Rasheedah Phillips, Esq. will open this year’s DLF Forum with an exciting keynote talk (title TBD) on community-driven documentation, cultural memory and conceptions of time, and the potential of digital libraries to support and be shaped by marginalized people’s work to imagine alternate futures. Phillips will draw on her practical perspectives and experiences as a public interest attorney and activist, working against forces of gentrification and eminent domain in North Philadelphia — and on her conceptual ones, as an artist, science fiction writer, and co-founder of a community center designed around principles of Afrofuturism and Black Quantum Futurism.
Phillips is a 2008 graduate of Temple University’s Beasley School of Law. She serves as managing attorney for the housing unit at Community Legal Services of Philadelphia and Creative Director of an arts-based grassroots organization called The Afrofuturist Affair, which she founded in 2011. As part of the Black Quantum Futurism collective, she collaborated with Camae Ayewa (who tours and performs as Moor Mother) to found and direct the Community Futures Lab. That work, originally supported by a Blade of Grass fellowship for a community archives project on “Time & Memory in North Philly,” is outlined here:
Phillips and Ayewa describe the lab as a “community gallery, resource and zine library, workshop space, recording booth, and time capsule recording oral histories/futures in North Philly.”
Rasheedah Phillips is author (among other works) of the “Future” entry in Keywords for Radicals: the Contested Vocabulary of Late-Capitalist Struggle, and she serves on the Board of Directors of the Friends of the Free Library of Philadelphia. Read her full bio here.