Across all her endeavors, Kelsey’s work is inspired by Sylvia Wynter’s call for a “re-enchanted humanism” and by the search for what Ruth Wilson Gilmore has called the “fragments and pieces, experiments and possibilities” of what an abolitionist world will become.
Kelsey Sky (Chatlosh, she/her) is a cultural anthropology Ph.D. candidate at The Graduate Center (GC) of the City University of New York (CUNY), a public school teacher in training, and an interdisciplinary artist. Her dissertation examines the politics and poetics of the campaign for Afro-Chilean state recognition (based in Arica, in northern Chile), recently won with the passing of a national law in April 2019, months before the eruption of nationwide anti-austerity protests. Kelsey argues that the kind of organizing work tenuously uniting “el movimiento Afro” that led the campaign is social reproduction, among each other and across generations. “Ms. Sky” is working as a Teaching Fellow through the NYC Teaching Collaborative at MS 50, a community public middle school in Brooklyn. Her specialization as a future NYC public school teacher is in bilingual (Spanish/English) Special Education. As an artist, Kelsey is currently working on a tarot card self and friend portrait series to process and transform trauma from childhood sexual abuse, and working on an art action to protest an accused rapist on GC campus. She is also preparing a sensory ethnography sound art installation of her dissertation research.
Previously, Kelsey taught cultural anthropology courses at CUNY Brooklyn College for three years. While a CUNY PSC union member, Kelsey was part of a team of organizers who began the #cutCOVIDnotCUNY #fundCUNYnotcops and #dreamCUNY campaigns and worked to mobilize the bases to fight for a fully funded, anti-racist, free CUNY.
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