On April 30th, 2018 in Rialto, California, Kelly Fyffe-Marshall, Donisha Prendergast, Komi Olafimihan along with Ashlee Hutchinson were checking out of their AirBnB when they were surrounded by seven police officers and a helicopter. Moments before, an elderly white neighbour called 911 to report that she was witnessing 3 black people ‘stealing stuff’. On further investigation, she admitted she became suspicious when they didn’t wave. After being illegally detained, embarrassed, bullied and followed to their next destination, they decided to take to social media. Days later it went viral and accumulated more than 5 million views. Every mainstream media company covered the story including CNN, BBC, Billboard, Teen Vogue, The New York Times and more.
Since experiencing this racial discrimination and its parallel in the system’s response of biased and excessive force, Donisha, Kelly and Komi have became creative with their own response. They have decided as a united front to take a stand. We have formed a campaign called ‘We Have The Right To Be Right’. We will use this platform to create change, express the ultimate feelings of a ComeUnity as well as using it to educate, inspire, motivate and generate emotional insight into hard conversations. Using our collaborative backgrounds in social justice, advocacy, film, poetry and visual art we will the output of the campaign will be through multiple streams of art and educational initiatives.
We cannot remove ourselves from situations that continue to implicate our brothers and sisters in a spiritual, physical, emotional and psychological war. It is the inaction of those who could have and didn’t that has left our world in the state it is today. Our blood is shared, so are our joys and pains. We are living amidst systems of thought that perpetuate a state of subconscious trauma and division. Arrogance, fear & suspicion instigate decisions and circumstances of irreparable damage.
As humans we feel compelled to use our art as a response to what is happening in the world. Especially as we have the Response -Ability.
Komi Olaf (Nigerian,1985) is a visual artist, poet and architectural designer who is best known for his ability to represent, both visually and poetically, the complexities of the world and generation he finds himself within. In recent years, Komi’s art has been shaped by a cultural and artistic movement known as Afrofuturism, which explores African and African diasporic cultures in intersection with technology.
Donisha Prendergast was born in Jamaica, but considers herself a world citizen. Her vibrant talent spans many disciplines – acting, directing, writing, alternative curriculum building, motivational speaking, social organizing, public
advocacy and more. With a background in theater, film production and social work, she engages the act of community building from the perspective of actively writing and righting
one’s story. Her unorthodox approach to living and creating allows her to use her Art as a tool for governance, and her voice as a platform to give insight into the diversity of the human existence beyond what the physical eyes can see.
Kelly Fyffe-Marshall, born in London, England, of Jamaican descent is a social activist through film, a self titled Afro Diasporic Impact Director and Writer.
Kelly has directed music videos, web series episodes and short films in Canada. With her expanse experience Kelly has also been invited to be a juror for the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television as well as many film festivals. In November 2018 Kelly spoke at TEDx Youth Toronto with a speech entitled “Make Ripples Where You Are” speaking on making change in the world.Her most recent work includes her award-winning short film Haven (18), which premiered at SXSW. Kelly’s passion for community development, leaves every project she touches impactful. She uses film to change perspectives and share powerful stories.
Yvonne Stanley of Elevated Vision
Elevated Vision originally started as a design agency but now focuses on creative methods to empower people around the world through art, programs promoting consciousness, and more. Their mission is to create happier and healthier lives through creative mindful teachings.
Yvonne is a creative director, international photographer, art activist, and public speaker. Her professional work can be found everywhere from Vanity Fair to your local supermarket and other published material around the world.
Shacquille Henry, born and raised in Tivoli Gardens, Kingston, Jamaica which is known to be one of Jamaica's top political stronghold. In 2015 he started Faces of Tivoli Gardens in response to a cause, an electrical fire that destroyed an entire apartment complex which leaves 14 families homeless including his self just as he was about to start university. FOTG main aim is to rebrand the negative image and stigma associated with the community he called home ”Tivoli Gardens”. At the age of 13 years old he started working with Direct Shoot Edit Jamaica, who taught him that “determination will result in good success” he took those words very keenly. With my four (4) years experience with DSE media I Shacquille has worked alongside numbers of productions set from: Mission Catwalk, Digicel Advertisement, Music Videos, and Dub-Sessions. Shacquille's a certified Electrical Engineer. “Never let where you come from determined your destination or future”.
Ashley Gill Jeremy Syrop Justice McKenzie
Raven Gordon Asia Clarke Fab C