The IU East Diversity Events Committee and the School of Social Work will host “An Evening with Reanae McNeal: Celebrating Native American History and Women’s History Month” from 6-8 p.m. on Thursday, March 8, in Vivian Auditorium.
A reception will be held prior to the lecture at 5:30 p.m. in Meijer Artway, located in Whitewater Hall. This event is free and open to the public.
McNeal, a Native American, is an award-winning performing artist, inspirational speaker, acclaimed vocalist, oral HERstorian, visual artist, storyteller, performing art poet and cultural activist. She is an honorary board member of the National Sexual Assault Resource Center and is the recipient of numerous national and international awards such as the NAACP Image Award, The Woman of Achievement Award, Women of A Stolen Legacy Award, The Peace Project Award, Black Treasure Award, National Women’s Studies Women of Color Caucus Essay Award, and The Dream Scholar Award.
McNeal has lectured extensively on how race, gender, and class issues play a role in the oppression of women, especially as it pertains to African American women, Indigenous women, and women of color. She researches and lectures on The International Council of Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers, African Native American women, and the interrelated histories of African Americans and Native Americans. Her use of stories, poetry, and song throughout her lectures make them powerfully thought provoking and emotionally stimulating.
She has been a featured guest on numerous radio stations such as National Pacifica News and Ebony Expressions speaking on simultaneous oppression and violence against women. In addition, Reanae has served as a powerful speaker on issues such as civil rights, human rights, international issues, health issues, environmental justice, land, and global women. She has toured extensively throughout the United States, Hungary, Russia, Italy, Bermuda, Barbados, and Canada.
McNeal’s specialty is storytelling in the African/African-American/African-Native American tradition. She plays over twenty African and Native American instruments. These instruments come from the countries of Turtle Island/United States, Ghana, Ethiopia, Kenya, South Africa, and Uganda.
Her acclaimed award-winning one-woman plays centered on the diversity of women’s lives have been featured nationally and internationally as testimonies to the endurance of women across social locations. These plays include Don’t Speak My Mother’s Name in Vain, Blues Women Don’t Wear No Shoes, And Still I Fly, and Blood at the Roots: African Native American Women as well as others.