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Equity Speaker Series: Assétou Xango

This event was recorded on November 29, 2022 at The Arts Campus at Willits (TACAW) as part of the Equity Speaker Series, in partnership with Aspen Public Radio.

In Assétou Xango's talk, they address issues of systemic oppression and how to approach activism. Through poetry readings and critical self examination Xango asks the audience to confront their own beliefs and shortcomings.

MANAUS and TACAW are proud to launch the Equity Speaker Series. The Series’ objective is to provide the entire community with access to experts in the realm of equity and anti-racism. We hope to make equity a daily conversation through compelling speakers and their stories.

This series is an initiative of MANAUS’ Equity Action Project, a 7-week anti-racism and race equity and inclusion training, aimed to forge a region that practices cultural humility and where positions of power are more representative of the region’s diversity.


Colorado based artist and facilitator, Assétou Xango (AH-say-too SHAWN-go), is known as the Dark Goddess Poet. Xango’s work dismantles the dangerous, colonial binaries that restrict or full existence. As a black, pansexual, polyamorous, genderqueer womxn, Xango exists as the in-between, the darkness that serves as the entry to our deeper selves.

Xango have been featured on HBO’s Brave New Voices in 2010 and are a two-time TEDxMileHigh Speaker. Xango was a Fellow of the Academy of American Poet Laureates in 2021 and has been published by many prestigious organizations such as Westword and Poets.org. Xango is the Emeritus Poet Laureate of Aurora, Colorado (2017-2021) and founder of Dark Goddess Collective. In all their work, Xango is dedicated to the visibility and rights of womxn and gender non-conforming people of color, through storytelling to dismantle binaries and divisions.