Landmark on Main Street
Partners in Performing Arts
Songs of Protest
Reframing the Conversation about Race in America
Wednesday, February 7, 2018 at 7 pm

How do we talk about race in America? How do the protest songs of our times reflect the evolution of this conversation?

Olivia Harris, Brinae Ali, Solomon Hoffman and friends perform the music of Nina Simone, Sam Cooke and Stevie Wonder alongside songs by contemporary black songwriters.

A panel of musicians, educators and activists will engage with the audience to explore the historical background of these songs and their implications for today and the future. Panelists include moderator Shanequa Levin, musician and educator Napoleon Revels-Bey and Elaine Gross, President of ERASE Racism.

Shanequa Levin serves as the Director for Every Child Matters in New York, the state campaign of a national non-partisan organization that works to make children's issues a national priority by building a movement to close the opportunity gap facing America's children and families. She is the founder for the Long Island chapter of Mocha Moms and serves as the North East Regional Director for Mocha Moms, Inc. She is also a founding member of the South Huntington Mothers' Center, as well as co-founder of Long Island Black Alliance and Long Island Women's Diversity Network. Mrs. Levin was instrumental in getting New York Paid Family Leave law passed and also worked on the Raise the Age Campaign. In her role as a public speaker, Mrs. Levin shares her own powerful story about surviving childhood poverty and breaking generational cycles to inspire others to take actions that can affect change.

In a career spanning more than four decades, professional musician and educator, Napoleon Revels-Bey has pounded many beats, from concert stages with such legends as Aretha Franklin and Gladys Knight to the white lights of Broadway. He is the Director and founder of Nassau Performing Arts Center which focuses on community engagement & development outreach programs bringing music education to Long Island and New York City public schools lacking access to arts education. Mr. Revels-Bey creates programs that weave in the history of music around the world and tailors them to student's level and program needs. He received the prestigious Jubilation Fellow Award for the Arts grant in 2017, which is awarded to individuals working to help young people through rhythm as expressed in dance, music and poetry.

Elaine Gross has extensive experience in research, program development and evaluation at public and private agencies in Boston and New York. She earned her MSW from Boston University, with a focus on policy, planning and non-profit management. Throughout her career, Ms. Gross has focused on exploring the systemic causes of social, political, and economic inequities and finding ways to counteract those inequities.

Ms. Gross served as a Program Officer for the Unitarian Universalist Veatch Program at Shelter Rock and developed a portfolio of grants across the U.S. focused on human rights and economic development. She then served as the founding Executive Director of Sustainable America, a national NGO that promoted sustainable, equitable development practices and policies. Ms. Gross was hired by the Long Island Community Foundation to launch the ERASE Racism Initiative in June 2001. Most recently she was appointed by Governor Andrew Cuomo to The Long Island Regional Economic Development Council.

Since 2004, ERASE Racism, an independent New York State not-for-profit corporation, has brought together a cross section of Long Island leaders to discuss and formulate remedies for persistent regional inequities resulting from embedded institutional and structural racism in health, education and housing. ERASE Racism has been recognized locally and nationally for its cutting edge work addressing institutional and structural racism, especially in the area of housing and community development.

No tickets or reservations required.

Co-presented with ERASE Racism

Free admission to all Conversations from Main Street programs is made possible by a grant from the Angela & Scott Jaggar Foundation


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