About2022 Election

Junious Brickhouse

Junious L. Brickhouse is an internationally established, award-winning urban dance educator, choreographer, community leader, and cultural preservationist dedicated to the authentic preservation of urban dance culture and community. Junious has spent over twenty years in dance cyphers and on stages around the world. Now, as Director of Next Level and founder and Executive Director of Urban Artistry, Inc, Junious furthers his global mission through lecturing, performing, promoting conflict resolution, and producing events. He brings more than 30 years of experience in community engagement to this work, and draws on his skills as a researcher, folklorist, cultural ambassador, mentor, and logistician (20+ years-US Army). He currently serves as co-chair of the AFS Cultural Diversity Committee and as a board member for the National Council for the Traditional Arts. 

What are the most significant opportunities or challenges now facing AFS, and how as a member of the Executive Board would you respond to those opportunities or challenges?

I accept my nomination to run for election to the AFS Executive Board with gratitude. 

AFS is at the forefront of the field in asking existential questions to redefine what culturally responsible research is, how healthy relationships can exist between communities of practice and researchers, and what it means to be a folklorist. I propose a paradigm shift, from primarily considering “what” challenges or opportunities face AFS, to focusing on “who” we commit to embracing as stakeholders. By focusing on developing communities of practice into self-reflective folklore researchers, we can amplify AFS’ relationships with these communities, and create generations of empowered folklorists. 

Insider/Outsider positionality does not have to be a dichotomy when communities become empowered to document practices in their own words in ways that best serve to sustain them. 

Specifically, I plan to pursue the following goals: 

  1. Continued Kinship: Ensuring that AFS’ practices, policies and procedures create welcome environments for BIPOC and non-traditional folklorists and communities of practice.
  2. Push towards Progress: Continued outreach to empower non-traditional pathways and praxis within the field of folklore, supporting skill-building and access for folkloric research communities.
  3. Open the Door: Active recruitment among networks of urban arts communities, encouraging contemporary artists to embrace folklore in both practice and name, and  foregrounding dialogue and an ethic of care to value lived experience as a basis for producing and validating knowledge.

I take the opportunity to serve AFS as a board member seriously, and if elected, promise to work tirelessly as an advocate for the best interests of folklorists and the communities they serve.