February 12 - 17, 2025

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Its utterance can bring immeasurable hurt and pain to the Black community like no other. It represents slavery and was used to dehumanize and degrade Black people. For many Blacks, the N-Word should be completely banned however, some are saying it should only be used by them. One reason for why they are using the word is said to be in an effort at adopting the N-Word for themselves in hopes of dismantling it of the hateful and heinous meaning historically given to it by whites. Is this achievable? 

In the context of the art of storytelling, should the N-Word be permitted? And if so, how and by whom? Will banning or censoring the N-Word stop freedom of speech and creativity? Should past films and tv shows continue being removed because they contain the N-Word?



Dalton Higgins: PR Strategist & Publicist
Dalton Higgins is author of six books, a festival producer, National Magazine Award-winning print journalist, TV/radio/podcast personality, and Ryerson University’s Music -Professional in Residence. 




Alison Duke : Award-winning Director and Co-founder of Oya Media Group 
Duke is known for telling stories that illuminate history, document the present and push the culture forward. She produced and co-wrote 'Mr. Jane and Finch', a CBC Docs PoV documentary that won two Canadian Screen Awards. She directed 'Cool Black North', a two-hour documentary special for City TV/ Rogers which is currently touring American film festivals. In 2020, 'Promise Me' inspired by her social justice documentary, 'The Woman I Have Become' (‘08) won several festival awards. Alison started the OYA Emerging Filmmakers, an employment initiative she kickstarted to support Black youth access to work in the film industry which earned her a WIFT-Toronto Crystal Award in 2019.


Elizabeth Stordeur Pryor : Associate Professor of History at Smith College
Elisabeth Stordeur Pryor is associate professor of History at Smith College and  author of an award winning article, “The Etymology of [N-Word].” Her 2020 TED talk on the n-word has nearly 1.9 million views. 


Lanre Olabisi: Award-winning Writer and Director
Lanre Olabisi has made two feature films -- AUGUST THE FIRST and SOMEWHERE IN THE MIDDLE both of which are distributed by Film Movement. Combined, his films have screened at over 75 film festivals around the world including the SXSW and the Karlovy Vary. His work has won the top prize in ten international film festivals and has also been nominated for an IFP Gotham Award as well as a Black Reel Award.

Lanre’s latest short film, A STORYBOOK ENDING, is based on his feature film screenplay of the same name which is currently in development. Most recently, Lanre was selected as a fellow for the 2020 HBOAccess Directing Program.

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