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In this community conversation from June 2023, SAND co-founders Zaya and Maurizio Benazzo host Bayo Akomolafe and Chief Oluwo Fayemi peeling back the layers of history and tap into the wellspring of resilience that resides within us all. Weaving Bayo’s wisdom and Chief Oluwo Obafemi’s ancestral knowledge, they enture into this mystical landscape, navigating the intricacies of existence, embracing the profound beauty of the unfolding journey.
Bayo Akomolafe (Ph.D.), rooted with the Yoruba people in a more-than-human world, is the father to Alethea and Kyah, the grateful life-partner to Ije, son and brother. A widely celebrated international speaker, posthumanist thinker, poet, teacher, public intellectual, essayist, and author of two books, These Wilds Beyond our Fences: Letters to My Daughter on Humanity’s Search for Home (North Atlantic Books) and We Will Tell our Own Story: The Lions of Africa Speak, Bayo Akomolafe is the Founder of The Emergence Network and host of the online postactivist course, ‘We Will Dance with Mountains’. He currently lectures at Pacifica Graduate Institute, California and University of Vermont, Burlington, Vermont. He sits on the Board of many organizations including Science and Non-Duality (US) and Ancient Futures (Australia). In July 2022, Dr. Akomolafe was appointed the inaugural Global Senior Fellow of University of California’s (Berkeley) Othering and Belonging Institute. He has also been appointed Senior Fellow for The New Institute in Hamburg, Germany. He is the recipient of the New Thought Leadership Award 2021 and the Excellence in Ethnocultural Psychotherapy Award by the African Mental Health Summit 2022.
Chief Oluwo Obafemi Fayemi Epega is a world-renowned Babalawo and the founder of O.I.D.S.I. (Obafemi Institute for the Divine & Universal Study of Ifa). He was initiated as a priest of Obatala in 2004, and received his Tefa in 2005. He strongly believes that the restoration and preservation of African divine sciences and traditions can restore psychological balance and personal empowerment to all people. A lecturer, teacher and healer and the author of Who is Sambo?, Baba Femi has facilitated Ifa workshops all over the world. He has been invited to share his knowledge and insight on countless radio shows, major universities and colleges. In addition to overseeing more than 400 ceremonies and rituals, Baba Femi has either directly facilitated, or served as the principal liaison for the initiations of more than 50 Ifa and Olorisha priests.
With the blessings of Olodumare, his ancestors, and Ifa, this life has allowed him to fully embrace and experience that which his heart has chosen. He is proud to be an African American man, native Houstonian, descendant of slaves, priest of Ifa, teacher, author, mentor, son, a friend to many, a loving husband, and most importantly, an honorable father.
We invite you to connect further with Bayo Akomolafe in an immersive recording from the SAND co-presentation Three Black Men Trauma, Ritual & the Promise of the Monstrous live in Los Angeles from June 2023 with your guides: Bayo Akomolafe, Orland Bishop, and Resmaa Menakem for nearly six hours of talks, video, and explorations.
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