Friday, May 14, 2021 at 6:00-8:00 PM

“Off Our Backs” will be an interactive session where local artists and activists unpack how their own cultural and creative practices are impacted by cultural appropriation. Sharing the strategies of Not In Our Honor, a Native-led local campaign to change the Kansas City NFL team name, we will unpack how to prevent and address instances of appropriation in creative spaces.

Questions to consider:

  • Where is the line between appropriation and appreciation?
  • How do we harm ourselves and others, including BIPOC communities when we do not make the distinction between appropriation and appreciation?
  • How can we bring an anti-oppression lens to celebrate and learn about cultures and traditions that are different from our own?
  • How does appropriation cause self-censorship and disrupt the creative process?




Victor Le’Yon

Cool, Calm, Collected, and Hilarious! He’s been seen in magazines as well as recent television appearances, Victor Le’Yon is an award-winning magician, author, comedian and hypnotist who merges his confident and cool, yet approachable and friendly. While learning magic homeless on the streets of Kansas City, Victor truly showed that he is the definition of perseverance. When viewing one of his shows you’ll feel the style and atmosphere of a Las Vegas showroom on the stage. His unique take on classic entertainment, along with his mastery of advanced sleight of hand, hypnosis, and parlor style stunts makes him one of the best in the business. When not touring, Victor can be seen in drag as the boujie, black, voodoo mama, Kiki Uchawi. Ms. Uchawi is currently the show director at Missie B’s. She also hosts various shows throughout the week, including popular weekend drag show The Stars of 39th Street. Victor’s most notable performance credits include Nelson Atkins, Ford, General Mills, and Ted Talk.


Iris Cliff 

Iris Cliff is an Assiniboine and Turtle Mountain Chippewa illustrator and designer based in Lawrence, Kansas. Iris’s work is rooted in channeling human emotions through illustration and documenting past stories from and for the Assiniboine and Turtle Mountain Chippewa Nations. 

In May 2018, Iris received their BFA in Design from the University of Kansas. Shortly after graduation, Iris started their professional practice in freelance design. Their focus shifted to designing branding materials and print products locally at Haskell Indian Nations University, The Jungle House, Wonder Fair, Wonder (The Wonder Fair Gallery), and Paper Plains Literary Festival. This past year, Iris launched a collection of independent products and is developing a new practice centered around healing.

Rhonda LeValdo

Rhonda LeValdo is Acoma Pueblo is faculty in Media Communications at Haskell Indian Nations University.  She hosts Native Spirit radio on KKFI in Kansas City every Sunday. LeValdo also freelances for National Native News (radio) that airs on public radio across the country. LeValdo is also a past president of the Native American Journalists Association.




Diane Burkholder

Diane Burkholder is Black mixed-race, queer equity consultant and community organizer, who considers herself Half Midwesterner / Half Californian. She is the founder of The DB Approach, providing anti-oppression and social justice facilitation, coaching, and training to NPOs, universities, arts organizations, and healthcare facilities. Diane co-founded One-Struggle KC, a Movement for Black Lives affiliated organization, as well as the Missouri HIV Justice Coalition, which focuses on improving the state’s HIV-criminalization laws. When not chasing sunsets, she lives under the rule of her cat, Rosa (Parks).

Event Details

Friday, May 14 at 6:00 PM




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