"Mountain Melanin" is the first in a series of events bringing together Black creatives from Montreal and other cities. 

The idea for the picnic came after I was contacted by Steph Watts, a Brooklyn-based blogger looking to meet other Black creatives during her upcoming trip to Montreal. A couple weeks later found us, along with a group of about 10 other artists from both Montreal and New York, meeting for the first time, eating and drinking under the shade of a large oak tree on Mont-Royal.

There is nothing more beautiful than the affinity felt between a group of people who find amongst one another a safe space, an understanding and a source of inspiration. In that moment, I felt so at ease -- sharing stories ranging from past relationships, to my thoughts on racism in the Canadian context to my experiences as a black female artist. We spent a good 3 hours just talking, getting to know each other and laughing. 

That is the essence of what Coloured Conversations and The Collective are meant to be -- a safe space, a network and a platform for Black creatives to regroup, share their experiences and learn from one another.