Arts & Justice Curriculum

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Dé Bryant

The South Bend Arts and Justice Curriculum was created by Dr. Dé Bryant. Dr. Bryant is a professor of IUSB, whose research interest include developing and replicating arts-based models for community building and empowerment; creating psychological assessment tools sensitive to differences caused by race, gender, and class inequities; and establishing university-community partnerships to bring about social justice."


She is also a community psychologist who founded the Social Action Project and expanded it into neighborhoods in Michigan, Nigeria, Rwanda & South Africa. You can find her personal homepage here. 

Art Curator

Pam Blair

Pam Blair, currently residing in South Bend, IN, was born and raised in Elkhart, Indiana. Born artist, she is mother to one son Langston, a cancer survivor, visual artist, DJ, singer, spoken word Poetess, and has deep roots of leadership involvement in racial reconciliation. She currently works at the University of Notre Dame as Program for The Kroc Institute for International Studies. She is a recipient of The Michiana’s Women Leaders Award 2019 and is a graduate of the Women Entrepreneurship Initiative (WEI) Spark Program. She is the founder of The Poetry Den that began its roots in the South Bend area in 2012. One true healing journey for Pam is documented in the writings of her poetry. In admiration of some local phenomenal poets who encouraged and inspired her, she too was driven to create spaces where others could do the same with their hidden and unexposed artistry.


Pam’s motto is to I.P.M.C: Inspire, Provoke, Motivate to Create.



South Bend BLM hosted a series of five podcasts for individuals interested in exploring the current movement for racial justice through the lens of Arts and Justice. Episodes took place every two weeks on Wednesday from 6:00-7:30PM and explored a facet of social justice through a discussion of art, centered around a particular theme. Each episode included a lecture and interactive Q&A section, and featured art local to South Bend.

RSVP here to receive emails the day of each podcast to receive Zoom links to the episodes remind you to come and also include each episodes Zoom link.

“Today’s lynching is a felony charge. Today’s lynching is incarceration. Today’s lynch mobs are professionals. They have a badge; they have a law degree. A felony is a modern way of saying, ‘I’m going to hang you up and burn you.’ Once you get that F, you’re on fire.”
― Michelle Alexander, The New Jim Crow


Episode 1: Identity and Belonging

Lecture: Episode 1 discussed concepts of self, as imagined by various theories of personality development such as behaviorism, humanism, and Freudianism. 

Featured Art: The episode started off with Lil Baby's "The Bigger Picture," a song which explores the social-cognitive perspective of identity formation, in direct dialogue with the current #BlackLivesMatter movement.

Featured Local Art: Poet and visual artist Jean Carter shares a poem centered around the message: "I can't breathe."


Episode 2: Norms and Normality

Lecture: Episode 2 explored the idea of norms and normality, seeking to understand how and why there can be intergroup conflict, constant microaggressions against marginalized communities, and even colorism within communities of color.

Featured Art: The episode started off with Alicia Key's "The Underdog," a song which explores the idea of identity and feeling "unnormal."

Featured Local Art: Artist Jake Webster shares his poem "Black Aesthetics."

Featured Local Art: Singer Zachary Gillis sings an original song titled, "Change Gonna Come." 

Featured Local Art: Poet Pam Blair shares her original poem "The Black Woman."


Episode 3: Desire and Power

Lecture: Episode 3 discussed the narratives, meta-narratives, and counter narratives about racism, including various sociohistorical, ideological, individual, institutional, cultural and structural perspectives. 

Featured Local Art: A dancer from South Bend Layla Fowler shows exercises her artistic expression.

Featured Art: The episode started off with Beyoncé, Blue Ivy, and SAINt JHN, and Wizkid's "BROWN SKIN GIRL", a song which finds strength and power from loving one's own self.

Featured Reading: This reading list covers more resources about Pauli Murray, one of the subjects talked about in this week's curriculum.

Featured Local Art: Poet Shevlin Hughley shares her poem. 


Episode 4: Loss & Spirituality

Lecture: Episode 4 explored how world religions can be simultaneously be used as a tool of social control and racial oppression, as well as a method of resistance that gives individuals hope. 

Featured Art: The episode started off with Nissim Black's "Win," an anthem from a Black Jewish rapper. 

Featured Local Art: In a piece entitled "Real Peace," poet Beyond The Messenger, Theo Williams, explores the concept of peace, as informed by the constant struggle against racial injustice, and as mediated by faith. 


Episode 5: Loss & Recovery

Lecture: Episode 5 discussed the idea of stress, trauma, and "ambiguous loss." It then discussed pathways for individuals experiencing these things to recover, in the context of art.

Featured Art: The episode started off with watching a modern update to Marvin Gaye's 1971 hit "What's Going On." 

Featured Local Art: A variety of local visual artists—including Pam Blair, Aspyne Alix, Brock Rodman, Gabe Thompson, Jean Carter, and Jake Webster— created art for this week's theme. 

Featured Local Art: Poet Ollie Woods shares a poem.


Submitted Art Gallery

Interested in contributing to this virtual gallery? Please upload your art, using this link