the work we have planned for the future and how you can support it.
YES! reader, I hope you’ll join me for what’s sure to be an inspiring two days.
Zenobia Jeffries Warfield
YES! Executive Editor
P.S. Reserve your spot now to join us at YES! Fest.
Zenobia Jeffries Warfield is the former executive editor at YES!, where she directed editorial coverage for YES! Magazine, YES! Media’s editorial partnerships, and served as chair of the YES! Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee. A Detroit native, Zenobia is an award-winning journalist who joined YES! in 2016 to build and grow YES!’s racial justice beat, and continues to write columns on racial justice. In addition to writing and editing, she has produced, directed, and edited a variety of short documentaries spotlighting community movements to international democracy. Zenobia earned a BA in Mass Communication from Rochester College in Rochester, Michigan, and an MA in Communication with an emphasis in media studies from Wayne State University in Detroit. Zenobia has also taught the college course “The Effects of Media on Social Justice,” as an adjunct professor in Detroit. Zenobia is a member of NABJ, SABJ, SPJ, and the Ida B. Wells Society for Investigative Reporting. She lives in Seattle, and speaks English and AAVE.