Common Ground Alliance - Art & Healing Space

Common Ground Alliance (CGA) is a grant funded initiative that works with all the cultural and resource centers to develop social justice action plans, provide a space of intersectional understanding and facilitate dialogue on the multitude of identities that students bring to their college experience. This year, all of our work is focusing on an arts and healing perspective.

CGA has three major components: a retreat with all the cultural and resource centers, Queer Trans People of Color + 2 Spirit Discussion Group, and Outspoken. The CGA retreat happens at the beginning of the year and both undergraduate student workers and graduate assistants from each of the cultural centers were invited to attend. The retreat is structured so that students can have conversations about their identities and their struggles at the university. Ultimately this retreat allows student groups and cultural centers and organizations to work together to address issues that impact them and their communities. This year’s retreat provided students with poetry writing workshops, button making, and dance workshops. Students created community with each other through shared experiences and understood their identities and narratives at a critical level.

The second component of CGA is intersectional programming through two student facilitated groups -- Outspoken, a spoken word poetry group and Queer Trans People of Color +Two Spirited Discussion Group. These groups are led by undergraduate student Lex Salas, and graduate student Souksavanh Keovorabouth. Outspoken events allow students the opportunity to talk about their different identities through spoken word workshops. On November 17th at 3pm in Chavez 217, we are hosting a poetry workshop and performance with Toluwanimi Obiwole, a Nigerian poet, performer, and workshop facilitator based in Denver, Colorado. Similarly, QTPOC+Two Spirit, seeks to bring together students to talk about race, gender, and sexual orientation through art. Every Wednesday from 1:30 – 2:30pm we meet in Chavez 217G and create a space where students can talk about what it means to be queer at the university. This month, in honor of Native American Heritage Month, we have invited Sacred Grounds to provide beading sessions for students. Lastly, we will be screening Kiki, a documentary on the Black and Brown queer ball scene in New York City. All students are welcome to attend, the event will take place December 6th,  1:30 -3:30pm in Chavez 205.

If you are interested in learning more about these programs or have an idea for a program please email us at cncarvajal@emai.arizona.edu.