In February 2023, Learning Courage hosted our third annual virtual event. This year our theme was Hope, a word our team feels fuels our work in many ways. Hope gives us strength. Your hope allows you to move forward and it takes strength to tell your story, to stand up and speak out for change, to shift damaging cultural systems and dynamics that lead to harm, and to heal from sexual abuse and violence. This year our performers were inspired by our theme of hope and showed it through dance, poetry, song, spoken word, and images; several of them even created new pieces, especially for our event. One of our performers joins us as our host this year. Proclaimed as one of the “purest contemporary voices” by National Public Radio, Amikaeyla Gaston is a force for change. She is a nuanced thought-leader, author, public speaker, and performer, and MTV says “her sultry sound is like listening to velvet waterfalls.”
Babatunji Johnson joined us for a second year. Following over a decade of self-taught street performance starting at the age of 15, he has developed a unique approach to various styles of hip hop such as breakdance, popping, and krump. While cultivating his own movement language, Babatunji simultaneously trained in ballet, modern, and contemporary at Center Stage Dance Alliance in Hilo Hawaii. He works professionally with Alonzo King Lines Ballet in San Francisco and has toured with countless other companies around the world. Babatunji Johnson
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