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  • WHYY is hitting the road! Join us for a chartered day trip to the NPR headquarters in Washington D.C.! This exclusive experience will include a tour of NPR, lunch (on us!), a conversation with NPR reporters and an opportunity to observe a recording of All Things Considered. See the home of public radio with other members who love NPR as much as you do and gain access beyond the public tours.

    Please note: the bus will depart WHYY at 9 a.m. and will depart Washington D.C. at 5 p.m.

    Tickets are extremely limited so reserve your spot soon!


    Proceeds from this event support WHYY programs and services.


    What if I would like to provide my own transportation to Washington DC?

    If you are interested in this tour but would like to provide your own transportation to Washington DC, please contact Emily Kinslow at

    How can I find out about WHYY events before the general public?

    Subscribe to the WHYY Weekly Newsletter to hear about WHYY events before they sell out.

    What's the refund policy?

    Tickets, donations and memberships are non-refundable. Should you have any questions or concerns regarding this event or other WHYY events, please contact Member and Audience Services at or call at 215-351-0511, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.

    What if my question isn’t answered here?

    Please contact Member and Audience Services at or call at 215-351-0511, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.

    Special thanks to


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  • Tickets for this event are currently SOLD OUT. You may join the waitlist for the event by clicking the REGISTER button on this page. You will be notified if a ticket becomes available. 

    Join the National Endowment for the Arts, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and NPR in celebrating the 2019 NEA Jazz Masters, recipients of the nation’s highest honor in jazz. This event will include conversations with members of the latest class of NEA Jazz Masters and others who know them well, using music from their careers to tell the stories of their lives. Joining Maria Schneider and Abdullah Ibrahim will be Aralee Dorough—Bob Dorough’s daughter who is a musician—to discuss Dorough's career, and Christian McBride to talk about Crouch's advocacy of jazz. This event is free and open to the public but tickets are required.


    To request press tickets to this event, email


    For more information on all of the 2019 NEA Jazz Masters events, including the free NEA Jazz Masters Tribute Concert on Monday, April 15, 2019 at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, visit



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  • “Frenetic, agitated and immediate…steeped in ’90s grunge with a good dose of ’70s British bands such as Gang of Four.” – BOB BOILEN, NPR
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  • The 2019 BRAIN Initiative Investigators Meeting is featuring a three-part science communications series with one-hour daily workshops.

     The first workshop, How to talk to the public about BRAIN science will be led by NPR's Jon Hamilton at 10:30 on Thursday, April 11, 2019. Hamilton is a journalist and science correspondent for NPR's science desk and focuses on neuroscience, health risks, and extreme weather. Hamilton is an English graduate from Oberlin College and received his Master's Degree in journalism at Columbia University.

     The second workshop, How to talk to the media about BRAIN science at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, April 12, 2019 will be led by Betsy Stark, an Emmy Award winning journalist and former ABC News Business Correspondent. Stark brings three decades of newsroom skills to her leadership role at Ogilvy. She advises clients on all aspects of media engagement and storytelling, helping executives, companies, governments and nonprofits build awareness and tell compelling stories.

     The third workshop, How to use social media to promote BRAIN science will be hosted by Rohan Verma, Vice President, Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide. Verma will answer questions about the value of social media versus traditional media, when to use it and how. Topics covered include To Tweet or not to Tweet? When do I use Facebook? Should I be on Linked In? What about Instagram?

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  • Old Town Books is thrilled to host Nashville-based artist Kyshona Armstrong for our second Shop Tunes IRL.

    The Shop Tunes IRL event series takes its name from our current shop playlist of songs we return to again and again. Kyshona Armstrong, a talented multi-instrumentalist and masterful storyteller, is at the top of that list. Armstrong is also an experienced art therapist, having brought the healing power of music to incarcerated and institutionalized youth and adults.

    Check out Armstrong's interview on NPR's World Cafe: Essential and Emerging Artists. Host Ann Power refers to it as "music that has touched my soul." Come hear this exciting, compassionate, and powerful new voice - in a bookstore!

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  • Join the Professional Development Committee of the Washington Bar Association, Young Lawyers Division for an event highlighting attorneys who have successfully used their law degrees to pursue careers outside of the practice of law. This is a great opportunity for attendees to learn about how law degrees may be useful in ways they didn't expect.  

    The confirmed panelists include:

    • Melanie Bates (Melanie Bates Consulting LLC)

    • Robert Baldwin III (NPR producer)

    • Jessica Childress (Juris Prudence LLC)

    • Bendita Malakia (Senior Inclusion Manager, Hogan Lovells)

    • Preston Mitchum (Advocate, Writer, Adjunct Professor)

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  • This April,  NAMIC Capital Region invites you to join the discussion on the need for minority podcast hosts and subject matter experts, and celebrate pioneers in the ever- growing "podisphere. Hear from guests and experts as they share their podcast journeys, and offer tips on how to expand your podcast audience with diverse content. RSVP Today!

    Event Moderator: Lori Hall- 38& Dating Podcast Host and SVP, Marketing, TV One


    Nicaila Matthew Okome,  SideHustlePro
    Leah Donella- Code Switch NPR
    Mark Pagan-Google Podcast Creator Program, PRX
    Kyle Harvey- Points On the Board, The Shadow League

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  • This workshop is focused on using quick and dirty tips for editing your own work when you are without a second set of eyes. We will focus on making swift, descriptive sentences, not overusing words, punctuation, grammar, and more.

    About the Instructor: Erin Williams is a multidisciplinary creative living in DC. Her writing has been featured in The Washington Post, NPR, Refinery29, XOJane, and more. She is the author of the book "Postie: A Memoir of my 'Glory Days' Spent at The Washington Post." She is also a visual artist whose work can be seen at

    Scholarships are available for this workshop. If you are interested in applying for a scholarship, please send a few sentences about yourself, your goals as a writer, and an outline of how you would benefit from a scholarship through the contact form on our website. Learn more or be in touch at

    *Please note: this venue has stairs. 

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  • Speakers include Laura Zeilinger and Kristy Greenwalt. Hosted by Ray Suarez

    Homelessness is a solvable issue, and DC is united in its vision to prevent it, or make the experience rare, brief, and non-recurring. Where are we on the path to making this a reality?

    Friendship Place has invited regional and national experts to discuss Homeward DC, a strategic partnership (between the DC government, nonprofits providers, advocates, persons experiencing homelessness, business partners, and the philanthropic community) to end homelessness in the area by 2020.

    Join us to learn about the progress, barriers, and concrete plans for making Homeward DC a success.

    Ray Suarez
    Broadcast Journalist, NPR and John J. McCloy | Visiting Professor of American Studies, Amherst College

    Laura Zeilinger, Director, DC Department of Human Services (DHS)
    Kristy Greenwalt, Director, DC Interagency Council on Homelessness (ICH)
    Waldon Adams, Coordinated Entry Outreach Specialist, Pathways to Housing DC
    Jennifer Knox, Lead Organizer, Washington Interfaith Network
    Bruce McNamer, President & CEO, Greater Washington Community Foundation

    Reception begins at 6:15 pm and the Symposium begins at 7 pm.

    Friendship Place is the premier housing service provider for people experiencing homelessness in the DC region. Our mission is to empower people experiencing or at risk of homelessness to attain stable housing and rebuild their lives.

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  • Celebrated fiction authors Celeste Ng and Amor Towles come together for a night of conversation to celebrate the paperback releases of their bestselling novels, Little Fires Everywhere and A Gentleman in Moscow, both set to become major television series.

    Little Fires Everywhere is a riveting novel that traces the intertwined fates of the picture-perfect Richardson family and the enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives. The book explores the weight of secrets, the ferocious pull of motherhood, and the danger of believing that following the rules can avert disaster. Both Little Fires Everywhere and Ng’s debut novel, Everything I Never Told You, were named Best Book of the Year by The Washington Post, NPR, People, and many more.

    A Gentleman in Moscow is a transporting novel about a man who is ordered to spend the rest of his life inside a luxury hotel. Brimming with humor, a glittering cast of characters, and one beautifully rendered scene after another, this singular novel casts a spell as it relates the count's endeavor to gain a deeper understanding of what it means to be a man of purpose. A Gentleman in Moscow was named one of the best books of 2016 by the Chicago TribuneThe Washington Post, and the San Francisco Chronicle, among others.

    This event will include a book signing.

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    Stonewall 50: Exploring the role of LGBT Media Representations in the LGBT Liberation Movement 

    American University School of Communication
    McKinley Building, Masli Doyle and Michael Forman Theater
    4400 Massachusetts Ave NW - Washington, DC 20016

    RESERVATIONS (recommended):

    Lead sponsor: The School of Communication Diversity Committee

    Top journalists, media scholars, filmmakers and activists will explore the impact of media representations on the LGBT liberation movement and ways in which visibility helped advance rights and how erasure today still impedes progress. A reception will follow the event.

    - Joshua Johnson, Host of 1A, WAMU/ NPR

    - Ruby Corado, Founder of Casa Ruby

    - Greta Schiller, Filmmaker, Before Stonewall

    - Dr. Rodger Streitmatter, American University Professor, Author of "Unspeakable: The Rise of the Gay and Lesbian Press in America"

    Program moderated by Dr. Sherri Williams, Assistant Professor in Race, Media and Communication at American University

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  • Join the Georgetown University Library on Wednesday, April 3 from 4-6 pm in the Arrupe Hall MPR for a special book talk with Associate Professor of Computer Science, Cal Newport. Newport will discuss his newest book Digital Minimalism, which argues that we have been too casual in adopting alluring new technologies, and as a result our quality of life is diminishing. Digital Minimalism is an indispensable guide for anyone seeking to cultivate a focused life in an increasingly noisy world.

    In addition to researching cutting­ edge technology, Newport also writes about the impact of these innovations on society. Newport is the author of six books, including the forthcoming Digital Minimalism, which argues that we should be much more selective about the technologies we adopt in our personal lives, and the bestseller Deep Work, which argues that focus is the new I.Q. in the modern workplace.

    Newport’s writing and ideas have been featured in the New York Times, NPR, the Wall Street Journal, the Economist, and the New Yorker.

    Questions? Email Emily Minton, program and events coordinator, Georgetown University Library. 

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  • It's a house concert in Ashburn!

    Polished and precise, yet buoyed with an airy grace, Joy Ike paints with a broad palette that defies easy categorization. Born to Nigerian immigrants, the singer/songwriter’s music, voice, and writing have drawn comparisons to female musicians such as Nina Simone, Laura Nyro, and Regina Spektor. But her percussive piano-playing and soaring vocals give homage to her African upbringing.

    Leaving her career as a publicist in 2008, Joy has spent the last 10 years playing thousands of shows across the country. A write-up on NPR's All Things Considered says "The depth of subjects she tackles in her poetic lyrics are perfectly complemented by a unique blend of neo-soul, with just the right dash of pop...a truly compelling act to watch in person, with the ability to create an intimate setting in locations big and small."

    Ike is currently on tour in support of her new album Bigger Than Your Box. Written over a four-year period that included a relocation from the comparatively small Pittsburgh to the gritty, thrumming metropolis of Philadelphia, the record is joyously defiant, standing proud and wrapped in blasts of exotic color. It dares us to believe in ourselves, to knock down the walls of fear and doubt we build around ourselves. “This is an open-armed invitation to dive head first into the unseen”, says Ike. Bigger Than Your Box boldly explores what Ike often refers to as divine discontentment; the restless middle ground between what is and what ought to be. “The spiritual mystery of life and the ever-present Spirit of God that embraces us in our most helpless state.” For details visit:

    Hearty snacks and refreshments (both alcoholic and non) will be served, however you are welcome to bring your own food and beverages.

    We will open our doors for folks to mingle and meet Joy at 7:30 p.m. Music will begin at 8:00 pm.

    Suggested donation, collected at the door: $15-20 (100% of all contributions are given directly to the artists) (Cash only)

    Artist's merchandise (CDs, etc). will be available for sale, so bring a little extra cash. ;)

    RSVP for the address.


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  • Reuben Jackson and Gary Hotham are featured readers.  Also includes open mic and literary trivia quiz.  Reuben Jackson is an archivist with the University of the District of Columbia's Felix E. Grant Jazz Archives. From 2013 until 2018, he was host of Friday Night Jazz on Vermont Public Radio and has been an archivist and creator with the Smithsonian Institution's Duke Ellington Collection.  His poems have been published in over 40 anthologies. Scattered Clouds, a collection of previously published and new poems will be published in October by Alan Squire Press. His music reviews have appeared in The Washington Post, Jazz Times, Downbeat, Jazziz, the Jazz Journalists Association website, and on NPR’s All Things Considered. He has taught poetry at the Writer’s Center in Bethesda, Maryland and to high school students in Burlington, Vermont. 

    Gary Hotham has been crafting English language haiku for over 50 years. Echoing T.S. Eliot, he finds writing haiku to be a way to “devour any kind of experience” and fulfill the poet’s “task of trying to find the verbal equivalents for states of mind and feeling.” He first discovered the genre in a high school English class and has yet to recover from the challenge. He grew up in northern Maine, currently resides in Maryland and has traveled and lived in Japan, Germany, England, and Texas.  His work has appeared in journals, chapbooks and anthologies. His major collections of haiku:  Breath Marks:  Haiku to Read in the Dark (1999), Spilled Milk: Haiku Destinies (2010), and Stone’s Throw:  Promises of Mere Words (2016).

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  • Modern day stress has become an unintentional form of birth control and a powerful endocrine disruptor. Many women travel at a velocity that is out of rhythm with who they are—endless multitasking, long work hours, forgotten meals, and too little time for themselves.

    These stressors can set the stage for PMS, PCOS, infertility, and hormone imbalances. During this workshop, Meg Richichi will deconstruct these concerns and how they affect us.

    Bio about Presenter:

    Meg Richichi, MS, L.Ac, is an Integrative Women’s Health Practitioner and Board Certified Acupuncturist. Having practiced in New York for two decades, she currently sees clients in Charleston, SC, and Washington, DC, while working with women around the country remotely. Meg’s unique “East meets West” approach has helped thousands of women overcome stress-related hormonal imbalances including infertility, weight issues, autoimmune disorders, digestive struggles and an array of pain syndromes.

    Meg’s extensive studies and experience include training with preeminent experts in the fields of western functional medicine, acupuncture, and nutrition, including healing practices in the Brazilian rain forest and Vietnam – in one of Ho Chi Minh City’s leading hospitals.

    A lecturer and radio host, Meg has spoken to a wide range of groups including “Food For Thought” – a women’s health & wellness series on VoiceAmerica Radio, NYU Nursing Program, New York Hospital for Special Surgery, NYU Medical Maternal Fetal Medicine Associates, Resolve, and Equinox. Her expertise in women’s healthcare has been the subject of several interviews in publications including Vogue, The Huffington Post, The Telegraph, Real Simple, NPR and Refinery29.

    Meg is committed to assisting women of all ages in creating wellness through her work as a health practitioner, lecturer and workshop facilitator. She feels deeply honored to walk this path with all the sweet lovelies in today’s world.

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  • Women lyricists and composers contributed many of the most famous songs to Broadway, Hollywood, and jazz during the 20th century. “I Don’t Know Enough About You” celebrates the work of these songwriters with music and anecdotes. Hosted by Susan Stamberg of NPR/" TARGET="_blank" REL="nofollow noopener noreferrer">NPR, this musical revue will provide information about the lives of these women along with examples of their songs. Join us the evening of Sunday, March 24th to honor these 17 trail blazers during Women's History Month.

    Doors open at 5:30 to start off with drinks and snacks. The show begins at 6:00 followed by a dinner buffet, drinks, and desserts. Stay after to socialize with our fabulous cast!

    Purchase tickets at

    Vocalists Lena Seikaly, Adam LaSalle, and Hadiyyah Noelle Smith will sing such well-known numbers as “Just in Time,” “God Bless the Child,” and “The Way You Look Tonight,” accompanied by guitarists Steve Herberman, Bassist Eliot Seppa, and drummer Frank Russo. A buffet dinner and open bar round out the evening.

    $50 per person for members of the public
    $40 per person for members of the Arts Club

    Featured songs and lyrics by:
    Anne Caldwell
    Bessie Smith
    Maria Grever
    Alberta Hunter
    Lil Hardin Armstron
    Katharine Faulkner “Kay” Swift
    Dorothy Fields
    Ann Ronell
    Nancy Hamilton
    Nadine Dana Suesse
    Billie Holiday
    Betty Comden
    Peggy Lee
    Dory Previn
    Carolyn Leigh
    Fran Landesman
    Marilyn Bergman

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  • Join BloomBars for the DC premier of Bravado Magenta, and powerful film examining toxic masculinity, to be followed by spoken word and storytelling featuring the filmmaker Bocafloja and Fabian Villegas. Special thanks to The American Poetry Museum. Watch the trailer:

    Bravado Magenta is an exposé on the intersection of coloniality and patriarchy. A performative documentary which critically analyzes racialized masculinities through self-cartography and storytelling. Written and Directed by multidisciplinary artist and scholar Bocafloja (Nana Dijo, 2016, Dir.), Cinematographed by Cambiowashere and Juan L. Azpiri, Bravado Magenta engages in a relevant discussion on gender, sexuality and global south studies.

    With testimonials from Devyn Springer, Zoé Samudzi, Fabián Villegas, Njoki wa Ngugi, Rodolfo Rensoli, Zahira Kelly amongst others, Bravado Magenta manifests itself as a deep journey into corpo-politics.

    Visual poetry, non-linear narratives and provocative film aesthetics illustrate the constitution of Bravado Magenta as a theatrical exercise of self-representation, challenging traditional schemes of documentary filmmaking.

    Photography, design, and theater are also some of his mediums of creation. Decoloniality, third space theory, body politics, African Diaspora in Latin America and intersectionality are fundamental topics addressed in his body of work. Narratives in first person. Black & Brown Storytelling. Visual poetry. Bocafloja’s approach to filmmaking engages in an exercise of self-cartography through non-linear narratives, aesthetic juxtaposition and intimacy.

    Bocafloja has been featured in: BBC, NPR, AFROPUNK, REMEZCLA, MTV Iggy, NACLA, CULTURESTRIKE, and many other newspapers, magazines and media outlets globally. Some of Bocafoja’s distinguished performances and academic presentations include: Casa de las Américas (Cuba), Casa de América (Spain), The Schomburg Center (U.S), Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil (Brazil), Lincoln Center (U.S), The John F. Kennedy for the Performing Arts (US), Hay Festival (MX) and an innumerable list of Universities, Colleges, Cultural Centers and venues in over 30 countries.

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  • $5 suggested donation

    Red Clay Foundation and Sotto present The Hand That Guides Us: A Meditation for Mary Lou Williams, the third installment of The Upper Room series.

    This installment shines the light for pianist Mary Lou Williams and her work on Mass, as it represents a major shift in her life following her conversion to Roman Catholicism. Led by the Reginald Cyntje Group, we explore forms of Mary Lou's transformation and the indelible mark her transformation left on landscapes within the jazz tradition.

    This program is a part of Red Clay’s thematic works exploring major shifts in cultural landscapes forged by transformation in the lives of pioneering figures. Programming for The Upper Room series is curated by Baredu Ahmed.

    Reginald Cyntje

    Recording artist Reginald Cyntje (born in Roseau Dominica, raised on St. Thomas, USVI) is an award-winning professional musician, composer, producer, and educator. He is active on the Washington DC music scene. Currently, he leads his own groups and works as a sideman in numerous bands.  Most recently after being featured on NPR's Jazz Night in America, Cyntje recorded his fourth album Spiritual Awakening. 

    RC has performed with Amiri Baraka, Dr. Billy Taylor, Illinois Jacquet, Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, Dion Parson and the 21st Century Band, Nasar Abadey, Ron Blake, Michael Bowie, Herman Burney, Paul Carr, Marc Cary, Sharón Clark, Cyrus Chestnut, George Duke, Benny Golson, Sean Jones, Tarus Mateen, Jason Moran, Steve Novosel, Johnny O'Neal, Nicholas Payton, Victor Provost, Rueben Rogers, Vanessa Rubin, Terrell Stafford, Gary Thomas, Tim Warfield, Larry Willis, Warren Wolf and many other extraordinary artists

    He is also the founder/owner of Jegna School of Music, LLC, a school that provides music lessons, workshops and mentoring concerts for intergenerational students; the founder and creative director of Cyntje Music, LLC, a one-stop music boutique that includes booking, curating and assisting artists; the author of Stepping Stones: 15 studies in improvisation; and a professor of music at Montgomery College. He has toured the US, Europe, South America, and the Caribbean and appeared on over 20 recordings including four of his own

    IG: @reginaldcyntjemusic

    Red Clay Foundation

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  • Immigration Book Discussion Series with Lupita Reads
    March-May 2019

    Washington Performing Arts and literary partners throughout the city co-present a series of book discussions, hosted by Lupita Aquino—better known as “Lupita Reads”, to facilitate community dialogues about Latinx immigration to the United States, as represented in fiction and non-fiction works. Lupita Aquino is herself a Mexican immigrant and is the co-founder and co-moderator for LIT on H St Book Club, hosted at Solid State Books. She is a passionate reader active in both the local and online book communities through her Instagram blog, @Lupita.Reads.

    Discussion 2: The Line Becomes a River: Dispatches from the Border (2018) by Francisco Cantú
    Tue, Apr 30, 7pm | DC Public Library – Mt. Pleasant Neighborhood Library

    “A must-read for anyone who thinks ‘build a wall’ is the answer to anything.” – Esquire

    Francisco Cantú’s The Line Becomes a River: Dispatches from the Border was named a Top 10 Book of 2018 by NPR and The Washington Post, was shortlisted for the Andrew Carnegie Medal of Excellence, and was a finalist fo rthe National Book Critic Circle’s John Leonard Prize. In the book he recounts the complexity of being a child of a Mexican immigrant and serving with U.S. Border Patrol. He witnesses the harsh conditions in which asylum-seekers navigate the border and is deeply affected by the role of the border in his own life and family origins.

    Borrow from DC Public Library
    Purchase from a local Indie (Indiebound)

    This series is presented in conjunction with the premiere of Washington Performing Arts’ co-commission Dreamers, a new oratorio by composer Jimmy López and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Nilo Cruz on March 17, 2019 at Sidney Harman Hall (via simulcast).

    Discussion 1: The House of Broken Angels (2018) by Luis Alberto Urrea
    Tue, Mar 5, 7pm | Politics and Prose Union Market

    Discussion 3: Across a Hundred Mountains (2006) by Reyna Grande
    Tue, May 7, 7pm | Solid State Books

    Co-presented by Washington Performing Arts’ Mars Urban Arts Initiative, DC Public Library, Politics & Prose, Solid State Books, and Lupita Reads. Washington Performing Arts’ Mars Urban Arts Initiative is generously supported by Jacqueline Badger Mars and Mars, Incorporated. This program is made possible by Tom Gallagher, in honor of Turnaround Inc.; Events DC; Fred and Lucia Hill; and Gary and Silvia Yacoubian.

    Free, registration encouraged

    Expanding the Conversation
    The premiere of Dreamers will be surrounded by several activities throughout January-June 2019, curated by the Mars Urban Arts Initiative in partnership with GALA Hispanic Theatre and Carlos Rosario Public Charter School. Explore varied perspectives on this timely issue through performances and conversations with a range of artists, advocates, and policy-makers. 

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  • Polished and precise, yet buoyed with an airy grace, Joy Ike paints with a broad palette that defies easy categorization. Born to Nigerian immigrants, the singer/songwriter’s music, voice, and writing have drawn comparisons to female musicians such as Nina Simone, Laura Nyro, and Regina Spektor. But her percussive piano-playing and soaring vocals give homage to her African upbringing.

    Leaving her career as a publicist in 2008, Joy has spent the last 10 years playing thousands of shows across the country. She has had the opportunity to share the stage and open for Cody Chestnut, Allen Toussaint, Butterfly Boucher, and Tyrone Wells to name a few. A write-up on NPR’s All Things Considered says “The depth of subjects she tackles in her poetic lyrics are perfectly complemented by a unique blend of neo-soul, with just the right dash of pop…a truly compelling act to watch in person, with the ability to create an intimate setting in locations big and small.”

    Joined by upright bassist, Jason Rafalak, and percussionist, Ryan Socrates, Ike hits the road this Spring in support of her new album Bigger Than Your Box (April 2018).Written over a four-year period that included a relocation from the comparatively small Pittsburgh to the gritty, thrumming metropolis of Philadelphia, the record is joyously defiant, standing proud and wrapped in blasts of exotic color. It dares us to believe in ourselves, to knock down the walls of fear and doubt we build around ourselves. “This is an open-armed invitation to dive head first into the unseen”, says Ike. Bigger Than Your Box boldly explores what Ike often refers to as divine discontentment; the restless middle ground between what is and what ought to be. “The spiritual mystery of life and the ever-present Spirit of God that embraces us in our most helpless state.”

    View Event
  • Join Georgetown's MA in Conflict Resolution Program and Georgetown Professionals in Russian, Eurasian and Eastern European Affairs (PREEA), for a discussion with distinguished panelists to delve into the key drivers of peace and conflict ahead of Ukraine’s upcoming elections.

    Melinda Haring is the editor of the UkraineAlert blog, which is the Atlantic Council’s most popular publication. Haring is a longtime observer of political developments in the Eurasia region, and her analysis has been featured in The Washington Post, Foreign Affairs, Foreign PolicyNewsweekNovoe VremyaThe American Interest, Kyiv Post, PRI, and broadcast and published by NPR, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, and Voice of AmericaShe is the author of the report Reforming the Democracy Bureaucracy, coauthor of Ukraine’s Internally Displaced Persons Hold a Key to Peace (Atlantic Council, 2017), and a contributor to Does Democracy Matter? (Rowman & Littlefield, 2017)Haring has worked for Eurasia Foundation, Freedom House, and the National Democratic Institute, where she managed democracy assistance programs in Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Russia. A graduate of Georgetown University, she holds an MA in Government with a certificate in Russian, Eurasian, and East European Studies. Haring is the vice chair of the board of East Europe Foundation in Kyiv, Ukraine, and a senior fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute. She is a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

    Gina Lentine specializes in democracy and human rights issues in Europe and Eurasia, a field in which she has worked for the last eight years. As Senior Program Officer with the Europe and Eurasia Programs team at Freedom House, she serves as an active practitioner and advocates to promote respect for fundamental freedoms in Eastern Europe, with special attention to Ukraine and Moldova. Prior to Freedom House, Ms. Lentine worked with the late Nadia Diuk at the National Endowment for Democracy, as well as with Open Society Foundations’ Eurasia Program and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies. Gina has spent significant time in Ukraine, Moldova, Poland, and Russia, both for Freedom House and as a graduate student, wherein she conducted field research on interwar nationalist movements and the Holocaust in Eastern Europe. Ms. Lentine holds a Master of Arts in Eurasian, Russian, and East European Studies from Georgetown’s Wash School of Foreign Service and Bachelor of Arts from Wellesley College. She speaks Russian, Polish, and some Ukrainian. 

    Vitaliy Shpak is currently the Program Officer handling the Ukraine portfolio at the National Endowment for Democracy. Mr. Shpak holds a law degree from Lviv University and has worked in the nongovernmental, state, and private sectors in Ukraine. He has served as advisor to the Minister of Education and was CEO of Plast, the National Scout Organization. In Washington, DC, Mr.Shpak was an intern and research assistant at the Kennan Institute and Peterson Institute for International Economics. As a Fulbright scholar, he earned a Master of Public Policy degree from the University of Maryland.


    Ambassador (ret.) Kenneth Yalowitz served as a U.S. Foreign Service Officer for 36 years and was twice an ambassador: to Belarus from 1994-1997; and  Georgia from 1998-2001.  He was chosen for the Ambassador Robert Frasure award for peacemaking and conflict prevention in 2000 for his work preventing spillover of the Chechen war into Georgia. Ambassador Yalowitz directed the Dickey Center for International Understanding at Dartmouth College from 2003-11 and served as director of Georgetown University's MA in Conflict Resolution program from 2016-2018.

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  • Join the Contemporary Catholic Writers Reading Group for happy hour and a discussion of 

    Signals by Tim Gautreaux 


    Containing twelve new stories and nine classics from previous collections, Signals is Tim Gautreaux at his best. Effortlessly conjuring the heat and humidity of the author’s beloved South, these stories of men and women grappling with faith, small town life, and blue-collar work are alternately ridiculous and sublime. For both longtime fans and readers lucky enough to encounter him for the very first time, Signals cements Gautreaux’s place as an American master.

    About the Author:

    Tim Gautreaux is the author of two previous novels and two collections of stories. His work has appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, GQ, Harper's Magazine, and The New Yorker, as well as in volumes of the O. Henry and The Best American Short Story annuals. A professor emeritus in English at Southeastern Louisiana University, he lives with his family in Hammond.



    Q: What is the Contemporary Catholic Writers Group?

    A: CCW is a reading series started by Catholic University English graduate students in 2015. Learn more about us on our English department webpageand listen to author talks and interviews here. All CCW events are free and open to everyone.

    Q: How do you choose which books to read?

    A: Everyone who participates in a book discussion during a given semester is invited to suggest titles for the next semester's reading list and to vote on the final selections. We often take titles from lists compiled by leading Catholic literary artists and editors (here and here, for example) and the Catholic Literary Imagination conference series (here and here), but we are always open to new ideas from a variety of people and sources. 

    Q: Will the author be present at this book discussion?

    A: No, but we will update the event page if there's ever a surprise visit.

    Q: Why do I need to register? 

    A: RSVPs help us ensure there will be enough space, food, and drink for everyone. We appreciate the heads up!

    Q: Should I bring anything for happy hour?

    A: Feel free to bring a beverage or snack to share, but we'll be just as happy if you just bring yourself. 

    Q: What if I haven't finished the book before the meeting?

    A: Join us anyway! We enjoy serious, in-depth discussions focused on major themes, characters, and the nuts and bolts of literary craft, but we're not sticklers. Regardless of how far you are in the book, you're welcome to participate as much or as little as you're comfortable with. We recommend picking out a favorite passage or two that we can read aloud and use as jumping off points for further discussion. 

    Q: Where exactly is the event location and where can I park?

    A: Marist Annex is on the north end of campus (C7 on campus map): Free street parking is available on Harewood Road.

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  • We are back for Stand-Up Silver Spring!  Join us for a hilarious night of comedy with Robert Mac, Violet Gray, Katie McElvie and Leon Scott - all performed at the super chill and amazingly hospitalble Post 41.  

    Saturday night, March 30th

    7:30 pm

    $15 / $20 general admission

    Cissel-Saxon American Legion Post 41:  8110 Fenton Street (blue awning off Fenton Street Parking Lot)

    Meet our Performers

    Robert Mac’s award-winning comedy is smart, subtle, and silly. If you prefer brainy, dead-pan comedy over brain-dead, pandering comedy, check him out.  He has won the grand prize of Comedy Central's national stand-up contest, Laugh Riots. He was the talent search winner for the Jerry Lewis Telethon and has been invited to the Just for Laughs Festival in Montreal, the Boston Comedy Festival, and the inaugural Great American Comedy Festival. In 2001, the Entertainment Business Journal ranked him in the top 100 comedians in the nation.  He has appeared on NBC's Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central's Premium Blend, The Learning Channel, and numerous shows that are no longer on the air. He also enjoys long naps on the beach.

    Game master of the Laughfinder podcast, Violet Gray's humor combines things geeky and political with the experiences of being the only gender non-conforming Dungeons and Dragons player in northwest Baltimore. Chris Rock. Doug Stanhope. Gilbert Gottfried. Violet hasn't opened for any of these people, but she has opened for comics who have. "Come get these nerd jokes!"

    Stand-up comedian Leon Scott is a writer for the 6AM live TV show "Get Up DC!" on WUSA 9. He has also been featured on CBS, NPR, CNN, Amazon Prime, the Washington Post, The CW, and various commercials. Leon hosts and produces a number of comedy shows in Washington, DC: A monthly fundraiser for cause-based organizations called Grassroots Comedy; a Sunday night showcase called Comedy Classics; a craft brewery comedy show, “The Power of Positive Drinking;” and a Friday night show called “Attack of the Comics.” See more of Leon at 

    FAQs and Other Important Information

    The show is open seating and all tickets are general admission.  Arrive early to get the seat you want.  And then be friendly to whoever is sitting near you.  Meet someone new!  Why not?

    We aim to bring you the line-up as listed.  However, there are sometimes events out of our control and the line-up may be subject to change. 

    Are there ID or minimum age requirements to enter the event?

    Our shows (even the ones with clean comics) are intended for adults.  We do recognize some older teens love good comedy and will want to come.   We suggest 16+ but personal discretion is advised.  

    What are my transportation/parking options for getting to and from the event?

    The entrance to Post 41 is off the Fenton Street parking lot (entrance 8110 Fenton Street).  You can drive and park there (leave time since it can get crowded on a Saturday night) or you can metro/bus as it is right in downtown Silver Spring.   

    How can I contact the organizer with any questions?

    Please contact 301-351-2096 or with any questions. 

    What's the refund policy?

    Attendees can receive refunds up to seven days before the show.

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  • For four decades, PLEN has been preparing women for public policy leadership. Whether this means opening up their eyes to possible careers, training them to negotiate their first salary, or helping them build the networks and confidence to get ahead, PLEN has been there to help young women forge their own path as leaders. Our year-long celebration will highlight PLEN’s rich history within the women’s movements for equality, showcase prominent alumnae, and look back at the impact we’ve made while continuing to break down barriers for future women leaders. Learn more about PLEN's 40th Anniversary.

    Honorary Host Committee (In Formation)

    Carmen Twillie Ambar, President, Oberlin College, co-chair • Nancy Dietz, Former Senior Consultant, Coxe Curry & Associates, co-chair • Lynn Smith Fox, Former Senior Adviser, Federal Reserve Board, co-chair

    Marianne Alexander, Founding Executive Director • Allison Aubrey, Correspondent, NPR• Esther Barazzone, President Emerita, Chatham University • Ambassador Charlene Barshefsky, Senior International Partner, WilmerHale • Lara Brown, Director, George Washington University Graduate School of Political Management • Susan Carroll, Professor, Rutgers University • Carol T. Christ, Chancellor, UC Berkeley• Julie Conway, Executive Director, VIEWPAC • Kathee Facchiano, Chief of Staff, Office of Congressman Clay Higgins* • Laurie Halverson, Assistant Minority Leader, Minnesota House of Representatives* • Allison Herwitt, Chief of Staff, Office of Senator Chris Murphy* • Mary Hinton, President, College of St. Benedict • Valerie Jackson, Senior Advisor to the Management Committee and Firmwide Director of Diversity and Inclusion, K&L Gates • Celinda Lake, President, Lake Research Partners • Cherylyn Harley LeBon, Senior Adviser, Expecting Health • Meaghan Lynch, Communications Director, Representative G. K. Butterfield • Ruth Mandel, Director, Eagleton Institute of Politics • Diana Marrero, Vice President, Strategic Partnerships, Foreign Policy • Veryl Miles, Professor of Law, Columbus School of Law at The Catholic University of America • Ambassador Constance A. Morella, Ambassador in Residence, American University School of Public Affairs • Georgia Nugent, President Emerita, Kenyon College • Kristy Pagan, Member, Michigan House of Representatives* • Anna Palmer, Senior Washington Correspondent, POLITICO • Lisa Marsh Ryerson, President, AARP Foundation • Luiza Savage, Editorial Director of Events, POLITICO • Linda Soto-Harmon, CEO, Girl Scouts of the Nation's Capital • Caryl Stern, CEO, UNICEF USA • Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield, Distinguished Resident Fellow in African Studies, Institute for the Study of Diplomacy at Georgetown University

    Congressional Host Committee (In Formation)

    Representative Joyce Beatty (D-OH-03)Representative Cheri Bustos (D-IL-17)Representative Suzan DelBene (D-WA-01)Senator Susan Collins (R-ME)Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA)Representative Betty McCollum (D-MN-04)Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) • Representative Jackie Speier (D-CA-14)Representative Elise Stefanik (R-NY-21)Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)

    Platinum Sponsor ($25,000+)

    Exelon Corporation

    Silver Sponsor ($5,000-$9,999)

    American Express • Beekeeper Group • Mary Kay • State and Federal Communications

    Bronze Sponsor ($2,500-$4,999)

    AARP Foundation • PASS • Vivint Solar

    Role Model ($1,000-$2,499)

    Marianne Alexander • Curley Company • Lisa Kaenzig* • Sheree Anne Kelly • Vanessa Kermick† • Shelby Olson† • Lynn Smith Fox • Lisa D. T. Rice† • Wells College

    Leadership Circle ($500-$999)

    Esther Barrazzone • Lara Brown • Carol T. Christ • Anne DarConte • Margaret Darling*† • Nancy Dietz • Sally McDaniel • Mount Saint Mary's University • Newcomb Alumnae Association • Heidi Schoenberger-Cobert • Barbara A. Shailor • Ellie Shaw† • Jona Ven Deun*†

    *denotes PLEN alumna
    †denotes PLEN Board Member

    Learn more about sponsorship opportunities.

    PLEN is a nonpartisan 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and your contribution above the $40/person cost of the reception is tax deductible.

    We have designed this event to fully comply with US Senate Rule 35.1(d)(1), US House Ethics Manual pp. 41-47, and the U.S. Executive Branch Gift Rules regarding the “widely attended event” exception to the gift rules.

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  • On Saturday, April 27, 2019, The Antiracist Research and Policy Center will host the 1st Annual National Antiracist Book Festival at American University in Washington, DC. It will take place on AU’s Law School campus near the Tenleytown-AU metro station on the red line. Nearby Politics and Prose Bookstore will be the official bookseller.

    The #Antiracist Bookfest is the first and only book festival that brings together, showcases, and celebrates the nation’s leading antiracist writers and helps to prepare the writers of tomorrow. This year's festival primarily features authors of anti-Black racism and its intersections. Panels are topically organized with two authors and a moderator, and are followed by book signings. There is also a course of workshops for aspiring writers with leading book editors and literary agents. Free workshops will be held for educators and youth, and on photography and self-care. 

    The National Antiracist Book Festival is a ticketed event. All proceeds from ticket sales for the Antiracist Bookfest will go toward the Antiracist Research and Policy Center at American University. 

    Media Contact: Event is by RSVP. Media members are required to RSVP with Rebecca Basu, American University Communications, 202-885-5950,


    National Book Critics Circle Award winning historian Carol Anderson

    National Magazine Award winning reporter Shane Bauer 

    Bancroft Prize winning Yale historian David Blight

    "Must-read" new author Austin Channing Brown

    Critically acclaimed essayist and sociologist Tressie McMillan Cottom

    New York Times bestselling author Robin DiAngelo 

    National Book Award Finalist Erica Armstrong Dunbar

    Well-Read Black Girl Founder Glory Edim 

    Award-winning Harvard historian Elizabeth Hinton

    New York Times bestselling author Morgan Jerkins

    Pulitzer Prize winning poet Tyehimba Jess

    Award-winning John Hopkins historian Martha Jones 

    Award-winning UC Berkeley historian Stephanie E. Jones-Rogers

    National Book Award winning historian Ibram X. Kendi

    Award-winning Washington Post editor Steve Luxenberg

    Nationally renowned Campaign Zero Co-Founder DeRay McKesson

    Guggenheim Fellowship recipient Jonathan M. Metzl 

    Columbia University writer-in-residence Darnell Moore

    New York Times bestselling author Ijeoma Oluo

    Award-winning Princeton scholar Imani Perry

    New York Times bestselling author Jason Reynolds

    Award-winning poet and writer Clint Smith 

    National Book Award honoree Margaret Wilkerson Sexton

    PEN Open Book Award winner Nafissa Thompson-Spires 

    The Witness President Jemar Tisby 

    New York Times bestselling author D. Watkins

    National Ambassador for Young People's Literature Jacqueline Woodson

    Very Smart Brothas Cofounder Damon Young 


    Rasha Abdulhadi, Executive Director, Split This Rock

    Angela J. Davis, Professor of Law, American University

    Rev. Ronald W. Galvin, Jr., Covenant Baptist UCC Church

    Alicia Garza, Principal, Black Futures Lab and Co-Creator, #BlackLivesMatter

    Wesley Lowery, National Reporter, The Washington Post

    Vann R. Newkirk II, Staff Writer, The Atlantic 

    Lonnae O'Neal, Senior Writer, The Undefeated

    Christopher Petrella, The Antiracist Research & Policy Center

    Christine Platt, The Antiracist Research & Policy Center

    Bridget Todd, Host, AFROPUNK

    Vanessa Williams, National Reporter, The Washington Post


    Anthony Arnove, Founding Editor, Haymarket Books

    Georgia Bodnar, Editor, Viking Books, Penguim Random House 

    Carl Bromley, Editorial Director, The New Press

    Jaya Chatterjee, Editor, Yale University Press

    Chris Jackson, Publisher & Editor-in-Chief, One World/Random House

    Marita Golden, Award-winning writer and writing coach 

    Rachael Marks, Editor, Beacon Press

    Tanya McKinnon, Co-Founder, McKinnon McIntyre Literary Agency

    Katy O'Donnell, Senior Editor, Bold Type Books, Hachette Book Group

    Ayesha Pande, Ayesha Pande Literary

    Tracy Sherrod, Editorial Director, Amistad, HarperCollins Publishers

    Anjali Singh, Ayesha Pande Literary

    Howard Yoon, Ross Yoon Agency


    9 a.m.

    On the history and persistence of racism in the Christian church with Jemar Tisby and Austin Channing Brown moderated by Rev. Ronald W. Galvin, JrGrossman Hall A. 

    Jemar Tisby is the author of the critically acclaimed new book, THE COLOR OF COMPROMISE: THE TRUTH ABOUT THE AMERICAN CHURCH’S COMPLICITY IN RACISM. It is an acclaimed, timely narrative of how people of faith have historically--up to the present day--worked against racial justice, and a call for urgent action by all Christians today in response. Tisby is president of The Witness: A Black Christian Collective, and the cohost of the Pass The Mic podcast. His writing has been featured in The New York Times, The Atlantic, and CNN.

    Austin Channing Brown is the author of the widely acclaimed book, I'M STILL HERE: BLACK DIGNITY IN A WORLD MADE FOR WHITENESS. From a powerful new voice on racial justice, I'M STILL HERE is an eye-opening account of growing up Black, Christian, and female in middle-class white America. The book has been featured in Religion News Service, On Being, Chicago Tribune, Shondaland, Popsugar, Relevant, BitchMedia, WNYC and more. Brown has worked with nonprofits, churches, and universities for the advancement of racial justice and reconciliation, and her writing can be found in Sojourners Magazine and Relevant Magazine, among other outlets.

    Rev. Ronald W. Galvin, Jr., has committed his life’s work to community building, community organizing, and social change. He is a minister at Covenant Baptist UCC Church in Southeastern Washington, DC. He helps run the Sunday school and has worked closely with Pastor Dennis Wiley to help relaunch the ChristAfrican Theological Institute, an innovative collaboration between the church, community, and university settings convened for the purpose of improving the lives of Black folks. He currently works at the Center for Community Change in Washington, DC where he serves as Sr. Advisor on the Center’s Economic Justice Team.

    On the production of Whiteness with Robin DiAngelo and Jonathan M. Metzl moderated by Christopher Petrella. Grossman Hall B.

    Robin DiAngelo is the author of WHITE FRAGILITY: WHY IT’S SO HARD FOR WHITE PEOPLE TO TALK ABOUT RACISM, a New York Times bestseller. This book explores the counterproductive reactions White people have when their assumptions about race are challenged, and how these reactions maintain racial inequality. DiAngelo has been a consultant and trainer on issues of racial and social justice for more than over 20 years. She formerly served as a tenured professor of multicultural education at Westfield State University.

    Jonathan M. Metzl is the author of DYING OF WHITENESS: HOW THE POLITICS OF RACIAL RESENTMENT IS KILLING AMERICA’S HEARTLAND, which was named by the Boston Globe and Esquire as one of the most anticipated books of 2019. The book shows that while many lower and middle-class White Americans are drawn to politicians who pledge to make their lives great again, the policies of their politicians are actually placing White Americans at ever-greater risk of sickness and death. Metzl is the Frederick B. Rentschler II professor of sociology and psychiatry at Vanderbilt University and director of its Center for Medicine, Health, and Society. A 2008 Guggenheim fellow, He is the author of several books and a prominent expert on gun violence and mental illness.

    Christopher Petrella is the Director of Advocacy & Strategic Partnerships for the Antiracist Research & Policy Center and teaches in the Critical Race, Gender, and Culture Studies Collaborative at American University. Petrella has played a leading role in developing political education curricula for Colin Kaepernick's Know Your Rights Camp. Petrella’s work has been featured in The Washington Post, The New York Times, NBC News, The New Yorker, Harper's Magazine, Boston Review, GQ, and NPR. His current book project, CRIMES OF THIS GUILTY LAND: HISTORIES OF WHITE SUPREMACY IN NEW ENGLAND (Haymarket), challenges the way white New England narrates itself as an imagined community of racial piety over and against the U.S. South. 

    10 a.m.

    On homophobia, transphobia, and their intersections with racism with Darnell Moore and TBA. Grossman Hall A

    Darnell L. Moore is the author of NO ASHES IN THE FIRE: COMING OF AGE BLACK AND FREE IN AMERICA, a New York Times Notable Book of 2018. Moore is the head of Strategy and Programs at BreakthroughUS. He is also a columnist at and, and a former editor at large at CASSIUS and senior editor at Mic, where he hosted their widely viewed digital series The Movement. He writings have been published in Ebony, Advocate, Vice, Guardian and MSNBC. Moore is a writer-in-residence at the Center of African American Religion, Sexual Politics, and Social Justice at Columbia University.

    On new research on enslavers, runaways, and women with Erica Armstrong Dunbar and Stephanie E. Jones-Rogers moderated by Vanessa Williams. Grossman Hall B.

    Erica Armstong Dunbar is the author of NEVER CAUGHT: THE WASHINGTONS’ RELENTLESS PURSUIT OF THEIR RUNAWAY SLAVE, ONA JUDGE, a finalist for the National Book Award for Nonfiction. Dunbar is the Charles and Mary Beard Professor of History at Rutgers University. She also serves as Director of the Program in African American History at the Library Company of Philadelphia. Her first book, A FRAGILE FREEDOM: AFRICAN AMERICAN WOMEN AND EMANCIPATION IN THE ANTEBELLUM CITY, was published in 2008.

    Stephanie E. Jones-Rogers is the author of the widely reviewed and acclaimed new book, THEY WERE HER PROPERTY: WHITE WOMEN AS SLAVE OWNERS IN THE AMERICAN SOUTH, based on her award-winning dissertation. It is a bold and searing investigation into the role of White women in the American slave economy that profoundly reshapes the history of slavery. Jones-Rogers is a historian at the University of California, Berkeley.

    Vanessa Williams is a staff writer on the National desk at The Washington Post, where she writes about politics through the lens of race and gender. Williams joined The Post in 1996  as a reporter covering D.C. government. She has also been an editor on the Metro and National desks. Before joining the Post, Williams was a staff writer for the Philadelphia Inquirer, where she covered local and state government and politics. A graduate of Florida State University, Williams began her journalism career at her hometown newspaper, The St. Petersburg Times (now the Tampa Bay Times) in Florida. Williams is a longtime member of the National Association of Black Journalists, of which she served as president from 1997-1999.

    11 a.m.

    On the lives of urban low-income Black people with Damon Young and D. Watkins moderated by Vann R. Newkirk. Grossman Hall A.

    Damon Young is the author of the new book, WHAT DOESN'T KILL YOU MAKES YOU BLACKER: A MEMOIR IN ESSAYS, a provocative and humorous memoir-in-essays that explores the ever-shifting definitions of what it means to be Black (and male) in America. Young is the cofounder and editor in chief of VerySmartBrothas, a senior editor at The Root, and a columnist for GQ. His work has appeared in outlets such as the New York Times, the Washington Post, CNN, MSNBC, Al-Jazeera, Slate, Salon, The Guardian (UK), New York magazineJezebel, Complex, EBONY, Essence, USA Today, and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

    D. Watkins is the author of the new book, WE SPEAK FOR OURSELVES: A WORD FROM FORGOTTEN BLACK AMERICA. From the row houses of Baltimore to the stoops of Brooklyn, Watkins lays bare the voices of the most vulnerable and allows their raw, intimate stories to uncover the systematic injustice threaded within our society. D. Watkins is editor-at-large for Salon and the New York Times bestselling author of THE COOK UP and THE BEAST SIDE. He’s a professor at the University of Baltimore and founder of the BMORE Writers Project. His work has been published in The New York TimesGuardianRolling Stone, and other publications. 

    Vann R. Newkirk II is a staff writer at The Atlantic, where he covers politics and policy. Vann is also a co-founder of and contributing editor for Seven Scribes, a website and community dedicated to promoting young writers and artists of color. In his work, Vann has covered health policy and civil rights, voting rights in Virginia, environmental justice, and the confluence of race and class in American politics throughout history, and the evolution of black identity.

    On the contours and impact of racism and sexism on Black women, popular culture, and society with Morgan Jerkins and Tressie Cottom moderated by Bridget Todd. Grossman Hall B.

    Morgan Jerkins is author of THIS WILL BE MY UNDOING: LIVING AT THE INTERSECTION OF BLACK, FEMALE, AND FEMINIST IN (WHITE) AMERICA, a New York Times bestseller. Jerkins’ highly-anticipated collection of linked essays interweaves her incisive commentary on pop culture, feminism, black history, misogyny, and racism with her own experiences to confront the very real challenges of being a Black woman today. Jerkins is a former Associate Editor at Catapult and currently a Visiting Assistant Professor at Columbia University’s MFA Nonfiction program. She has contributed to The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Atlantic, Rolling Stone, and ELLE, among many others.

    Tressie McMillan Cottom is the author of the new book, THICK: AND OTHER ESSAYS, a book recommended by New York Times, the Washington PostChicago TribuneEntertainment WeeklyBustleBook RiotBuzzFeedBUSTLit HubThe Millions, and Well-Read Black Girl. THICK waxes poetically on self and society, serving up a healthy portion of clever prose and southern aphorisms as she covers everything from Saturday Night Live, LinkedIn, and BBQ Becky to sexual violence, infant mortality, and Trump rallies. Cottom is a sociologist at Virginia Commonwealth University. Her work has been featured by the Washington Post, NPR’s Fresh AirThe Daily Show, the New York TimesSlate, and The Atlantic, among others outlets.

    12 p.m.

    On sharing and complicating the stories of Black women with Imani Perry and Glory Edim moderated by Lonnae O'Neal. Grossman Hall A.

    Imani Perry is the author of LOOKING FOR LORRAINE: THE RADIANT AND RADICAL LIFE OF LORRAINE HANSBERRY, the winner of the 2019 PEN/Jacqueline Bograd Weld Award for Biography and a New York Times Notable Book of 2018. Perry is the Hughes-Rogers Professor of African American Studies at Princeton University, where she also teaches in the Programs in Law and Public Affairs, and in Gender and Sexuality Studies. She is the author of several books, including VEXY THING: ON GENDER AND LIBERATION and MAY WE FOREVER STAND: A HISTORY OF THE BLACK NATIONAL ANTHEM.

    Glory Edim is the author of WELL-READ BLACK GIRL: FINDING OUR STORIES, DISCOVERING OURSELVES, which was nominated for an NAACP Image Award. It is an inspiring collection of essays by Black women writers, on the importance of recognizing ourselves in literature. Edim is the founder of Well-Read Black Girl, a Brooklyn-based book club and digital platform that celebrates the uniqueness of Black literature and sisterhood that has been featured in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Vanity Fair, and NPR, among other outlets. In fall 2017 she organized the first-ever Well-Read Black Girl Festival. She has worked as a creative strategist for over ten years at startups and cultural institutions.

    Lonnae O’Neal is a senior writer at The Undefeated, specializing in the intersection of race, sports and culture. In 2016, she was a top ten winner in the Associated Press Sports Editors contest and was cited in the Notable Sports Writing list in the annual The Best American Sports Writing book. Prior to joining The Undefeated, she was a Pulitzer Prize-nominated Washington Post reporter and columnist for two decades, during which her recognition included the 2016 first-place winner of the Society for Features Journalism award for excellence in commentary. In 2000, O’Neal won the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism award for distinguished work in the coverage of race and ethnicity in America. That same year, her feature story “White Girl” was the subject of a special broadcast of ABC’s “Nightline.” She is author of I’M EVERY WOMAN: REMIXED STORIES OF MARRIAGE, MOTHERHOOD AND WORK.

    On hope, resistance, and redemption in the face of White Supremacy with DeRay McKesson and Margaret Wilkerson Sexton moderated by Wesley Lowery. Grossman Hall B.

    DeRay Mckesson is the author of ON THE OTHER SIDE OF FREEDOM: THE CASE FOR HOPE, named one of the best books of 2018 by NPR and Esquire. The book is a meditation on resistance, justice, and freedom, and an intimate portrait of a movement from the front lines. McKesson is a civil rights activist, community organizer, and the host of Crooked Media's award-winning podcast, Pod Save the People. He came to prominence for his participation in, and documentation of, the Ferguson protests and the movement against police violence and mass incarceration. Named one of Time's 30 Most Influential People on the Internet and #11 on Fortune's World's Greatest Leaders list, he is leading voice in the Black Lives Matter movement and the co-founder of Campaign Zero, a policy platform to end police violence.

    Margaret Wilkerson Sexton is the author of A KIND OF FREEDOM: A NOVEL, a 2017 National Book Award nominee and winner of the Crook’s Corner Prize. Sexton's debut novel was named one of the Best Books of 2017 by the New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Ebony, BBC Culture, Southern Living, and Chicago Public Library. It explores the legacy of racism in the South through a poignant and redemptive family history. Born and raised in New Orleans, Sexton studied creative writing at Dartmouth College and law at UC Berkeley. She was a recipient of the Lombard Fellowship and spent a year in the Dominican Republic working for a civil rights organization and writing.

    Wesley Lowery is a Pulitzer Prize-winning national correspondent covering law enforcement, race and justice for The Washington Post and an on-air contributor for CNN. He has been the paper's lead reporter covering police shootings and the Black Lives Matter protest movement. His work has also appeared in the Boston Globe, the Los Angeles Times, the Wall Street Journal and Sports Illustrated. His first book, the New York Times bestseller THEY CAN'T KILL US ALL: FERGUSON, BALTIMORE, AND A NEW ERA IN AMERICA'S RACIAL JUSTICE MOVEMENT was awarded the 2017 Christopher Isherwood prize for autobiographical prose by the Los Angeles Times Book Prizes.

    1 p.m.

    On opening up the racial dialogue with Ijeoma Oluo and Nafissa Thompson-Spires. Grossman Hall A.

    Ijeoma Oluo is the author of SO YOU WANT TO TALK ABOUT RACE, a New York Times bestseller. She guides readers of all races through a wide range of subjects in an attempt to make the seemingly impossible possible: honest conversations about race and racism. Oluo is a Seattle-based writer and speaker whose work on race has been featured in The Guardian, New York magazine, xoJane, Jezebel, and more. She is also an editor-at-large at The Establishment. She was named one of the The Root’s 100 Most Influential African Americans in 2017, one of the Most Influential People in Seattle by Seattle Magazine, one of the 50 Most Influential Women in Seattle by Seattle Met, and winner of the of the 2018 Feminist Humanist Award by the American Humanist Society.

    Nafissa Thompson-Spires is the author of HEADS OF COLORED PEOPLE: STORIES, nominated for the National Book Award. It was a PEN Open Book Award Winner, finalist for the Kirkus Prize and Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and nominated for the Aspen Words Literary Prize and PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize. This book of short stories fearlessly shines a light on the simmering tensions and precariousness of Black citizenship. She earned a doctorate in English from Vanderbilt University and a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the University of Illinois. Her work has appeared in Story Quarterly, Lunch Ticket, and The Feminist Wire, among other publications. She was a 2016 fellow of the Callaloo Writer’s Workshop.

    On racism's strangehold on American democracy and antiracist resistance for survival with Carol Anderson and Ibram X. Kendi moderated by Alicia Garza. Grossman Hall B.

    Carol Anderson is the author of ONE PERSON, NO VOTE: HOW VOTER SUPPRESSION IS DESTROYING OUR DEMOCRACY, a finalist for the PEN/John Kenneth Galbraith Award for Nonfiction and National Book Award for Nonfiction nominee. The book is a startling--and timely--history of voter suppression in America. Anderson is the Charles Howard Candler Professor and Chair of African American Studies at Emory University. She is also the author of WHITE RAGE, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award, BOURGEOIS RADICALS, and EYES OFF THE PRIZE. She was recently named a Guggenheim Fellow for Constitutional Studies.

    Ibram X. Kendi is the author of the forthcoming book, HOW TO BE AN ANTIRACIST, and STAMPED FROM THE BEGINNING: THE DEFINITIVE HISTORY OF RACIST IDEAS IN AMERICA, a New York Times bestseller and winner of the National Book Award for Nonfiction. He is the founding director of the Antiracist Research and Policy Center at American University. A professor of history and international relations and frequent public speaker, Kendi is a columnist at The Atlantic. He is also the author of The Black Campus Movement, which won the W.E.B. Du Bois Book Prize.

    Alicia Garza is an internationally recognized organizer, writer, and public speaker. In 2018, Garza founded the Black Futures Lab, which works to make Black people powerful in politics. Currently, as the Strategy & Partnerships Director for the National Domestic Workers Alliance, Garza works to build power, placing domestic workers at the forefront of the movement we need to change the domestic work industry and to build an economy that places people over profits. With Opal Tometi and Patrisse Cullors, Garza created the Black Lives Matter Movement and Global Network, with 40 chapters in 4 countries. Garza's writing and work has been featured in TimeMicMarie ClaireThe Guardian,, Essence Magazine, and The New York Times. She has received numerous awards and honors, including the 2017 Sydney Peace Prize, Fortune Magazine 2016 World’s Greatest Leaders, and she was a member of the 2016 Tribunal of the US Black Women’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission held at the United Nations.

    2 p.m.

    On the endurance of mass incarceration with Elizabeth Hinton and Shane Bauer moderated by Angela J. Davis. Grossman Hall A.

    Elizabeth Hinton is the author of FROM THE WAR ON POVERTY TO THE WAR ON CRIME: THE MAKING OF MASS INCARCERATION, the co-winner of the Thomas J. Wilson Memorial Prize. It was named one of the most notable or favorite books of 2016 by the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Choice, and Publishers WeeklyHinton examines the implementation of federal law enforcement programs beginning in the mid-1960s that made the United States home to the largest prison system in world history. Hinton is John L. Loeb Associate Professor of the Social Sciences in the Department History and the Department of African and African American Studies at Harvard University. 

    Shane Bauer is the author of AN AMERICAN PRISON: A REPORTER'S UNDERCOVER JOURNEY INTO THE BUSINESS OF PUNISHMENT, which the New York Times named one of the 10 Best Books of 2018. It was one of President Barack Obama’s favorite books of 2018. AN AMERICAN PRISON is a ground-breaking and brave inside reckoning with the nexus of prison and profit in America: in one Louisiana prison and over the course of our country's history. Bauer is a senior reporter for Mother Jones. He is the recipient of the National Magazine Award for Best Reporting, Harvard's Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting, Atlantic Media's Michael Kelly Award, the Hillman Prize for Magazine Journalism, and at least 20 others. Bauer is the co-author, along with Sarah Shourd and Joshua Fattal, of a memoir, A Sliver of Light, which details his time spent as a prisoner in Iran.

    Angela J. Davis, professor of law at AU's Washington College of Law, is an expert in criminal law and procedure with a specific focus on prosecutorial power and racism in the criminal justice system. Davis previously served as director of the D.C. Public Defender Service, where she began as a staff attorney representing indigent juveniles and adults. She also served as executive director of the National Rainbow Coalition and is a former law clerk of the Honorable Theodore R. Newman, the former Chief Judge of the D.C. Court of Appeals. Davis has authored or edited ARBITRARY JUSTICE: THE POWER OF THE AMERICAN PROSECUTORPOLICING THE BLACK MAN: ARREST, PROSECUTION AND IMPRISONMENTCRIMINAL LAW (with Katheryn Russell-Brown), TRIAL STORIES (with Michael E. Tigar) and BASIC CRIMINAL PROCEDURE (with Professors Stephen Saltzburg and Daniel Capra). 

    On writing to capture the hearts and minds of youth with Jason Reynolds and Jacqueline Woodson moderated by Christine Platt. Grossman Hall B.

    Jason Reynolds is the New York Times bestselling author of LONG WAY DOWN, a winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Young Adult Literature and the Walter Dean Myers Award. It was also nominated for the National Book Award for Young People's Literature. His many works of fiction include WHEN I WAS THE GREATEST, BOY IN THE BLACK SUIT, ALL AMERICAN BOYS (cowritten with Brendan Kiely), AS BRAVE AS YOU, FOR EVERY ONE, MILES MORALES: SPIDER MAN, and the Track series (GHOST, PATINA, SUNNY, and LU). Reynolds is a National Book Award Honoree, a Kirkus Award winner, a two-time Walter Dean Myers Award winner, an NAACP Image Award Winner, and the recipient of multiple Coretta Scott King honors. Reynolds was named the American Booksellers Association's 2017 and 2018 spokesperson for Indies First, and served as the national spokesperson for the 2018 celebration of School Library Month in April 2018, sponsored by the American Association of School Librarians (AASL).

    Jacqueline Woodson's latest children's picture book is THE DAY YOU BEGIN, which was a #1 New York Times bestseller. Woodson is the 2018-2019 National Ambassador for Young People's Literature and received the 2018 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award and the 2018 Children's Literature Legacy Award. She is the 2014 National Book Award winner for her New York Times bestselling memoir Brown Girl Dreaming, which was also a recipient of the Coretta Scott King Award, a Newbery Honor, the NAACP Image Award and a Sibert Honor. She receive the Jane Addams Children's Book Award and is a four-time Newbery Honor winner, a three-time National Book Award finalist, and a two-time Coretta Scott King Award winner. Her many books include THE OTHER SIDEEACH KINDNESSCOMING ON HOME SOONFEATHERSSHOW WAYAFTER TUPAC AND D FOSTER, and MIRACLE'S BOYS. She received the Margaret A. Edwards Award for lifetime achievement for her contributions to young adult literature.

    Christine Platt is the Managing Director of the Antiracist Research and Policy Center. A scholar of African and African-American history and culture, Christine holds a B.A. in Africana Studies from the University of South Florida, M.A. in African and African American Studies from The Ohio State University, and J.D. from Stetson University College of Law. She enjoys writing historical fiction and non-fiction for people of all ages. Her books include THE TRUTH ABOUT AWITI, DEAR ANCESTORS, THE ANA & ANDREW SERIES, and the forthcoming SHEROES: REAL WONDERWOMEN OF HISTORY. Christine is a member of the Association of Black Women Historians and the Association for the Study of African American Life and History. Christine is also a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators and serves as an Ambassador for Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture.

    3 p.m.

    On using the lyric and the poem to blend the past and present with Tyehimba Jess and Clint Smith. Grossman Hall A.

    Tyehimba Jess is the author of OLIO, which won the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry, the Anisfield-Wolf Award in Poetry, and the Society of Midland Authors Award in Poetry. Part fact, part fiction, OLIO weaves sonnet, song, and narrative to examine the lives of mostly unrecorded African American performers directly before and after the Civil War up to World War I. His first book of poetry, leadbelly, won the 2004 National Poetry Series. Library Journal and Black Issues Book Review both named it one of the “Best Poetry Books of 2005.” Jess, a Cave Canem and NYU Alumni, received a 2004 Literature Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, and was a 2004-2005 Winter Fellow at the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center. Jess is a professor of English at College of Staten Island.

    Clint Smith is the author of COUNTING DESCENT, winner of the 2017 Black Caucus of the American Library Association Literary Award and finalist for the 2017 NAACP Image Awards. A "One Book One New Orleans" 2017 Book Selection, Smith's debut poetry collection is a coming of age story that seeks to complicate our conception of lineage and tradition. Smith is a doctoral candidate at Harvard University and has received fellowships from Cave Canem, the Callaloo Creative Writing Workshop, and the National Science Foundation. He is a 2014 National Poetry Slam champion and was a speaker at the 2015 TED Conference. His writing has been published in The New YorkerThe GuardianThe American Poetry ReviewBoston ReviewHarvard Educational Review and elsewhere.

    Rasha Abdulhadi is Split This Rock's Interim Executive Director. Abdulhadi has more than sixteen years' experience in strategic planning and organizational development for racial, economic, and environmental justice movements. They have worked as a popular educator, cultural organizer, community technologist, farmer, and bookstore manager. Abdulhadi is the author of SHELL HOUSES. Their writing has appeared in Strange Horizons, Mslexia, Mizna, Room, Plume, and |tap| magazine and is anthologized several books. Abdulhadi has received fellowships from the Poetry Foundation, the Maryland State Arts Council, and Split This Rock and is a member of the Radius of Arab American Writers and Justice for Muslims healing collective.

    On the nineteenth century fight of African Americans for freedom and civil rights with David Blight and Martha Jones. Grossman Hall B.

    David W. Blight is the author of FREDERICK DOUGLASS: A PROPHET OF FREEDOM, which was named one of the top 10 books of 2018 by the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Time. He is Class of 1954 Professor of American History and Director of the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition at Yale University. He is the author or editor of a dozen books, including American Oracle: The Civil War in the Civil Rights Era; and Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory; and annotated editions of Douglass’s first two autobiographies. He has worked on Douglass much of his professional life, and been awarded the Bancroft Prize, the Abraham Lincoln Prize, and the Frederick Douglass Prize, among others.

    Martha S. Jones is the author of BIRTHRIGHT CITIZENS: A HISTORY OF RACE AND RIGHTS IN ANTEBELLUM AMERICA, a highly acclaimed book that shows how African American activists radically transformed the terms of citizenship for all Americans. Jones is the Society of Black Alumni Presidential Professor and Professor of History at The Johns Hopkins University. She also authored ALL BOUND UP TOGETHER: THE WOMAN QUESTION IN AFRICAN AMERICAN PUBLIC CULTURE 1830-1900 and co-edited TOWARD AN INTELLECTUAL HISTORY OF BLACK WOMEN. Jones has written for the Washington Post, the AtlanticUSA TodayPublic Books, the Chronicle of Higher Education, and Time.

    4 p.m.

    On the rise of Jim Crow and its relevance today with Steve Luxenberg and TBA. Grossman Hall A.

    Steve Luxenberg is the author of the new book, SEPARATE: THE STORY OF PLESSY V. FERGUSON, AND AMERICA'S JOURNEY FROM SLAVERY TO SEGREGATION, which won the J. Anthony Lukas Work-in-Progress Award. He is also the author of the critically acclaimed ANNIE’S GHOSTS: A JOURNEY INTO A FAMILY SECRET. During his thirty years as a Washington Post senior editor, he has overseen reporting that has earned numerous national honors, including two Pulitzer Prizes.

    Editorial Workshops 

    On the Book Idea & Proposal with Georgia Bodnar and Jaya Chatterjee

    9 a.m.

    Georgia Bodnar is an editor at Viking Books, a legendary imprint of Penguin Random House with a distinguished list of extraordinary Pulitzer Prize– and Nobel Award–winning writers in fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. A “rising publishing industry star” (BuzzFeed), she is the editor of ON THE OTHER SIDE OF FREEDOM by activist DeRay McKesson, as well as forthcoming books from feminist and essayist Mikki Kendall and acclaimed scientist and Emory ethnobotanist Cassandra Quave. She is proud to have worked with many celebrated and bestselling writers including Nancy MacLean, Nancy Isenberg, Nathaniel Philbrick, Steven Hahn, and Steven Pinker.

    Jaya Chatterjee is the editor for world history, geopolitics, and International Relations at Yale University Press. She was named in 2016 by Publisher’s Weekly as one of the handful of publishers “who are making a big splash early in their careers.” She commissions books from scholars, policy analysts at research centers and think tanks, and long-form journalists whose work is grounded in scholarship. Broadly speaking, her books are both timely, uncovering the rich history that undergirds our world today, and timeless—definitive works that will have longevity in libraries and college courses.

    On Securing the Literary Agent with Tanya McKinnon and Ayesha Pande

    10 a.m.

    Tanya McKinnon is the co-founder of the McKinnon McIntyre Literary Agency where she represents New York Times bestselling non-fiction, award-winning public intellectuals, award-winning children's books, and New York Times bestselling graphic novels. She specializes in non-fiction that addresses cultural issues as well as gender, race, class, ethnicity, and sexuality. She is most drawn to work that pushes political and cultural boundaries. Her authors include Michael Eric Dyson, Akiba Solomon, Damon Young, Brittney Cooper, and Patrisse Khan-Cullors. She teachers Writing for Children in the Publishing Certificate Program at City College of New York and has been a literary agent for sixteen years.

    Ayesha Pande has worked in the publishing industry for over twenty years. Before launching her boutique agency, Pande was a senior editor at Farrar Straus & Giroux. She has also held editorial positions at HarperCollins and Crown Publishers. Among her many wonderful clients are National Book Award winner Ibram X. Kendi, PEN/Bingham Prize winner Danielle Evans, PEN/Bellwether Prize winner Lisa Ko, New York Times bestselling author Shilpi Somaya Gowda and PEN/Hemingway finalist Patricia Engel. Her interests are wide-ranging and include literary as well as popular fiction, young adult, women’s, African-American and international fiction. She is also seeking authors of nonfiction, including biography, history, popular culture, cultural commentary, and memoir. She is particularly drawn to distinctive, original voices.

    On Writing the First Book with Rachael Marks and Jenn Baker

    11 a.m.

    Rachael Marks is an editor at Beacon Press. She acquires in education, with a special interest in educational equality and democracy; cultural environments of urban, suburban, and rural educational settings; issues of difference, diversity, social justice, and alliance building. Here titles include: FOR WHITE FOLKS WHO TEACH IN THE HOOD...AND THE REST OF Y’ALL TOO: REALITY PEDAGOGY AND URBAN EDUCATION by Christopher Emdin and WHITE FRAGILITY: WHY IT’S SO HARD FOR WHITE PEOPLE TO TALK ABOUT RACISM by Robin DiAngelo.

    Jennifer Baker is a publishing professional, creator/host of the Minorities in Publishing podcast, and contributing editor to Electric Literature. In 2017, she received a NYSCA/NYFA Fellowship & a Queens Council on the Arts New Work Grant for Nonfiction Literature. Her essay "What We Aren't (or the Ongoing Divide)" was listed as a Notable Essay in The Best American Essays 2018. Jennifer is also the editor of the all PoC-short story anthology Everyday People: The Color of Life (Atria Books, 2018). Her writing has appeared in, LitHub, Poets & Writers, Newtown Literary, and Bustle among other print & online publications. 

    On from Academic to Trade Book with Katy O'Donnell and Ibram X. Kendi

    12 p.m.

    Ibram X. Kendi is the author of the forthcoming book, HOW TO BE AN ANTIRACIST, and STAMPED FROM THE BEGINNING: THE DEFINITIVE HISTORY OF RACIST IDEAS IN AMERICA, a New York Times bestseller and winner of the National Book Award for Nonfiction. He is the founding director of the Antiracist Research and Policy Center at American University. A professor of history and international relations and frequent public speaker, Kendi is a columnist at The Atlantic. He is also the author of The Black Campus Movement, which won the W.E.B. Du Bois Book Prize.

    On Fiction Writing with Anjali Singh and Marita Golden

    1 p.m.

    Anjali Singh is a literary agent at Ayesha Pande Literary. She started her career in publishing in 1996 as a literary scout. Most recently Editorial Director at Other Press, she has also worked as an editor at Simon & Schuster, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and Vintage Books. She is is best known for having championed Marjane Satrapi’s PERSEPOLIS after stumbling across it on a visit to Paris. She has always been drawn to the thrill of discovering new writers, and among the literary novelists whose careers she helped launch are Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Samantha Hunt, Preeta Samarasan, Zoe Ferraris, Victoria Patterson, Natalie Bakopoulos, Enid Shomer and Brigid Pasulka. 

    Marita Golden is an award-winning author of 16 works of fiction and nonfiction. Her latest novel, THE WIDE CIRCUMFERENCE OF LOVE, was an NPR Best Book in 2017 and nominated for the NAACP Image Award. It was her second nomination for an NAACP Image Award. Golden has also been honored by the Association of Maryland Librarians, the American Library Association, the Authors Guild, Poets & Writers, Chicago State University, the University of Richmond, Zeta Phi Beta, and her alma mater, American University. Golden is a master instructor of writing, having taught writing and served as a writer in residence at George Mason University, University of District of Columbia, John Hopkins University, Virginia Commonwealth University, Emerson College, The University of Lagos (Nigeria), and American University. 

    On the Author Platform with Howard Yoon

    2 p.m.

    Howard Yoon is a literary agent and principal of the Ross Yoon Agency. He started as a literary assistant in 1992 and over the years has served as an editorial director, ghostwriter, foreign rights manager, book consultant, and book editor. Yoon specializes in narrative nonfiction, history, memoir, science, current events, politics, and popular culture. Yoon has been an adjunct professor at the Masters of Journalism program at Georgetown University, where he has won awards teaching a narrative nonfiction writing class. He was a former contributor to’s food blog, “Kitchen Window.” He currently serves as the board chair of 826DC, the DC chapter of a nonprofit founded by novelist Dave Eggers to support public school students in areas of creative writing, reading, and learning.

    On Non-Fiction Writing with Anthony Arnove and Carl Bromley

    3 p.m.

    Anthony Arnove is the co-founder and an editor at Haymarket Books, a radically independent press. Anthony has worked with many popular authors, including Noam Chomsky, Arundhati Roy, Rebecca Solnit, Angela Davis, Howard Zinn, Amy Goodman, Winona LaDuke, Dave Zirin, Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, Avi Lewis, and Naomi Klein. Anthony Arnove produced the Academy Award–nominated documentary Dirty Wars and wrote, directed, and produced The People Speak with Howard Zinn. He is the editor of several books.

    Carl Bromley is the editorial director of the New Press, a publishing house most known for publishing THE NEW JIM CROW by Michelle Alexander. Bromley was previously the editorial director at Bold Type Books. Over the years, he was worked with many writers of serious non-fiction, including U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, Juan Gonzalez, Raja Shehadeh, Kristina Rizga, Robert Scheer, Judith Nies, John Prados, and Jeremy Scahill.

    On the Making of the Bestseller with Chris Jackson and Tracy Sherrod

    4 p.m.

    Chris Jackson is the publisher and editor-in-chief of One World, a newly relaunched imprint of Random House. He’s the editor of a wide range of award-winning and bestselling authors, including Bryan Stevenson, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Jill Leovy, Trevor Noah, Matt Taibbi, and Eddie Huang. One World’s forthcoming lists include Marwan Hisham, Molly Crabapple, Mona Hanna-Attisha, Jean Guerrero, Nikole Hannah-Jones, Ibram X. Kendi, and Valarie Kaur. His own writing has appeared in The Paris ReviewCallallooThe, and other outlets. He lives in New York.

    Tracy Sherrod is currently the editorial director of Amistad, an esteemed imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. Her most recent publications include Barracoon by Zora Neale Hurston, The Mother of Black Hollywood by Jenifer Lewis, The Cooking Gene by Michael Twitty, and Defining Moments in Black History by Dick Gregory. She is working with National Book Award winner Jacqueline Woodson, Man Booker Prize Winner Paul Beatty, astronaut Leland Melvin, Attorney Benjamin Crump, comedian Dick Gregory, Emmy Award Winner Steve Harvey, Rakim, and many other impressive voices. 


    The mission of The Antiracist Research and Policy Center at American University is to produce knowledge for change's sake. We engage in research of racial inequity and discrimination that leads to policy innovation and implementation. In its 125-year history, American University has established a reputation for producing changemakers focused on the challenges of a changing world. AU has garnered recognition for global education, public service, experiential learning and politically active and diverse students, as well as academic and research expertise in a wide range of areas including the arts, sciences, humanities, business and communication, political science and policy, governance, law and diplomacy.

    View Event
  • The DC Poet Project is a poetry reading series with connected open mic competition created by the non-profit Day Eight through funding from the DC Arts Commission and in partnership with the DC Public Library, Upshur Street Books, Brink Media, and Anacostia Coordinating Council.


    B. Free poetry workshop for adults and youth (min age 15) Saturday March 16 11:00am - 1:00 pm with Regie Cabico at Check It Enterprises 11:00-1:00, light lunch provided, no experience necessary. Address: 1920 Martin Luther King Jr Ave SE

    C. Saturday March 16 at We Act Radio, 1:00–3:0 pm featuring poets E. Ethelbert Miller and Naomi Ayala. This is a special event celebrating Malcolm X, "By Any Means Necessary." Addresss: 1918 Martin Luther King Jr Ave SE

    D. Saturday March 30 at Martha's Table, 1:00-3:00 pm featuring poets Venus Thrash, Shaquetta Nelson, and Susan Meehan. Address: 2375 Elvans Rd. SE

    E. Saturday April 6 at DC Public Library Anacostia Branch, 1:00-3:00 pm featuring poets Jeffrey Banks and Monica Leak. Address: 1800 Good Hope Rd. SE

    F. Culminating event: Saturday May 11, 1:00-3:00 pm at the Anacostia Library. Come vote to select the winner of the 2019 DC Poet Project! Address: 1800 Good Hope Rd. SE


    A. Saturday March 9 at the R.I.S.E. Center, 1:00–3:00 pm featuring poets C. Thomas and Regie Cabico. This is a special event celebrating the memory of DC Poet Essex Hemphill. Address: 2730 Martin Luther King Jr Ave SE

    with guest Honorary Poets: Councilmember Trayon White, Philip Pannell, Marvin Bowser, Ron Moten


    Event B Details: Poetry Workshop with Regie Cabico

    Date: Saturday March 16

    Time: 11:00 am– 1:00 pm

    Location: Check It Enterprises 1920 Martin Luther King Jr Ave SE

    Description: This poetry workshop will focus on the power of autobiography. While open to individuals of all ages, it is designed for adults, and seniors. In her poem, “Power”, Audre Lorde wrote,

    "I am lost without imagery or magic
    trying to make power
    out of hatred and destruction."

    In this workshop we will share personal stories, and create a timeline of our “up against the wall” moments, and victories. We will find imagery, using the things that bring us joy. All levels are welcome and this workshop is a safe and nurturing environment equally for the novice writer and the advanced poet. To ensure time for interaction and feedback, a total of 12 will be allowed in this free workshop.


    Regie Cabico is a spoken word pioneer, having won The Nuyorican Poets Cafe Grand Slam and later taking top prizes in three National Poetry Slams. Television credits include 2 seasons of HBO's Def Poetry Jam, NPR's Snap Judgement & MTV's Free Your Mind. His work appears in over 30 anthologies including Aloud: Voices from the Nuyorican Poets Café, Spoken Word Revolution & The Outlaw Bible of American Poetry. The Kenyon Review called Regie Cabico the "Lady Gaga of Poetry" and he has been listed in BUST magazine's 100 Men We Love.

    Event C: Poetry Reading and Open Mic Competition featuring poets E. Ethelbert Miller and Naomi Ayala, celebrating the memory of Malcolm X - "By Any Means Necessary" in partnership with We Act Radio.

    Date: Saturday March 16

    Time: 1:00 pm– 3:00 pm

    Location: We Act Radio, 1918 Martin Luther King Jr Ave SE Washington, DC 20020

    Are you a poet? Come read at the open mic Saturday March 16th for a chance at a hundred dollar cash prize, and selection as a finalist in the DC Poet Project.

    Listen to poets E. Ethelbert Miller and Naomi Ayala read their work, and stay to read your own poetry, or listen to other local poets read theirs. At the end, Mr. Miller and Ms. Ayala will select one open mic reader “the winner”, and award a one hundred dollar cash prize! The winner will be invited to compete in the final event, May 11th, for a chance to win a book contract with cash prize. This is a special event celebrating the ideas of Malcolm X. 


    E. Ethelbert Miller is a writer and literary activist. He is the author of several collections of poetry and two memoirs. For fourteen years he has been the editor of Poet Lore, the oldest poetry magazine published in the United States. In 1996, Emory and Henry College awarded Miller an honorary degree of Doctor of Literature. Miller is regularly heard on National Public Radio, and is host of the weekly morning radio show On the Margin which airs on WPFW-FM 89.3. Miller is also host and producer of The Scholars on UDC-TV. The Collected Poems of E. Ethelbert Miller, published in 2016 by Willow Books, is a comprehensive collection that represents over 40 years of his career as a poet. His most recent book is If God Invented Baseball, published by City Point Press.

    Born in Puerto Rico, Naomi Ayala moved to the United States in her teens, eventually earning an MFA from the Bennington College Writing Seminars. Writing in both Spanish and English, she is author of the poetry collections Wild Animals on the Moon (1997), and This Side of Early (2008). An educator and arts administrator, Ayala has received numerous awards, including the 2001 Larry Neal Writers Award from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities. 

    Event D: Poetry Reading and Open Mic Competition featuring poets Venus Thrash, Shaquetta Nelson, and Susan Meehan, in partnership with Martha's Table

    Date: Saturday March 30

    Time: 1:00 pm– 3:00 pm

    Saturday March 30 at Martha's Table, 1:00-3:00 pm featuring poets Venus Thrash and Susan Meehan. 

    Location: Martha's Table, 2375 Elvans Rd. SE Washington, DC 20020

    Are you a poet? Come read at the open mic Saturday March 30th for a chance at a hundred dollar cash prize, and selection as a finalist in the DC Poet Project.

    Listen to poets Venus Thrash, Shaquetta Nelson, and Susan Meehan read their work, and stay to read your own poetry, or listen to other local poets read theirs. At the end, the featuring poets will select one open mic reader “the winner”, and awarded a one hundred dollar cash prize! The winner will be invited to compete in the final event, May 11th, for a chance to win a book contract with cash prize.


    Venus Thrash is author of The Fateful Apple, nominated for the 2015 PEN Open Book Award. Her poetry is published in Beloit Poetry Journal, Torch, Gargoyle, and additional magazines and book anthologies. In 2017, she was named co-editor of Beltway Poetry Quarterly, is co-director of the Joaquin Miller Poetry Series, and teaches at Trinity Washington University.

    Shaquetta Nelson, known by her stage name R.E.I.L (real), was a finalist in the 2018 DC Poet project. At 16 she was one quarter of a slam team that competed in the Brave New Voices Youth Poetry Slam. She seeks inspiration from past and present life experiences to help the lives of other unsung souls.

    Susan Meehan was winner of the 2017 DC Poet Project. Through her win the non-profit Day Eight published her book Talking to the Night. Subsequently she is author of, The Color of Truth (2018), and Goddesses Incognito (2019.) A retired civil servant, Susan worked as Mayor Marion Barry’s constituent service director for Ward Two, and subsequently as D.C.’s first Patient Advocate, providing services to the city’s drug and alcohol addicts.

    Event E: Poetry Reading and Open Mic Competition featuring poets Jeffrey Banks, Monica Leak, and John Johnson

    Date: Saturday April 6

    Time: 1:00 pm– 3:00 pm

    Location: Anacostia Branch DC Public Library 1800 Good Hope Rd. SE

    Are you a poet? Come read at the open mic Saturday April 6th for a chance at a hundred dollar cash prize, and selection as a finalist in the DC Poet Project.

    Listen to poets Jefrey Banks, Monica Leak, and John Johnson read their work, and stay to read your own poetry, or listen to other local poets read theirs. At the end, the featuring poets will select one open mic reader “the winner”, and awarded a one hundred dollar cash prize! The winner will be invited to compete in the final event, May 11th, for a chance to win a book contract with cash prize.


    John Johnson was the winner of the 2018 DC Poet Project. Through his win, the non-profit Day Eight published Johnson’s book, Love for Her. Maryland poet laureate Grace Cavalieri called Love for Her, “A real find” and E. Ethelbert Miller wrote, “The poems are filled with wit, and wisdom.” A native Washingtonian and father of two, Johnson graduated from the University of the District of Columbia, and as a poet, playwright, actor, and producer, is dedicated to capturing the narratives of African Americans in Washington DC.

    Jeffrey Banks, poetically known as “Big Homey,” has worked with artists including the late Fred “Rerun” Berry, gospel singer Maurette Brown Clark, Syleena Johnson, Dr. Bobby Jones & others, and has been featured in media including Essence Magazine, and Black Enterprise Magazine. His album, Exposed-The EP, is the poetic testimonial of a Christian Believer. A licensed minister and substitute teacher, he provides consultant service to non-profits for events and development. He was a finalist in the 2018 DC Poet Project.

    Monica Leak, a graduate of Appalachian State University with a BS in Communication Disorders, South Carolina State University with a MA in Speech-Language Pathology, and North Carolina Central University with a MA of Library Science, was a finalist in the 2018 DC Poet Project. She is the editor and a contributing writer to Faith of our Founders, and has contributed writings for Lenten devotionals including “Surviving a Season of Suffering” and “A Devotional for Dismantling White Supremacy.” She works as a speech-language pathologist in southern Maryland, and as a seminary librarian in northern Virginia.


    Event A Details: Poetry Reading and Open Mic Competition with Regie Cabico and C. Thomas, "Celebrating Essex Hemphill", in partnership with the Anacostia Coordinating Council.

    A. Saturday March 9 at the R.I.S.E. Center, 1:00–3:00 pm featuring poets C. Thomas and Regie Cabico. This is a special event celebrating the memory of DC Poet Essex Hemphill. Address: 
    Date and Time: Saturday March 9, 1:00–3:00 pm

    Location: the R.I.S.E. Center, 12730 Martin Luther King Jr Ave SE

    Are you a poet? Come read at the open mic Saturday March 9th for a chance at a hundred dollar cash prize, and selection as a finalist in the DC Poet Project! Poets Regie Cabico and C. Thomas feature, along with special guest poets celbrating the memory of DC poet Essex Hemphill.

    At the end of the event, the featuring poets will select one open mic reader “the winner”, and award a one hundred dollar cash prize! The winner will be invited to compete in the culminating “DC Poet Project” event, May 11th, for a book contract including cash prize.


    Regie Cabico won The Nuyorican Poets Cafe Grand Slam and took top prizes in three National Poetry Slams. His television credits include two seasons of HBO's Def Poetry Jam, NPR's Snap Judgement & MTV's Free Your Mind, and his work appears in over 30 anthologies including Aloud: Voices from the Nuyorican Poets Café, Spoken Word Revolution & The Outlaw Bible of American Poetry.

    C. Thomas has blasted his story at Studio 2001 Art Gallery, Busboys and Poets, Angelina College, Howard University, Eleanor Roosevelt High School and Journey of Faith United Methodist Church, and was named a Pioneer of Poetry in 2015 in the National Underground Spoken Word Poetry Awards.

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  • In April of 1865, Lincoln proposed offering the vote to black soldiers who had served in the Union Army. It would turn out to be one of his final speeches: it's thought that this proposal is part of the reason Booth accelerated his plans to assassinate the president. This year, we will explore the pressing issues around voting rights as our theme for the fifth annual Lincoln Ideas Forum. Join us as we bring together experts, scholars, and the public in an exploration of the historic contexts of citizenship, voting rights, and the Constitution, alongside the contemporary repercussions of debates over who gets elective franchise. 

    This program is free and open to the public. Please register to reserve your space. 

    This program is presented in partnership with the Constitutional Sources Project.

    Speakers include: 

    Robert Tsai, American University

    Robert L. Tsai is Professor of Law at American University and a prize-winning essayist in constitutional law and history. Though he was born in Taiwan, he has always considered America his home. In fact, one of the proudest moments of his life was the day he was sworn in as a U.S. citizen. Tsai’s research spans constitutional law, legal history, democratic theory, American political culture, social movements, criminal procedure, presidential leadership, and radical constitutionalism. He has written about the legal obstacles placed in the way of black civil rights activists, President Franklin Roosevelt and freedom of religion, the philosophy of John Brown and his followers, modern white supremacy and the militia movement, the Republic of New Afrika’s ideas about the Constitution, the historical treatment of migrants, and early socialism in America. He is a graduate of Yale Law School and worked under federal judges in New York and Boston: U.S. District Judge Denny Chin and U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Hugh H. Bownes, before serving for several years as a civil rights lawyer in Georgia. His most recent book, Practical Equality: Forging Justice in a Divided Nation, is a call to arms to do the hard work of equality, brimming with historical lessons for how to make social progress in tough times. 

    Elaine Weiss, Author

    Elaine Weiss is a Baltimore-based journalist and author, whose feature writing has been recognized with prizes from the Society of Professional Journalists; her byline has appeared in many national publications, as well as in reports for National Public Radio. Weiss' long-form writing garnered a Pushcart Prize "Editor's Choice" award, and she is a proud MacDowell Colony Fellow. Her first book, Fruits of Victory:The Woman's Land Army in the Great War was excerpted in Smithsonian Magazine online and featured on C-Span. Weiss' new book, The Woman's Hour: The Great Fight to Win the Vote has won glowing reviews from the New York Times, Wall St. Journal, Christian Science Monitor, and NPR, among others, and she has presented talks about the book and the woman suffrage movement across the country. Steven Speilberg's Amblin production company has optioned the book for adaptation, with Hillary Rodham Clinton serving as Executive Producer.

    Jason Torchinsky, Holtzman Vogel Josefiak Torchinsky PLLC

    Jason Torchinsky is a partner at Holtzman Vogel Josefiak Torchinsky PLLC.In addition to his practice counseling clients on compliance with campaign finance, ethics laws, lobbying disclosure and election laws, Jason has served as lead counsel in a number of litigation matters dealing with First Amendment freedoms and election law and redistricting issues. He has filed numerous amicus briefs with the U.S. Supreme Court, including one on behalf of the NRSC and NRCC cited in the Court’s opinion in McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission.  Jason has also represented candidates across the country during post-election canvass and recount processes. Additionally, Jason serves as an adjunct professor at the College of William and Mary School of Law, where he teaches about the IRS and political campaigns.

    Prior to joining the firm, Jason was Counsel to the Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division at the United States Department of Justice. During the 2004 election cycle, Jason served as Deputy General Counsel to Bush-Cheney ’04 and Deputy General Counsel to the 2005 Presidential Inaugural Committee. He holds a B.A. in Government and Public Policy from the College of William and Mary and a J.D. from the College of William and Mary School of Law. He is a member of the Virginia Bar, the District of Columbia Bar, the Republican National Lawyers Association and the Federalist Society. Jason has been recognized by Chambers USA as one of the top “Government Law” attorneys in the country.  He’s also been honored by Politico as one of the “50 Politicos to Watch,” and Campaigns and Elections Magazine named Jason a “Rising Star of Politics.”

    Aderson Francois, Georgetown University

    Professor Aderson Francois is the director of the Civil Rights Voting Rights Institute at Georgetown University Law Center. Prior to joining the Georgetown faculty, Professor Francois directed the Civil Rights Clinic at Howard University School of Law, where he also taught Constitutional Law, Federal Civil Rights, and Supreme Court Jurisprudence. His scholarly interests include voting rights, education law, and the history of slavery and Reconstruction. His practice experience encompasses federal trial and appellate litigation concerning equal protection in education, employment discrimination, voting rights, marriage equality, and the right to a fair criminal trial. Professor Francois received his J.D. from New York University School and clerked for the late Honorable A. Leon Higginbotham, Jr., Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. In 2008, the Transition Team of President Barack Obama appointed Professor Francois Lead Agency Reviewer for the United States Commission on Civil Rights. He has provided pro bono death penalty representation to inmates before the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, served as a Special Assistant in with the United States Commission on Civil Rights in Washington, D.C., and practiced commercial litigation in the New York Offices of Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison. He has testified before Congress on civil rights issues and drafted numerous briefs to the United States Supreme Court, the Supreme Court of California, the Supreme Court of Iowa, and Maryland’s highest court. Before joining Howard’s faculty, Professor François was the Assistant Director of the Lawyering Program at New York University School of Law.

    Lillian Cunningham, Washington Post: Moderator

    Lillian Cunningham is a journalist at The Washington Post. She is the creator and host of The Post’s “Presidential” and “Constitutional” podcasts. “Presidential” was a 2017 Webby Award honoree for best documentary podcast and a finalist for the Academy of Podcasters’ best news and politics podcast. Previously Lillian was the editor of The Post’s “On Leadership” section and won two Emmy Awards for her video interview series with leaders across politics, business and the arts.

    The views and opinions expressed by the speakers do not necessarily reflect those of President Lincoln’s Cottage. 

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  • Before we tell you about our comedy show let's get to the important part first, this is Cinderella Cares 9th year serving our community by raising much needed funds, spreading awareness and helping those affected by a lung cancer diagnosis.  Cinderella Cares uses the arts to generate funds with events like our Comedy For Cure event, each year we give a considerable donation to Holy Cross Hospital in Silver Spring, MD as well as Lung Cancer Alliance we also have a program that helps families caring for their love ones with lung cancer, it doesn't matter it could be helping with a light bill or simply helping to buy back to school supplies for the kids in the home.

    It's  that time of the year again, Cinderella Cares is proud to present Darren Carter as our 2019 Comedy For Cure headliner. Darren has been seen on many TV shows and has appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, along with Darren are a host of hilarious comedians, Eryca Nolan, Doreen Watson, Sarah Newell and a surprise guest comedian.   The show will be hosted by Ian Salmon, Ian is a comedian and actor living and working in Los Angeles, he is a co-founder of Cinderella Cares and grew up in Takoma Park, Maryland.  

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                                                                                  Darren Carter

    When Darren Carter takes the stage, he takes the audience with him. A whirlpool of impressions and observations with on-point improvisation keeps the crowd rolling through the night, and on through the morning if they’re lucky.. From The Tonight Show with Jay Leno to Be Cool with John Travolta, to Comedy Central, BET and Showtime, the aptly named “Party Starter”.

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                                                                                     Eryca Nolan

    A Mom and Comedian, Eryca Nolan considers herself a work in progress when it comes to balancing these two acts.  More of a Story Teller than a Jokester she entertains you with wit and unfiltered honesty as she expresses her take on Single Motherhood, Love and most importantly Wine.

    Whether you are a Mom or have a Mom, her tales will make you feel right at home.

    Get Up DC!

                                                                                     Reese Waters

    When New York Magazine tapped Reese Waters as one of the city’s Ten Comedians To Watch in March of 2009, few realized just how quickly his star would rise. First came his victories in the annual Caroline’s Comedy Competition and the Emerging Comics Contest at the New York Underground Comedy Festival. Soon after, appearances on MTV, Good Morning America, Sirius Satellite Radio and NPR were followed by Waters’ mastery of his Comedy Central “Live At Gotham” set and subsequent role on the critically acclaimed Comedy Central series “Michael and Michael Have Issues.”

    Programmers took note, and within the next year, Waters was bringing comedy truth to sports as co-host of The Daily Line on the Versus Network, where his sly wit garnered raves for his commentaries on the big sports news of the day, along with his ground breaking interviews with everyone from D Wade and Queen Latifah to NBA MVP Derrick Rose and UFC President Dana White. Nothing, however, prepared the audience, producers and crew for “Tea With Tyson,” his death defying interview over breakfast with the heavyweight champ, where Waters was able to get the often shy Tyson to expound on his love of pigeons and his hatred for cannoli’s. Log onto YouTube ( for four scary minutes of tv history…

    While co-hosting The Daily Line fed Water’s deep knowledge and passion for sports, stand-up is his true love, and soon he accomplished a rare scheduling feat of making back to back appearances on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson and the Late Show with David Letterman in the Spring of 2011. Long time watchers of the comedy scene were unanimous in praising Waters for cool, collected and knock out funny premieres on two of the nation’s top late night platforms for stand-up comedy.

    Waters hails from Washington, DC, and was introduced to comedy by his grandmother’s hysterical impressions of everyone she’s ever met. His earliest memories include riding in the back of his parents’ car listening to a Martin Lawrence cassette on his Walkman, sure to muffle his laughter, since he was forbidden to hear such vulgarities. However, he took notice of the joy that comedy, and stand-up comedy in particular, brought to his family, and wanted to be part of it. Before officially taking the stage, he amused himself in his high school dormitory by pouring gravy on toilet seats, planting newspaper in the dryer (it works, try it!!) and executing his self-titled “Sour Milk Bomb.” Fights ensued.

    Forever the class clown, Waters began performing when he matriculated to Columbia University, where he joined an improv troupe and began traveling around campus entertaining unpopular students. Bolstered by his success, he successfully auditioned for the campus sketch comedy show, which was televised both on campus and in the surrounding neighborhoods, thought watched by none. Finally, Waters summoned the courage and enough malt liquor to venture downtown into New York’s legendary comedy scene to try his luck at an open mic. Five months later, now at his 27th open mic, he got his first laugh. However, he remained undeterred during the silence, feeling more and more comfortable onstage and with the audience. It’s this early period that he often looks back on for inspiration.

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                                                                                 Doreen Watson

    Friendly, relatable and funny! She brings a unique point of view and has crowds laughing along with her as she explores her life through the lens of mother, wife, daughter and observer of humanity, all with hilarious results she has performed on stages throughout the Northeast like the Funny Bone comedy clubs, the Comedy Works, Cabot Comedy Club, The Hu Ke Lau and The Chicago Women's Funny Fest, Comedy Platz 2017, Finger Lakes Comedy Festival, Baltimore Comedy Festival and as a finalist in the Ladies of Laughter competition at the Turning Stone Casino, Amazon's Comics Watching Comics, Laffing. Matterz and the DC Comedy Festival and participated in the Turnpike Comedy Festival, which was filmed for Amazon Prime.

    Image may contain: Sarah Newell, smiling, closeup                                                                            Sarah Newell

    Sarah never misses a beat with well planned thought provoking material, focused on the art of compromise with influences around you, even if they happen to be family. Often described as "The Advocate for the Fed Up Woman". Sarah is and will continue to be one of the hardest working women in show business.

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  • Join our team, Tuesday, March 26th as have a discussion with agency leaders and business owners who have struggled through the sales process to buildup their businesses into global companies. Learn from their "Failure Reports" and how they have overcome the struggles to win contracts across local, state, federal agencies, across commerical spaces, and within the international markets. Connect, Learn, and Get access to winning strategies.

    Date: Tuesday, March 26, 2019

    Time: 6-9pm

    Location: I/O Spaces in Silver Spring


    • 6-6:30: Networking
    • 6:30-8:15pm: Discussion
    • 8:15-9pm: Networking

    Global Buildup is a quarterly discussion with industry leaders, doers, and those in persuit of business professionals seeking to buildup their companies globally by diversifying their sales pipelines. This series of discussions was inspired by the Federal government shutdown.

    Recently, the government shutdown was an eye opening experience for many companies who consider themselves as Federal contractors. So what happens when your primary sales pipeline dries up or when your largest project is put on hold due to a funder pulling out, or when the government party shifts its focus and puts your project on hold, or better yet cancels it all together?Do you quit, loss all your money, or shift. Well, this is the platform to discuss, learn, and connect to ensure that you are not a "one trick" company, if your federal contracts are on hold, then you can rely or shift your focus on your local, state, commerical, and international pipes. 

    Learn from business leaders who have "Failure reports" to share and how they overcame the obstacles and now have multiple pipes and from agency leaders who can help you understand the various ways to move around government. 


    Hellen Fissihaie

    CEO/Managing Director

    F3 Global LLC

    Ms. Hellen Fissihaie is the CEO/Managing Director of F3 Global LLC, where she focuses on providing capacity building, developing strategies, and providing export services across emerging markets with a specialty focus on Africa. In this role, she works to build bridges for Africa based businesses within the global health, agribusiness, and entrepreneurship sectors while assisting and connecting foreign counterparts to address needs, challenges, and opportunities. She also serves as a Startingbloc Fellow, Washington, D.C. Commissioner on African Affairs, and serves on a multiple boards internationally. Prior to starting her own business, Ms. Fissihaie worked in South Africa for ThinkImpact on design thinking and community development projects, managing 4 towns and working across local, tribal, and national government structures.

    Panel of DOERS:

    Dawit Gebremichael Habte

    Director of IT Development Operations

    Bloomberg BNA

    Dawit Gebremichael Habte is an Eritrean American, father, husband, software engineer, and author of Gratitude in Low Voices: A Memoir. Born and raised in Asmara, the capital of Eritrea, in 1989, Dawit fled to Kenya as a teenager and sought asylum in the United States. In 1997, Dawit graduated from Johns Hopkins University and secured a job as a software engineer at Bloomberg, after which, with the support of Michael Bloomberg himself, Dawit returned to his homeland Eritrea to develop IT infrastructure and offer business opportunities for his compatriots.

    Dawit has been featured in USA Today, New York Times, Associate Press, Johns Hopkins Gazette, NPR's On the Record, WNYC's The Leonard Lopate Show, KSVC Mid-Utah Morning Talk Radio. He has also written for,, and other Eritrean publications.

    With over 20 years of experience in software engineering and IT infrastructure development, Dawit is currently working as Director of IT Development Operations (DevOps) at Bloomberg BNA. He lives in Maryland with his wife and five children and works for Bloomberg BNA.

    Hilary E. Sadler

    Senior Software Policy Analyst,

    U.S. Department of Commerce 

    International Trade Administration

    Hilary Sadler has worked in the Office of Digital Services at the U.S. Department of Commerce since August 2016. In this role, Ms. Sadler analyzes and monitors international trade issues regarding the global software industry, including emerging technologies, to facilitate expansion of U.S. trade, domestic and international.  Ms. Sadler also recommends revisions or new provisions in laws, regulations, and policies.  One of her current projects is to establish a strategy on the international trade of artificial intelligence.  Since 2016, Ms. Sadler is also the Designated Federal Officer of the U.S. congressionally-mandated International Trade Advisory Committee on the Digital Economy, a public-private partnership, that provides recommendations on trade agreements and fast-moving trade issues directly to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. Trade Representative.  Prior to her current office, Ms. Sadler was a senior policy analyst in various offices in the headquarters of the International Trade Administration, including Non-Market Economies with Enforcement and Compliance, Customs Liaison Unit, Communications, and the Europe office within Global Markets. 

    Ms. Sadler has degrees in business management, international economics, and law from American universities in Europe and the United States.  In addition, she is licensed to practice law in Arizona and the U.S. Supreme Court. Ms. Sadler is fluent in French and German and conversational in American Sign Language and Spanish.  Ms. Sadler is also a Fulbright scholar to Germany.

    Mussie Haile:


    Moya Technologies

    Mr. Haile is the founder and CEO of Moya Technologies, Inc., a Federal Technology consulting Services Company and RevoltCypher LLC., a Blockchain-as-a-Service platform & services company with a mission to enable a smarter and more connected system that is Blockchain for government and commercial entities. Mr. Haile is a seasoned technologist with over 27-years of experience with a keen understanding of how to leverage technology planning, security risk management and security operations and implementation methods to deploy business solutions and ensure measurable outcomes. This includes is but not limited to Cyber Security, enterprise architecture, identity management, service-oriented architecture and cross-domain security solutions, Secure Mobile operating systems, virtualization, and Blockchain.

    Mr. Haile as the CEO/Founder of Moya Technologies, Inc. related technology innovation, solution engineering and service delivery for the US DoD, Intel, Federal, State and Local clients; leading hundreds of highly qualified engineers around the world. Mr. Haile as the CEO/Founder of Revolt Cypher, LLC. as Blockchain-as-a-Service platform & services company with a mission to enable a smarter and more connected system based on Blockchain for government and commercial entities. Over the last 4 Years, Revolt Cypher have implemented AWS Impact Level 4 based blockchain and smart contract solution; filed multiple patent application related to a solution on the Blockchain solutions.

    Rodney Payne

    President of Corporate Strategy & Opportunity Development

    Alliance Group Inc.

    Rodney Payne, President of Corporate Strategy & Opportunity Development. Rodney Payne joined AGI in 2015 and is responsible for strategy, capture, customer relations, and opportunity development in the commercial and federal government space​s​. Rodney is an expert in identifying and capturing new opportunities and contract retention

    Mr. Payne has over 20 years of experience. His career began with U.S. Missile Command, Air Defense Command Control (ADCCS), Procurement Office as a Contract Specialist; Logistics/Configuration Management; and Engineering as a Database Administrator. Before joining ​AGI, Mr. Payne held positions including President of Mobile Concepts (FF&E), ​and ​Regional Director of Business Development and Director of Commercial Sales and Marketing for Business Computer Application (BCA)​.​ Mr. Payne is a graduate of Alabama A&M University.

    Travis Thomas

    Deputy Division Chief of IT Operations

    U.S. Department of Transportations’ Federal Highway Administration

     Travis Thomas is a Deputy Division Chief of IT Operations at the U.S. Department of Transportations’ Federal Highway Administration. He provides leadership and oversight over a 25 million dollar a year Information Technology program responsible for supporting the Highway mission of transportation. Prior to his role at the DOT, he served as a Program Manager on a contract which supported the Department of Defense’s (Office of the Secretary of Defense) IT Customer Support Services Division.

     He graduated from Morgan State University with a dual degree in Business Management and Information Science Systems. When he isn’t glued to a computer screen, he spends time coaching youth football and coaching his daughter’s softball team. He recently launched a tech company “Thomas Technologies” focused on improving company and mission bottom line and efficiencies through the use of business strategy and digital transformation solutions. He serves as a mentor to a non-profit organization (SMYA) Southern Maryland Youth Association dedicated to improving the lives of disadvantaged youth located in Southern Maryland.

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