Some of the Internet is none too pleased with the announcement of a multi-day community convention in remembrance of Breonna Taylor while others think it’s a perfect way to bring more awareness to a fight for justice.
Until Freedom, the intersectional social justice organization founded by Tamika D. Mallory has announced final details for BreonnaCon, a four-day community convention in Louisville, Kentucky.
An official press release details it as a “first-of-its-kind community convention that will include a community “Bre-BQ”, workshops, trainings, plenaries, women’s and men’s empowerment programs, a school supplies giveaway, and a Faith Revival at Kingdom Fellowship Center.
Additionally on “Good Trouble Tuesday” there will be a “massive demonstration” throughout the streets of Louisville calling for justice for the unarmed EMT who was gunned down by police in her home.
Participants include “Real Housewives of Atlanta’s” Porsha Williams, former “Real Housewives of Atlanta” star Phaedra Parks, “Love & Hip Hop New York’s” Yandy Smith-Harris, “Real Housewife of Potomac” Gizelle Bryant, Pastor Jamal Bryant, Rickey Smiley, rapper Mysonne and more.
Also participating will be the families of Breonna Taylor, Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin, Atatiana Jefferson, George Floyd, and Antwon Rose. An Instagram post for the event promises “free gifts” while promoting “beauty, money, and justice.”
Tamika D. Mallory was a recent guest on The Rickey Smiley Morning Show and she broke down BreonnaCon’s meaning. It’s apparently not what the Internet thinks. It’s also free of charge and you can sign up here.
“We believe when we go into a community, it’s not just protests, it’s gotta be also helping to organize in that community and community service,” said Mallory.
“Last week we gave out 2,000 boxes of produce with the Louisville Urban League and we’re doing that again. Immediately following there will be Women’s Empowerment Events, Yandy SMith-Harris will be, Porsha Williams, they’re coming back! We’re not people who get arrested and get their photo opportunity and not come back to the community.”
Sunday we have Bre-B-Q which will honor all the vicvtims of violence, not just police violence but any form of violence in our community,” she added noting that the event will inlcude a performance from Rapsody.”
Still despite organizers clearly having the best of intentions, eyebrows are being raised over the use of Breonna Taylor’s name for a convention much like Bravo TV’s BravoCon, Complex’s ComplexCon and San Diego’s popular Comic-Con.
It does seem a bit, odd and that’s putting it very, very, lightly.
Some people think the event is “tasteless”, “capitalistic” and another example of people turning a black woman’s death into cutesy memes and t-shirts. While others are noting that signage for BreonnaCon only bares Breonna’s image in the background while celebs and influencers take center stage.
Not gonna lie, I too initially found the entire thing absolutely jarring and exploitive, but it seems like Breonna Taylor’s family is fine with it. Still, the name “BreonnaCon” just seems flat-out wrong.
The full BreonnaCon schedule is below.
SATURDAY AUGUST 22
Free Farmers Market (9AM – 12PM)
Louisville Urban League, 1535 W. Broadway
BreonnaCon kicks off with our 2nd free Farmers Market and Food Caravan, providing food to 1500 families.
TaylorMade (1:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.)
Vibes, 1346 River Road, Louisville, KY 40206
TaylorMade, a women’s empowerment event that will provide hundreds of local women with a specially-curated program led by Yandy Smith-Harris, founder of Yelle Beauty and star of “Love and Hip Hop” and Porsha Williams of “Real Housewives of Atlanta”.
Free The Guys/Bros for Breonna (2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.)
Free The Guys/Bros for Breonna, a men’s empowerment forum to transform, inspire and activate the men in Louisville. The program will include artists, athletes and influencers leading conversations centered on men’s health and wellness, strengthening the family, and community organizing.
SUNDAY AUGUST 23
Bre-B-Q (4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.)
The second day of BreonnaCon is centered on Black joy. The Bre-B-Q will be a community barbecue and concert featuring national and local artists and performers. The day will include games, a school supplies and book bag giveaway, music, dance, and much more for the whole family.
MONDAY AUGUST 24
Press Conference (11:00 a.m.) will include families of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Atatiana Jefferson, Ahmaud Arbery, Antwon Rose, Trayvon Martin, Pam Turner, and Botham Jean. Simmons College, 1018 South 7TH Street, Louisville, KY 40203
Organizing Boot Camp with Jasiri X, Rukia Lumumba, Pastor Stephen A. Green, Brea Tilford and more
Praise in the Park at The Waterfront with Pastor Tim Findley Jr., Rev. Dr. Bruce Williams, Rev. Stachelle Busse
Day three of BreonnaCon will include several workshops, training, and plenaries to prepare the community at large for the next day’s culminating event, a mass direct action. Labeled an Organizing Boot Camp, Until Freedom will host a series of teach-ins, and train local residents in community organizing, public policy, and civic engagement. They will also host plenary sessions featuring the families of victims of police violence, and local and national lawyers discussing the campaign to pass Breonna’s Law. The families of Breonna Taylor, Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin, Atatiana Jefferson, George Floyd, Antwon Rose will all attend this session.
Monday ends with Church In The Streets, a spiritual experience connecting faith and freedom with faith leaders from across the state and nation. This “street revival” event will evoke the legacy of the Civil Rights movement’s mass meetings and feature local choirs and performers.
TUESDAY AUGUST 25
Good Trouble Tuesdays
BreonnaCon will conclude with a nonviolent direct-action training, followed by a massive demonstration throughout Louisville. With the application of Kingian Nonviolence, participants will escalate and amplify the urgent call for justice for this community.