A Summer Seminar: Exploring the Revolutionary Vision
of bell hooks

Spend the summer inside the transformative world of bell hooks, a trailblazer and one of our time's most influential cultural critics, writers, and possibility models.This summer seminar invites you to engage with the profound wisdom and reflections of bell hooks, extending far beyond the realms of politics and race. Her prolific body of work encompasses a wide range of subjects, including relationships, community, love, and sexuality, inspiring us to broaden our horizons and embrace countless possibilities.During our time together, we'll embark on a journey that explores the multifaceted contributions of bell hooks and her impact on our lives and society. Through engaging discussions, study sessions, and reflective activities, you'll have a chance to delve into hooks' writings, absorbing her insightful perspectives and deeply rooted ideas.Through this summer journey, we'll aspire to integrate hooks' teachings into our lives, relationships, and communities, forging a path towards greater understanding, compassion, and transformative action.Join us this summer as we honor the legacy of bell hooks, embracing her call to consider boundless possibilities and embrace the transformative potential within ourselves and the world around us.Summer 2023
Sliding Scale To Join
Guided By Toi Smith

The Details

“If I were really asked to define myself, I wouldn’t start with race; I wouldn’t start with blackness; I wouldn’t start with gender; I wouldn’t start with feminism. I would start with stripping down to what fundamentally informs my life, which is that I’m a seeker on the path. I think of feminism, and I think of anti-racist struggles as part of it. But where I stand spiritually is, steadfastly, on a path about love.”
-bell hooks

On the 5th of each month, you’ll receive a comprehensive syllabus encompassing various elements of bell hooks' work. The syllabus will include a curated selection of materials, such as interviews, essays, and poems, drawn from hooks' extensive body of work. The monthly syllabus aims to honor the breadth of hooks' contributions and give you a rich and diverse understanding of her ideas.

Midway through each month, a study hall session will be held. This study hall offers a dedicated time for you to come together with your fellow participants and engage in collective learning. During the study hall, you’ll be able to discuss the assigned readings, share insights, ask questions, and deepen your understanding of the material.
Study Hall Sessions are held on the second Wednesday of each month from 7 pm est - 8 pm est.
(June 14th, July 12th, August 9th, September 13th)

At the end of each month, a live virtual salon gathering will take place. This gathering serves as a culminating event for the month's exploration and provides an opportunity for participants to come together in a communal setting. During the salon, participants can connect with one another, share reflections, and engage in meaningful discussions about the material covered in the syllabus. This is a space to listen to different perspectives, broaden one's understanding, and foster a sense of community among seminar participants.
Salon Gatherings are held on the last Saturday of each month from 1 pm est - 2 pm est.
(June 24th, July 29th, August 26th, September 30th)

By incorporating study halls and virtual salon gatherings into the seminar structure, you'll have multiple opportunities to engage with the material, learn from one another, and form connections within the seminar community. These interactive sessions foster a sense of collective exploration and create a supportive learning environment to enhance your engagement and understanding of bell hooks' work.

In August, we'll come together in a community writing session to honor bell hooks and engage in our own creative writing endeavors. This 90-minute session will provide a nurturing space guided by prompts inspired by bell hooks' influential writings. During the session, you'll have the opportunity to reflect on hooks' ideas and explore your own thoughts, feelings, and experiences through writing. The prompts will encourage personal introspection, critical thinking, and creative expression.

The Investment

"To stand in solidarity with the poor is no easy gesture at a time when individuals of all classes are encouraged to fear for their economic well-being." -bell hooks

The investment for this summer seminar is designed to be inclusive and accessible to a wide range of participants. It operates on a sliding scale, meaning individuals can choose the payment amount that best suits their financial circumstances.By offering a sliding scale, I aim to create an environment that recognizes and respects the diverse financial situations of potential participants. This approach acknowledges that economic barriers should not hinder individuals from engaging with important ideas and discussions. It allows for a more equitable distribution of resources and opens up opportunities for individuals who may not have otherwise been able to participate due to financial constraints.The sliding scale also promotes a broader conversation about class dynamics and invites participants to reflect on their own privileges and economic realities.

Solidarity / $125Sustain / $165Actual Cost / $225Pay It Forward / $325

Not sure what rate to pay? Take this short self-assessment to help guide your decision.

About your
seminar guide

"Love needs to be present in every Black woman's life, in all of our houses. It is the absence of love that has made it so difficult for us to stay alive, if alive, to live fully." -bell hooks

Hi, I'm Toi Smith, and I'll be your guide through this summer of bell hooks. I'm honored to hold this space for you.I feel like I've been in a relationship with bell hooks' work my whole life. Her words have transformed so much of my world and how I'm able to see and hold the complexity of just simply existing... especially as a Black woman.What I know to be true is that bell hooks' vision and curiosities have saved me time and time again, and I come to this seminar holding a deep reverence and appreciation for the vision(s) she inspired in me and us collectively.My goal during this summer seminar is to showcase and highlight the variety and textures of bell hooks' writing and thoughts. She was complex and multifaceted, and we'll get to honor it all.


Q: Are the salon gatherings recorded?
A: The salon gatherings are not recorded in order to honor the privacy of everyone participating. Also, there's magic that happens in live events (even if they're virtual) that can't be duplicated or felt from recordings.
Q: How is the content delivered each month?
A: All content will be delivered each month to the email address with which you sign-up.
Q: Do I have to attend the monthly live gatherings to fully benefit from the summer seminar?
A: The live gatherings are a space where participants can interrogate the learning and go deeper because of the different perspectives and questions being presented. So yes, of course, you can participate without attending the live gatherings, but your experience during this exploration will be so much richer if you're able to attend at least a few.
Q: What is the tech used to access the materials?
A: Zoom is used for our monthly salon gatherings and study sessions, and email is used to deliver the syllabus each month.

A Summer Seminar: Exploring the Revolutionary Vision
of bell hooks

Spend the summer inside the transformative world of bell hooks, a trailblazer and one of our time's most influential cultural critics, writers, and possibility models.Summer 2023
Sliding Scale To Join
Guided By Toi Smith


Please take a moment to take the self-assessment below as you consider the rate you will pay to participate in A Summer Seminar: Exploring the Revolutionary Vision of bell hooks. I recognize that our individual experiences regarding financial circumstances are diverse and multifaceted. To aid in this discernment process, I have provided a list of questions to help you reflect on your class, access, and resources.

Are your bills or credit cards set up for automatic payments?Do you or your family own a home or land?Do you have little to no debt and/or have disposable income?Have you received education from private institutions or obtained an advanced degree?Have you not faced challenges accessing or affording healthcare or health insurance for yourself or your family?Do you have a safety net in the form of financially stable or affluent family and friends?Have you had the opportunity to attend graduate school, or could you have pursued advanced studies?Are you a U.S. citizen?Does your income solely support yourself and not other dependents or loved ones?Have you received or are you expecting to inherit money or property?Have you had the opportunity to attend college, or could you have pursued higher education?

Based on your answers, here are your suggested rates:If you answered "yes" to 8 or more questions, your rate is $325 (Pay It Forward)If you answered "yes" to 6 to 7 questions, your rate is $225 (Actual Cost)If you answered "yes" to 4 to 5 questions, your rate is $165 (Sustain)If you answered "yes" to 0 to 3 questions, your rate is $125 (Solidarity)

terms of service

A Summer Seminar: Exploring the Revolutionary Vision of bell hooks is a four-month exploration (June through September 2023). There are no refunds after the cancellation period expires. Enrolling means that you are 100% responsible for the full seminar cost regardless of how much or how long you participate after the cancellation period expires. Again, there are no refunds after the cancellation period expires.If, after enrolling, you decide that the summer seminar is not for you, you have through the end of the day on Friday, June 2, 2023, to cancel your enrollment by sending an email to toi@toimarie.com.Upon cancellation, your seminar fee will be refunded.

You're IN! Get Excited!

You've officially registered for A Summer Seminar: Exploring the Revolutionary Vision of bell hooks. A welcome email with important information is headed to your inbox right now, so be on the lookout. If you don't see the email, please double-check your spam folder.If you have any questions or if you don't receive the email, please reach out here: toi@toimarie.com