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Unfollow Me: Essays on Complicity--Jill Louise Busby in conversation with Chloe Caldwell

Event date: 
Thursday, September 9, 2021 - 7:30pm to 9:00pm

This event takes place on crowdcast, Charis' virtual event platform. Register here. 

Charis welcomes Jill Louise Busby in conversation with Chloe Caldwell for a celebration of Unfollow Me: Essays on Complicity. An intimate, impertinent, and incisive collection about race, progress, and hypocrisy from Jill Louise Busby, aka Jillisblack. 

Jill Louise Busby spent years in the nonprofit sector specializing in Diversity & Inclusion. She spoke at academic institutions, businesses, and detention centers on the topics of Race, Power, and Privilege and delivered over two-hundred workshops to nonprofit organizations all over the California Bay Area.

In 2016, fed up with what passed as progressive in the Pacific Northwest, Busby uploaded a one-minute video about race, white institutions, and faux liberalism to Instagram. The video received millions of views across social platforms. As her pithy persona Jillisblack became an "it-voice" weighing in on all things race-based, Jill began to notice parallels between her performance of "diversity" in the white corporate world and her performance of "wokeness" for her followers. Both, she realized, were scripted.

Unfollow Me is a memoir-in-essays about these scripts; it's about tokenism, micro-fame, and inhabiting spaces-real and virtual, black and white-where complicity is the price of entry. Busby's social commentary manages to be both wryly funny and achingly open-hearted as she recounts her shape-shifting moves among the subtle hierarchies of progressive communities. Unfollow Me is a sharply personal and self-questioning critique of white fragility (and other words for racism), respectability politics (and other words for shame), and all the places where fear masquerades as progress.

Jill Louise Busby had worked for years in the nonprofit sector with a focus on diversity and inclusion when she uploaded a short but scathing attack on liberal progressivism and the corporate nonprofit machine. The video went viral and made her a sought-after speaker of indulgently honest opinions. She continues to use social media, writing, and film to expose contradictions, challenge performative authenticity, and campaign for accountability. She lives in Olympia, WA.

CHLOE CALDWELL is the author of three books: the essay collection I’ll Tell You in Person, the critically acclaimed novella, WOMEN, and Legs Get Led Astray. Her memoir, The Red Zone: A Love Story will publish April 2022 from Soft Skull. Chloe’s essays have appeared in The New York Times, Bon Appétit, Buzzfeed, New York Magazine, Longreads, Vice, Nylon, Salon.com, Lenny Letter,The Rumpus, Catapult, Hobart, The Sun, and half a dozen anthologies. She lives in Hudson, N.Y.

This event is free and open to all people, especially to those who have no income or low income right now, but we encourage and appreciate a solidarity donation in support of the work of Charis Circle, our programming non-profit. Charis Circle's mission is to foster sustainable feminist communities, work for social justice, and encourage the expression of diverse and marginalized voices. https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/CharisCircle?code=chariscirclepage

We will be archiving this event and adding closed captioning as soon as possible after airing so that it will be accessible to deaf and HOH people. If you have other accessibility needs or if you are someone who has skills in making digital events more accessible please don't hesitate to reach out to info@chariscircle.org. We are actively learning the best practices for this technology and we welcome your feedback as we begin this new way of connecting across distances.

By attending our virtual event you agree to our Code of Conduct: Our event seeks to provide a harassment-free experience for everyone, regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, age, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, ethnicity, religion (or lack thereof), class, or technology choices. We do not tolerate harassment in any form. Sexual language and imagery are not appropriate. Anyone violating these rules will be expelled from this event and all future events at the discretion of the organizers. Please report all harassment to info@chariscircle.org immediately.

Event address: 
CROWDCAST
Unfollow Me: Essays on Complicity Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781635577112
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Bloomsbury Publishing - September 7th, 2021

An intimate, impertinent, and incisive collection about race, progress, and hypocrisy from Jill Louise Busby, aka Jillisblack.


Pre-Order Now Badge
The Red Zone: A Love Story Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781593766993
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Soft Skull - April 19th, 2022

A searching, galvanizing memoir about blood and love: how learning more about her period, PMS, PMDD, and the effects of hormones on moods transformed her relationships—to a new partner, to family, to non-blood kin, and to her own body—from the beloved essayist and author of Women.


Event Summary: 
Charis welcomes Jill Louise Busby in conversation with Chloe Caldwell for a celebration of Unfollow Me: Essays on Complicity. An intimate, impertinent, and incisive collection about race, progress, and hypocrisy from Jill Louise Busby, aka Jillisblack.