SANKOFA (Screening & Panel Discussion)

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Sankofa – Film Screening & Panel Discussion

Sunday, February 20 & Monday, February 21

Ava DuVernay’s Peabody Award-winning multi-platform arts and social impact collective ARRAY announced a global screening series event titled 28 DAYS OF SANKOFA. Select cinemas, universities and festival locations in the US will screen Ethiopian filmmaker Haile Gerima’s celebrated film SANKOFA throughout the month of February as a part of Black History Month.

Sankofa has been described as “unashamedly Afrocentric and proud… artistic, challenging and essential” and “an unrelenting but never exploitative portrayal of the great slave diaspora of the 18th and 19th centuries” by Letterboxd. This is a free screening of the recently restored and highly lauded and moving film, originally released in 1993.


(124 min) US / Ghana / Burkina Faso / UK / Germany, Language: English
Dir. Haile Gerima

Taking viewers on a journey back in time, SANKOFA – written and directed by Ethiopian-born filmmaker Haile Gerima – tells the story of an African American fashion model named Mona who goes on a spiritual journey of resistance to confront her past. Originally released in 1193, Gerima introduces Mona as a model posing for sultry photos in front of Elmina Slave Castle on the coast of Ghana, without any awareness of the depth of the historical tragedy that took place there. An angry encounter with a local griot sends her on a transcendental journey back through time where she emerges as Shola, an enslaved woman on a plantation somewhere in the Americas. Mona, now Shola, is faced with the choice of continued abuse or fighting back.

Panel Discussion: Sankofa Film & Black Emancipation

6:30 p.m.  |  Monday, February 21  |  Facebook Live

Join the conversation on Facebook Live where our guests will unpack the themes in the lauded 1993 film Sankofa. The conversation will address Black emancipation then and in the 21st Century.

Special Guests:  Shana Chivon, Dr. Bobby Berry, and Dr. Robert E. Weems, Jr.

Share Facebook events: Film Screening and Panel Discussion.

** Learn more about the Sankofa Learning Companion for additional resources to read before and after the film. **

DECOLONIZATION IS THE BEGINNING OF LIBERATION. That thought is how Shana Chivon begins most conversations about the work that she has been led to do. Born in Washington, D.C., she was raised surrounded by beautiful Black people, experiences and a culture that planted seeds of self love and pride in her Blackness that many desire to suppress through the systems of colonization, imperialism and white supremacy. After experiencing multiple situations where she was asked to put who she is, and how she identifies on a back burner while living and laboring in various fields, she realized that it was her purpose to first liberate herself through the process of decolonization and then, like our ancestor Harriet Tubman, go back to also liberate others. Shana Chivon is a writer, content creator on Patreon and a Womanist, in practice and theology. She has spent countless hours doing the work to decolonize (and remove the lens of misogyny, homophobia and patriarchy) from her beliefs and identifies as a femme, queer, christian womxn. She is also an advocate for Wellness, both in the community and as a form of self-care. She is a Reiki Practitioner, an Emotional Emancipation Facilitator and is currently in Yoga Teacher Training to ensure that she brings wellness to communities that are typically left to the margins. Shana Chivon is also a sought-after speaker, voracious reader and creative. She is the founder of Be. Ye. Decolonized, a place that gives seekers an opportunity to access monthly webinars and a weekly podcast to aid them in the process of decolonizing their lives. She also hosts the Shana Chivon Social Justice Book Club, a book club that highlights and amplifies works by black, brown and indigenous authors who normally do not receive the attention of their white contemporaries. Shana Chivon strives to cultivate engaging environments for black people to grow and thrive by going beyond the love and light culture we live in towards a life of freedom and equity through liberation, education, self-care practices and literature.

Dr. Bobby Berry, Assistant Professor for the Department of Sport Management and the Assistant Dean of Diversity and Outreach for the College of Applied Studies. Bobby currently serves as a member of the First-Generation Coordinating Council for Wichita State University (WSU) and sits on the President’s Diversity Council (PDC). In addition to being the Vice President of the African American Faculty and Staff Association (AAFSA) and the Director of The Fuse, an outreach initiative for the College of Applied Studies. Dr. Berry currently co-chairs the University Equity Task Force, a faculty fellow and co-facilitator for Men of Excellence which is a support group for men of color on campus housed in The Office of Diversity and Inclusion (ODI). His passion is in alignment with his research interests of African American males and their experiences at a PWI, The impact of formal and informal mentoring between generations and identity and adaptation of student athletes. Bobby currently sits on the board for NAMI Wichita (National Alliance of Mental Illness), Urban Professionals, CORE (Community Operations Recovery Empowerment Inc), Impact Board for the Boys and Girls Club and is a Hero for the non-profit Real Men Real Heroes.

Dr. Robert E. Weems, Jr. has been WSU’s Willard W. Garvey Distinguished Professor of Business History since 2011. Professor Weems has published and spoken widely in the field African American business history. His publications in African American business history include five books and numerous articles and book chapters. He is also the creator of the “Wichita African American Business History Project,” consisting of thirty-two audio interviews, transcripts, and related historical artifacts housed in Wichita State University’s Ablah Library. Weems served as a historical consultant and appeared in the documentary Boss: The Black Experience in Business which premiered on PBS in April 2019. In June 2021, Professor Weems was the keynote speaker at a program sponsored by the regional banks of the U.S. Federal Reserve entitled “Racism and the Economy: Focus on Entrepreneurship.”