Skip to main content
Loading Events

« All Events

Embracing Our Roots: Rooted and Rising, April 20

April 20 @ 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Event speakers Seitu Ken Jones and Soyini Vinelle Guyton; Rekhet and Anura Si-Asar

Seitu Ken Jones & Soyini Vinelle Guyton in conversation with Anura & Rekhet Si-Asar

An African proverb says “if you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” This Embracing our Roots event will focus on two couples: Arts giants Seitu Ken Jones & Soyini Vinelle Guyton with next generation couple, Anura & Rekhet Si-Asar. They will engage in a wide-ranging conversation on family, community, and the ways they work and walk together. The conversation will center on couplehood, familyhood, and community. They will also speak on how those influences impact their professional work as artists and arts leaders, and how they curate space to build and hold community. The event will include poetry and sharing of some of the art that has beautified, reflected, and uplifted our communities over the years.

Please register to attend. This is an in-person event.

Register for April 20

About the series

Embracing Our Roots: Rooted and Rising is a conversation series that reaches back into the history of Minnesota’s African American arts community to pass this knowledge along to the new generation of ascending leaders. The series features Elders and Culture Bearers who engage with young leaders to discuss significant milestones in Minnesota’s Black arts history and the impact that the artists and movements have had on our present-day capacity to survive the storms and keep creating. Embracing Our Roots is a collaboration with More Than a Single Story, In Black Ink, and the Givens Collection of African American Literature and Life. Funded by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

About the speakers

Seitu Ken Jones and Soyini Vinelle Guyton

Seitu Ken Jones is a multidisciplinary artist, advocate and maker, and a 4th generation Minnesotan. His 30-year collaboration with his wife Soyini Vinelle Guyton includes co-created sculptural installations that inspire and inform the viewer. Together and separately, they channel the spirit of radical social movements into experiences that foster critical conversations and nurture more just and vibrant communities from the soil up, and how and why they connect with land to connect with known relatives and unknown ancestors. Seitu has created over 40 public artworks across America, while Soyini’s poetry and prose has been published in collections for over 25 years. In collaboration with two other artists, Seitu and Soyini co-founded Frogtown Park and Farm, a 5.5-acre urban farm and 6-acre park in Saint Paul. Frogtown Farm epitomizes their belief that food, greenspace, nature, and trees should be accessible in all neighborhoods.

Rekhet and Anura Si-Asar

Anura and Rekhet Si-Asar are the co-founders of the Imhotep Science Academy and Initiatives, an African-centered K-8 educational STEM program that has existed for over 24 years. While in graduate school at the University of Minnesota, they founded Papyrus Publishing Inc., one of Minnesota’s first Black publishing organizations. Together, they were part of the that founded In Black Ink with a mission to develop publishing arts opportunities for African Heritage writers. Anura is an educator, publisher, and firefighter, and Rekhet is a recently retired School Psychologist who now leads In Black Ink as its Executive Director. Their work together has spanned several decades during which they have engaged and consulted with communities and organizations to change the academic and literary landscapes for Black children here in Minnesota. Usually you will see them and their children together, fulfilling their belief that community work is family work.


Elmer L. Andersen Library, Room 120
222 21st Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN, 55455 United States
+ Google Map

© 2024 Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved. The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer.
Privacy Statement | Acceptable Use of IT Resources