Postgraduate Studies Fund for d'bi.

$36,829 of $75,000 goal

Raised by 136 people in 3 months

Good evening my dear family, friends and the villages that have raised me. I hope you are happy, healthy and inspired. It's been a long time communicating with you
25 years infact since I moved from the garrison town of Maxfield Avenue Kingston 13 to Toronto Canada at 15 years old and you have played such a crucial part in who I have grown to be and in who I am still still becoming.

Over the 25 years I have created poetry, theatre, and educational arts programs to challenge the absence of training spaces for Black, queer and POC artists As a student of Toronto's Fresh Arts Program, I have truly been raised by entire villages of people and you know who you are. And I have used my talents, skills, accolades, finances and public attention
to pour energy directly back into my communities. This is what I was taught to do as a responsible human being
and I love doing it :)

The Watah Theatre
Anitafrika Retreat Centre
D'bi & The 333 Afro-Dub-Fusion Band
d'bi.young anitafrika Professional Website
Books, Cds and Plays by d'bi.young anitafrika
Spolrusie Publishing - BIQTIPOC Micro Press
Anitafrika Method Research Project with Women's College Hospital in Toronto Canada

Total $75,000 CAD To Be Raised
The Breakdown - One Year Masters Program
$10,000 Food
$30,000 Tuition
$24,000 Housing
$2000 Ground Transportation
$3000 Airfare for three Return Trips
$6000 Housing-related costs (gas, internet, toiletries, personal products)

Winner of the KM Hunter Theatre Award 2010

You have supported me through it all; infact it would none of it would have been possible without your support. You supported my first ambitious project, Anitafrika Dub Theatre where I taught tuition-free year-long professional theatre residencies to artists such as Amanda Parris, Kim Katrin Milan, Liza Paul and Bahia Watson, volunteering my time to create and run the space.

You Village(s) have supported my most recentambitious project, The WatahTheatre which has trained scores of artists through its tuition-free and subsidised arts programs as well supporting artists such as Anique Jashoba Jordan, Babette B Burrell, Najla Nubyanluv, Tuku and Raven Dauda, volunteering to nurture this necessary institution.

Headline Performance at Dub Poetry Festival 2004

And you dear Village have supported my international initiative - the Yemoya International Artist Residency where I have mentored artists such as Che Kothari, Randell Adjei, Anthony Gebrehiwot, Titilope Sonuga, Mriga Kapadiya, Ngozi Paul and Machel Montano, to name a few. So many have benefitted from the support you have provided me with, dear Village. So many have grown through the Anitafrika Method
and now I am coming to you directly to help me, an artist, to grow.
d'bi.young anitafrika Performance Reel 2018

I am a playwright-performer, director-dramaturge and emerging scholar as well as a sole-parent mother of two Black boys and I dream of returning to school to study Feminist Black Performance and Generational Trauma
in the Black Body. I have created an autoethnograhic praxis called the Anitafrika Method which I have taught globally ( http://dbiyounganitafrika.com/the-anitafrika-method/) which I will be theorising at Goldsmiths, University of London in order to create new educational practices around self-actualization, creativity and leadership from a feminist, de-colonialist lens.

Could you help me? Feminist scholarship and Black queer feminist scholarship are crucial and incredibly under-funded and under-supported. I am having a very challenging time raising the money to go to school. If I don't raise the money, I will be unable to pursue this dream and so I am asking for your support.

The Sankofa Trilogy Trailer 2012

I need to raise $$75,000 Canadian Dollars
Can you PLEASE HELP ME by Donating to my funding campaign?

1.if you are able to contribute please do www.GoFundMe.com/dbimafund
< http://www.gofundme.com/dbimafund>
2.if you are able to spread the word please do - Flyer Attached
3.if you able to connect me with any Black and or feminsit group or any others who may be interested in supporting me please do
4.if you have or know of any events coming up who may want to book a queer Black, feminist poet-speaker, please pass on my email

Anitafrika Dub Theatre 2008-2010

Why I Want to Attend Goldsmiths:
For the past decade I have been diligently crafting  this framework, praxis,  method, and approach to artistic training and human development that is grounded in integrity, intersectionality, feminism, love and the awareness of the complexities of oppression and how we proliferate it. Hundreds of artists and people globally, have co-created the growth of the Anitafrika Method by participating in my national and international artist residencies through ongoing workshops at the Anitafrika Dub Theatre followed by Yemoya, then The Watah Theatre & School & now the Anitafrika Retreat Centre.

The Watah Theatre 2014-2018

Through all of these projects, I have provided primarily tuition-free professional development opportunites to young people who otherwise would not have had access to such training. I also founded the micro press, Spolrusie Publishing as an extension of my commitment to provide a platform for emerging artists to archive and canonise their works, despite the absence of publishing opportunities from mainstream houses. So far the press has produced three Drama anthologies, three books of poetry, two children's books, one book of photography and a deck of cards illustrating the Anitafrika Method. The world has indeed been my lab.

Poem for Michael Brown

I have been thinking deeply about trauma and the way trauma impacts our entire humanity, in fact our entire planet. Working with myself and artists over the past 20 years, the root that we always end up digging up is trauma. Trauma is generally defined as ‘a deeply disturbing and distressing physical, emotional, psychological, sexual, and or spiritual experience that impacts a person or group long after the traumatic incident or period.’ Where does this definition leave us all in this world of interconnected overlapping and intersecting systems of oppression? Are we all traumatized? And if we are all functioning from a place of trauma and don’t know it, how do we begin to heal? This is what I am interested in exploring, through theatre, through activism, through poetry and and through academia. I look at my entire body of creative work and I see an ongoing conversation about the impact of trauma on Black people and our possibilities to heal. Reflecting on the Anitafrika Method and it’s application as a mind-body healing modality, I see that there is a tremendous learning curve that the MA program can provide me with, regarding rooting the method in a practice-as-theory approach. I want to innerstand and further explore the theories around trauma and the Black body.

Anitafrika Method Arts Intervention in the Lives of Womxn Project 2015

Together in collaboration with Women’s Health in Women’s Hands Community Health Centre, I was funded in 2014 by Women’s Xchange through Women’s College Hospital to explore the effectiveness of The Anitafrika Method as a holistic arts­-based health intervention in the improvement of Black Womxn’s health, entitled the Black Womxn’s Sacred Health Research Project. The intent of the project was to promote optimal holistic (creative, physical, mental, emotional and spiritual) health services, resources and toolkits to Black and diverse womxn, by critically exploring innovative health education and advocacy through the development of the Anitafrika Method as ­ an arts informed health intervention. The  Research Question was to explore how engaging with an arts informed health intervention could positively influence the holistic embodiment of health for womxn of colour. Secondary to this, was to also explore how artistic engagement facilitates the development of agency around health within the broader community. The research was revealing of truths we already know regarding how crucial it is to continue to invest in decolonialist mind-body healing modalities such as the Anitafrika Method. To read more about the findings of the research visit The Arts-Based Intervention in the Lives of Black Womxn

Poetry Performance at the YWCA Awards Ceremony 2015

It is this desire to further develop the Anitafrika Method that takes me to Goldsmiths. I want to understand how to contextualize the Anitafrika Method in a World Theatres environment and how to theorise-into-practice the intersectional anti-oppression framework that I am cultivating. I want to dig deeper into exploring the relationship between intergenerational trauma and the Black body and I want to expand on healing practices for the traumatised Black body using the Anitafrika Method.

Why I need your support to do so:
Below are the costs involved in studying in London UK as an international student from September 2018-August 2019.

Total $75,000 CAD

The Breakdown 
$30,000 Tuition
$24,000 Housing
$10,000 Food
$6000 Housing-related costs (gas, internet, toiletries, personal products)
$3000 Airfare for three Return Trips
$2000 Ground Transportation

Studying as an international student means a doubled tuition fee plus everyday living costs. In addition to fundraising, I am researching applicable grants and applying for them. Your support means that I will be able to further my work and use it to continue contributing to the betterment of our planet. 

I intend to explore many questions during my postgraduate studies namely, How did we arrive here, as a people, as Black people, literally, spiritually, emotionally, figuratively? Where is here? Where are we in the global frame(work)? How far have we indeed come? How do I, we, trace the pain that we feel? Is it generational? Is it spiritual? Can theatre be a place to exorcise the contortions of self that I, we experience?  I have been asking these questions of myself, my community, the world, for as long as I can remember. I have amassed a comprehensive body of work that, upon closer inspection, reveals itself to be an ongoing exploration of how Black people have been affected by the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade and how we negotiate the trauma of post-colonialism when the 'post' is fictional.

Black Lives Matter by d'bi & the 333

Studying world theatrical traditions through a critical intersectional, anti-oppression, decolonialist lens is what I am seeking, in order to contextualize my work. I desire to be a part of a radical scholarly community who are committed to asking the questions and seeking solutions through creative collaborative analytical processes, grounded in storytelling, theatre and performance. I choose to study World Theatres at Goldsmiths, University of London, so that I can be exposed to multiple perspectives, aesthetics, politics and frames of reference in order to expand my own understanding of what is possible in this infinite space of theatre-making. I am also in search of mentors, guides, and teachers who are rigorous, disciplined and excellent. Being guided by the wisdom and eldership of the Head of The Department Professor Osita Okagbue , who himself specialises in African and Caribbean theatre as well as and the scholars of the Theatre and Performance Department of Goldsmiths, University of London, is a dream come true. Please help it to materialise into reality.

d'bi young anitafrika Keynote Performance at INK in association with TED, India

Finalist of the 2017 Ontario Premier Arts Awards for Theatre and Literature, d’bi.young anitafrika is one of 200 Canadian artists to receive a New Chapter Grant to produce her critically acclaimed environmental musical entitled Lukumi: A Dub Opera, which world premiered to critical acclaim in Fall 2017 at Tarragon Theatre in Toronto Canada. The winner of three Dora awards for plays Blood.claat and Mami Wata, which appeared in her first and second trilogies, anitafrika’s other awards include: Canadian Poet of Honor, YWCA Woman of Distinction in the Arts, Mayor’s Arts, Vital People, KM Hunter Theatre Award and The Golden Beret Award.

She is an internationally celebrated African-Jamaican dub poet, playwright-performer, arts-educator, and Founding Artistic Director of Watah Theatre, Anitafrika is also the instigator of Spolrusie Publishing, a unique micro press which publishes original works by Black and diverse creators. Toronto Leadership Lab Fellow alumni, anitafrika is the originator of the creative leadership praxis and intersectional liberation framework - the Anitafrika Method, which has been utilized by The Stephen Lewis Foundation, The Banff Centre, U of T, MaRS, Women’s College Hospital as well as other institutions globally.

The Watah Theatre by Paul Ohonsi

She is the published author of seven books, nine plays and seven dub albums and has toured her work nationally and internationally. Her most recent projects include 1. Completing her autobiography Memoir of an Ugly Duckling 2. Establishing the Anitafrika Retreat Centre in the mountain forests of Costa Rica where she teaches artists from all over the world 2. Producing Lukumi: A Dub Opera on large stages globally and 3. Travelling the world as a Keynote Speaker addressing issues of identity, gender, sexuality, divinity, the erotic, race, class and the human experience through her Anitafrika Method.

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Dear Village, it's d'bi connecting with you on a mid-week Wednesday. I hope you are happy, healthy and inspired. I recently was invited to be a Keynote Speaker at the Canadian Writers Summit, hosted at Harbourfront this year, and it was truly a magical exerience and a rite-of-passage. As I prepare for London, the Kenote allowed me to delve deeper into the creative and intellectual work I intend to do for postgrand. I thought I would share an excerpt from my speech with you, which is now doubling as my new Artist Statement. Enjoy!

P.S Dont' forget the upcoming Farewell Fundraiser Gala which is taking place on Tuesday June 26 at the Theatre Centre. Tickets are on sale now and are cheaper if you buy them in advance - bit.do/farewelldbi

Artist Statement
'My name is D’bi.Young Anitafrika and I am a performance artist who lives at the intersections of poetry, theatre, arts-education and scholarship. As a Black, queer, diasporic African-Jamaican-Canadian, middle-class, able-bodied, cis-gendered womxn-mother of two Black boys, my socio-cultural-political lens is feminist, intersectional, de-colonialist, anti-oppressive, and pan-Africanist.

My creative and intellectual endeavors embody these multiple locations. I experience myself as a whole being with human contradictions, juxtapositions and cognitive dissonances.The questions who am I? how am I? and what is my purpose? are central to my artistic process. I do not separate the art I create from the personal and societal contexts in which it exists. In fact my intention is to create art that disrupts, interrogates and disturbs my own, and society’s accepted norms of inequality, as these oppressions impact our perceptions of race, class, gender, sexuality and ability.

The Anitafrika Method, which I have been developing for the past two decades through my work as an artist and educator, is an autoethnographic praxis for human development informed by decolonial queer Black feminisms, intersectionality, pan-Africanisms and diasporic African spiritualities. Theatre of Ritual-Self-Recovery is the name I give to the Black Performance art I create and facilitate through The Anitafrika Method.

What is Theatre of Ritual-Self-Recovery? It is the performative act of ritually recovery one’s self; reclaiming, regaining, renaming, and restoring. It is making ritual theatre of one’s self-recovery; ritual-Black-self-recovery; ritual-feminist-self-recovery; ritual-queer-self-recovery. And what am I recovering from? I am recovering from the ongoing assault on our collective humanity that insists that I/we can infact live without our lives.'
-D'bi.Young Anitafrika - Excerpt of Keynote Address at The Canadian Writers Summit 2018
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Good afternoon village. It's d'bi here with a really lovely share for today. Guess what the fundraising campaign is so very very very close to half of the total funds I need for school. I am $1000 away from HALF THE TOTAL FUNDS :). That's $1000 away from $37, 500. Would you or anyone you know be interested in donating $1000 today? They can even get a tax receipt for it.

The other fantastic news is that the Farewell Fundraising Gala is only a week away featuring Toronto's incredible poets, storytellers, mentors, theatre practitioners as well as cast members from 'For Colored Girls' and a Special Guest Dub Poet, my mama Anita Stewart. So please do come out and celebrate with us on June 26 at the Theatre Centre and please do spread the word.
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Hello Village guess what? I can now accept donations that require tax receipts. If you or someone you know would like to contribute to my funding campaign then check out the info below:

Write Cheque to:
SKETCH-Watah Theatre
Address: 180 Shaw Street, #201
Toronto, ON M6J 2W5

Sketch charitable number is
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Good morning Village. How are today? I hope happy healthy and inspired. I have some great news! This week I will be Keynoting the Canadian Writers Summit on Thursday June 14 at Harbourfront. I would love to see you there.

Thursday, June 14, 2018 - 8:00 PM
Keynote: Canadian Writers' Summit
Fleck Dance Theatre
207 Queens Quay West
Toronto M5J 1A7
Cost: $20 (all included)
Purchase Tickets Here: https://my.harbourfrontcentre.com/single/SelectSeating.aspx?p=31946

Fresh off the press in time for the Canadian Writer’s Summit, d’bi.young anitafrika will be reading from her new autobiography, Memoir of An Ugly Duckling: My Life, Art & Method. From growing up in one of the most notorious garrison communities of Kingston Jamaica, to witnessing the evolution of Dub Poetry through one of its pioneers – her mother Anita Stewart – to contributing to radical Black feminist thought through theatre using the Anitafrika Method, d’bi.young’s keynote will focus on the artist’s accountability and responsibility.

This event is part of the Canadian Writers’ Summit (#CWS2018), a super-conference jointly hosted by a cohort of Canadian writer organizations. Members of all of these organizations are especially encouraged to attend, but #CWS2018 welcomes everyone and anyone interested in writing and publishing in Canada.

#CWS2018 takes place June 14–17, 2018, at Harbourfront Centre.
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