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cultural work

Remember that your real job is that if you are free, you need to free somebody else. If you have some power, then your job is to empower somebody else.
— Toni Morrison

Ashleigh has presented content, personal narratives, and trainings on the body, antiblack violence, hoeism, and sociopolitical issues. Her cultural work includes education and interactive workshops on consent, fat hate/ shame, racial justice, body liberation, empowerment, and healing. She has also shared her personal narrative as a Black fat femme, as a trauma survivor, on the issues of antiblack misogyny and reproductive justice, with an analysis of popular culture and Black feminist thought.

From keynotes, panels, workshops, and interactive discussions, she has provided powerful insight and nuance to the world surrounding issues often erased and silenced. Some of the universities and centers that have invited Ashleigh to share her brilliance are New York University, University of Richmond, Pendle Hill Quaker Retreat, The Movement for Black Lives, and the City of Richmond.


Workshops & Trainings

The following are some featured workshops and trainings Ashleigh has done at conferences and universities that specify on the topics of #BlackLivesMatter, dismantling antiblackness, fat body politics, trauma survival, and popular culture/ media studies.


#BlackLivesMatter: Our Survival Affirms Your Liberation

This workshop provides the tools and platform for open dialogue around why centering Black identities and Blackness as a political ideology at the margins of your organizing and political work is imperative for any form of liberation and justice. Anti-Blackness is rooted in all forms of discrimination and violence; including racism, sexism, transphobia, queerphobia, classism, body politics, xenophobia, and ableism. This is an interactive training with take-home material that goes over how to shift modalities to center Black identities and Blackness at the heart of your politicization and political work.

Who We Fuck Is Political: Desire Mapping & Decolonizing Beauty Standards

In understanding the politics of our desire and attraction, mapping who and what we seek in relationships, intimacies, and love are constructed by our environments, identities, navigation, and access to power. This workshop will allow for us to individually explore and further dissect our desire for others and our navigation in being desired by others. Using interactive exercises, pop culture/ media, and bringing our internalized beauty mythologies and desire politics forth - participants will walk away with the understanding of how their desire may have been constructed through pervasive beauty standards, marginalization of their own identities, and internalization of hierarchies of worthiness. Desire mapping will look at how race, gender, sexuality, class, size, ability, accessibility, environment, presentation, and performance all play a part in who we seek to engage with romantically, sexually, or intimately.



What's Ratchet?: Decolonizing Pop Culture & Antiblack Media

White supremacist media messaging and systematic violence target and harm Black girls, femmes, queers, and gender oppressed folks. The emergence of #BlackGirlMagic. #BlackQueerMagic, and #BlackLivesMatter have challenged the false and disparaging narratives and ideologies that harm us. These hashtags have grown from being individual self identification tools and evolved into a global movement for empowerment. This caucus will bring together an intergenerational Black audience filled with Black girls, femmes, queers, and gender oppressed people to inspire each other, and cultivate collective growth and empowerment. We will use popular culture events and use media examples to discuss, digest, and decolonize.