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The Transformative Power of the Arts in Anti-Racist Education

Uncategorized Sep 28, 2020

This week, The Institute for Anti-Racist Education, will be hosting three renowned arts educators who are working to transform the landscape of education utilizing an anti-racist lens. 

Join us October 1, 2020 at 7pm EST for what is sure to be an incredible night of hope and inspiration as we discuss The Transformative Power of the Arts in Anti-Racist Education.

Scroll down to learn more about each of our speakers. 


Purpose of the panel: 

Art is a powerful tool for healing, grounding, expression, creativity, and innovation. Yet, it is usually the first resource to go due to budget cuts and art courses and programming are traditional white-centered. This panel will explore how different forms of art and expression can be used as a catalyst for educational justice and transformation. 


About the Panelist: 

Nailah Butler serves as Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of arts nonprofit Epitome of Soul, Inc., an organization focused on bringing arts back into schools and developing leaders through the arts. She brings several years of experience in community relations, performing arts, and business development to Epitome of Soul, in addition to contributing to philanthropic efforts in communities, both globally and domestically.  Her passion for helping others permeates through her professional and personal life.  

She is an alumna of Syracuse University where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Marketing and Supply Chain Management. Her marketing experience extends over 10 years, working with top consumer brands, c-suite level executives, and grassroots organizations.

Angela M. Counts is a Lorraine Hansberry award-winning playwright, filmmaker and accomplished career professional in admissions, diversity/equity/inclusion, and student leadership development.

Before joining Emerson College in spring 2020 as a Screenwriting professor, she held the position of Director of Admissions at Harvard Divinity School from 2015- 2020. At HDS, Angela convened the graduate admissions committee and served on the merit scholarship selection committee, hosted school-wide events, recruited in key territories across the U.S. and was responsible for creating the Diversity and Explorations Program, a first-of-its kind, diversity pipeline program for undergraduates exploring opportunities in graduate theological education. Prior to serving as admissions director, Angela was a diversity fellow at Harvard, where she worked on a series of projects at Harvard Business School's Leadership Initiative, including planning and research for the 50th anniversary celebration of the founding of the African American Student Union at HBS. Angela also oversaw diversity programming for Suffolk University’s Office for Student Activities, advising its program board and affinity clubs on issues of student leadership and fostering cross-cultural understanding and cooperation. She brought to that role, experiences having served as the assistant director of Minority Programs at Cornell University and coordinator of the Black and Hispanic Scholars Program for NYU’s Office of Admissions.

Angela is a film and theater director, playwright and performance artist whose works have been presented in galleries, theaters, and other venues across the country, including New York Theatre Workshop, New England Conservatory of Music, and Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Recent group exhibitions include #SayHerName: Watch Us Werk at Lesley University’s VanDernoot Gallery, curated by Dell Hamilton (2018) and Lee Mingwei's Living Room Project at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (2017), where she presented her art and influences. She most recently presented a new performance work-in-progress for the virtual, Area Code Fair, curated by Gabriel Sosa (2020). Angela has been a guest lecturer at universities across the country including USC and Northeastern and has taught playwriting at Suffolk University in Boston. Currently, she teaches screenwriting at Emerson College, Boston.

Josh A Campbell is the Anti-Racist Arts Consultant for Young Audiences Arts for Learning of New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania. He is a Philly based theater artist who has worked as a teaching artist, dramaturg, playwright, producer, director, and arts administrator for Azuka Theatre, Flashpoint Theatre Company, Juniper Productions, Philadelphia Young Playwrights, the Wilma, Philadelphia Theatre Company, Passage Theatre and the McCarter Theater. His plays include On the Seventh Day, Surviving the Dream, Liberi Tutti, Distill: A Rally Cry for the America People. As an actor he has been appeared in the 2018 New Jersey One Minute Play Festival, The Colored Museum, and the Painted Bride as part of their annual Bridal Salon. He is an alumnus of the Foundry, 2016 finalist for the Many Voices Fellowship and Jerome Fellowship, and the 2015 BAU Institute Otranto Arts and Culture Fellow. He is a graduate of the University of the Arts and the Baltimore School for the Arts. He was a recipient of the 2018 Curtain Call Award for Outstanding contribution to Arts Education by the New Jersey Theatre Alliance.

Josh sees his work as a snapshot of people, languages, cultural spaces, and ideas; a mediation of life, culture, and the resiliency of the human spirit. His work as a writer and a teaching artist is about remembrance and testimony. His contribution nurtures an audience or students to go beyond the headlines and elevate the human truths that unite us all to connect to the intersectionality of the collective spiritual journeys we are taking.



Ashley Y. Lipscomb, Co-Founder and CEO of The Institute for Anti-Racist Education. 


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