Anyka Barber is founder, director and curator of Betti Ono gallery in Oakland, California.
We reached out to Anyka in response to Betti Ono’s fundraiser to power arts, culture, and community resilience. Contribute at https://bettiono.com/donate/.
Betti Ono is an experimentally minded space for art + culture + community. They are 100% Black women led and operated, dedicated to amplifying the work and voices of under-represented artists. Their vision and creative practice embody the bold, curious and unapologetic spirit of the gallery’s name-sakes Betti Mabry Davis and Yoko Ono. At Betti Ono, making art is a function of activism, community transformation, and cultural resilience.
Born and raised in Oakland, California Anyka Barber is a mother, an artist/activist, curator and entrepreneur. In 2010 Anyka founded Betti Ono, a creative social enterprise and center for arts, culture, and community committed to the cultural, social, political and economic emancipation and development of low-income, immigrant, and LGBTQ communities of color. In her role as director and curator of Betti Ono, she has curated and produced more than 60 exhibitions and public programs, as well as designed and integrated art, enterprise and social impact strategy to leverage creative capital, cultural products, and networks for good. She was most recently Director of Engagement and the Center for Audience and Civic Engagement at the Oakland Museum leading the museum’s signature education and public programs teams. She was Program Officer and Fellow at The San Francisco Foundation working with the Anchoring Communities/Place team to activate more than $10M in investments to preserve the racial and cultural identity of the Bay Area, prevent the displacement of low-income and communities of color and bring greater racial and economic equity to the region.
Behind the scene, Anyka is committed to strengthening the Bay Area arts community as an arts advocate and advisor. In June 2015, Anyka initiated the formation and design of a grassroots arts action and advocacy body, the Oakland Creative Neighborhoods Coalition, whose mission is to “#KeepOaklandCreative, affordable and vibrant!” Anyka was named Most Socially Engaged Curator in 2015 and Betti Ono was nominated and voted ‘Best of the East Bay’ for the past five consecutive years 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015 and 2014 by East Bay Express.
Here are several podcasts where you can learn about regenerative culture practices. We are looking to add podcasts to this list that are in other languages and not centered in the U.S. Please get in touch if you have recommendations.
All My Relations: Hosted by Matika Wilbur (Swinomish and Tulalip) and Adrienne Keene (Cherokee Nation). “A podcast to discuss our relationships as Native peoples—to land, ancestors, and to each other.”
America Adapts with Doug Parsons. Particularly check out the episode called “Climate Change Podcasters Unite!”, which introduces several other climate change adapatation podcasts (practical solutions people are implementing as we face more storms and displacement, etc).
How to Survive the End of the World: Join Autumn Brown and adrienne maree brown, two sisters who share many identities, as writers, activists, facilitators, and inheritors of multiracial diasporic lineages, as well as a particular interest in the question of survival, as we embark on a podcast that delves into the practices we need as a community, to move through endings and to come out whole on the other side, whatever that might be.
The Permaculture Podcast with Scott Mann: A podcast dedicated to Permaculture education, sustainability, gardening, organic food, and resiliency.
Upstream: Unlearning everything you thought you knew about economics. Radical ideas and inspiring stories for a just transition to a more beautiful and equitable world
The Next System Project: an initiative of The Democracy Collaborative aimed at bold thinking and action to address the systemic challenges the United States faces now and in coming decades. Deep crises of economic inequality, racial injustice and climate change—to name but three—are upon us, and systemic problems require systemic solutions.
Forthcoming: Indigenous Regenerative Economy, co-hosted by David Karabelnikoff with support from the Healing and Reconciliation Institute.
words by Magenta Ceiba, photography by Alan Rockefeller and Magenta
This Friday I had the honor of representing Bloom Network to support the launch of the Decriminalize Nature initiative in Oakland, California.
The purpose of this ballot initiative is to decriminalize entheogenic plants, restore our root connection to nature, and improve human health and well-being. Decriminalize Nature refers to entheogenic plants, fungi, and natural sources (as defined herein), such as mushrooms, cacti, iboga containing plants and /or extracted combinations of plants similar to Ayahuasca; and limited to those containing the following types of compounds: indole amines, tryptamines, phenethylamines.
The event featured speakers, letter writing, button-making, screen-printing, delicious food and more. The vibe at the start of the event was nothing short of holy. The experiences people have had with these natural psychedelic substances have been profound and life-changing, and we all care about, in the words of Dr. Mellody Hayes, “increasing the access and availability of healing to all people.” It was a gathering of grassroots community coming together to have these relationships with nature.
Subsequent events in the coming months will continue the momentum so be sure to check them out if you’re in the area. This is one of several related initiatives happening in the U.S. at this time. Denver, Colorado and Oregon both have ballot initiatives up to decriminalize psychedelic mushrooms.
When I arrived, I learned that two of the authors of this initiative met at HiveMind, an event produced by Bloom Bay Area between 2012-2014. (You can attend the new version of this event, Pollination, in August in SF!) It was a beautiful reminder of how deep of relationships and impacts have formed over the years of our local chapter events. Once the connections form, look what flowers!
Speaker highlights included: talented artist Chor Boogie talking about his emergence from his first Iboga ceremony after plunging into a heroine relapse, and loving his life again; and Ryan Miller of Educating Veterans About Cannabis urging folks to prioritize vulnerable communities in access to medicine ceremonies, perhaps by people paying more for their seat so that someone who can’t afford it can receive one.
I had the pleasure of speaking with David Karabelnikoff, an Alaskan Aleut living in the Bay Area, who is co-producing a forthcoming podcast about indigenous regenerative economy, as well as the second annual NDGNS Hackathon of artists. He told me something about tobacco that I’d like to pass along. Native peoples are taught to work with tobacco for prayer, in connection with the Earth. He described that the way Americans use it is that they think about their worries and things they’re stressed out about it when they’re smoking, thereby sending those prayers to spirit – literally the opposite of traditional teachings.
Larry Norris, co-founder of ERIE – Entheogenic, Research, Integration and Education, and myself silk-screened shirts together advertising the initiative. We did about 30 shirts. It was the first time either of us had done silk-screening, so we learned how and had a blast in the process. Larry was part of our local Bloom (then Evolver) organizing crew around 2012, so it was a pleasure to be together making art for a great cause.
Lastly, do you know about 920, Global Magic Mushroom Day???!!!!!?!?!?! Check it out, 920 Coalition. I have met the most wonderful people at events around it.
It was a gift to support the launch of the Decriminalize Nature initiative. I hope you’ll also support it or pick up the torch on related initiatives in your cities and states/provinces as they inevitably join the current.
Blockchain for Social Justice is a collective of social justice minded individuals from various sectors coming together to support the development of blockchain projects that serve the most vulnerable. They do developer training, community education, and project design consulting. Director Daisy Ozim will be a keynote speaker at Bloom’s Pollination conference in San Francisco, 2019.
They believe every blockchain project should be designed to uplift marginalized communities and eliminate the wealth gap, poverty, inter-generational trauma and promote true democracy within unfair institutions.
Cryptocurrency is a tool of economic sovereignty. In order to make sure it is used as such, efforts must be made to reclaim its purpose.
Their crew hosted a conference in San Francisco in 2018. Simulation did a series of video interviews with the presenters. Listening to these is a great way to find an introduction to what is going on in cryptocurrency and some of the most interesting social equity use cases of it. Here’s the first one with McKenzie Slaughter of Beyond Capital Markets. Watch the whole series here.
Lastly, check out the B4SJ resources page to support people in accessing the tools and knowledge necessary to engage in the blockchain ecosystem.
The growing online forum nesting on Facebook will land at Blessed Coast for a live interactive session allowing the opportunity to look a settler-colonialist identity in Canada. The ultimate goal being examined is how to support indigenous sovereignty for collective liberation.
Are you a settler? What does this identity imply? Together we will step into imagining what an accountable settler identity in Canada can look like moving forward in the future with collective liberation as our goal.
Sobey Wing is a founding member of Decolonize Consciousness, a board member with Kathara Pilipino Indigenous Arts Society Collective which is a co-organizer of the upcoming Babaylan Conference. He is also on the board of Youth Passageways and sits on a think tank on Cross-Cultural Protocols in relation to the contemporary rites of passage movement. His current dance culture involvement includes co-creation of the Full Moon Medicine in Unceded Coast Salish Territories lunar gatherings. Decolonize Consciousness workshops have taken place thus far at Imagine Gathering on Orcas Island & Village Building Convergence in Portland.
Taking place on Unceded Coast Salish Squamish Territory.