Friday, February 14, 2014

Wanda's Picks Friday, February 14, 2014: 1 Billion Rising; Love Doesn't Hurt; Larry Douglas & Jorge Pineda composers/musicians; Nora Chipaumire, choreographer on her "Miriam"

Today we speak about violence against women and the need to address this in forums like 1 Billion Rising in Oakland tonight and Love Doesn't Hurt, tomorrow afternoon, Friday & Saturday, Feb. 14 and 15, 2014. We are joined in the studio by amazing women creators and organizers: Luisah Teish, Mary Owen, Regina Y. Evans, Regina Jackson, Cheryl Chambers and Vanessa Scott.

We open the show with an encore interview with actress and healer, Margaret Avery, Academy Award Nominee for her role as "Shug" in Spielberg's The Color Purple. She's in town as a special screening at the Castro Theatre in San Francisco.

Next we have musician/composers Larry Douglas and Jorge Pineda on to talk Latin meets traditional Jazz re-arrangements at the 57th Street Gallery concert tomorrow, Sat., Feb. 15, 8:30 p.m.

We close with an extended conversation with Nora Chipaumire, choreographer, re: "Miriam," which opened last night at YBCA Forum for two more nights, tonight is an audience conversation following the hour long work. Presented by Black Choreographer's Festival: Here and Now, this work celebrates the tenth anniversary of a wonderful organization as it queries blackness and womaness and otherness as only a Chipaumire work can.

8:30 a.m.
 Luisah Teish
is a storyteller, writer, and priestess of Oshun, the African Yoruba goddess of love. Visit

Mary Owen has a successful career in high tech as a  Program Manager for Cisco Systems.
Mary is also a top ranked ice hockey referee including currently reffing for Div II and Div III men's hockey in the Bay Area,  as well as her past reffing experience for the NCAA Division I women’s hockey (and also a stint at the Winter Olympics in 2002).  

Mary 's biggest passion these days, besides working with the Bay Area Rising, is visiting the Navajo Nation several times a year and volunteering for many of the activities in the Adopt-A-Native-Elder Program.  The Program supports the traditional Elders who live in the cultural and spiritual traditions of The ‘Dine’ (Navajo) People.  Mary resides in San Francisco with her animal children Mimi, Taki and Pony.

Cheryl Chambers is a business person and a writer.  Cheryl’s business experience has been involved extensively in the telecommunications industry as a regulatory attorney working in law firms interacting with state commissions and the FCC and as an employee in various capacities during her years with AT&T, Comcast and ICG.  Cheryl has experience in sales, marketing, retail, operations and communications during her years as an executive.  Cheryl currently works for a non-profit and represents her sorority Alpha Kappa Alpha in the community.  She produces two and which is short for “At the End of the Day”. 

Vanessa Scott is passionate about young people and has voluntarily served since 2000 as the Director of a Youth Dance Team where she has taught 100s of children ages 3-25. In 2010 one of her 15 year old students was sold into the Bay Area sex trafficking industry. Although she was eventually located and is now rehabilitating, Vanessa encountered many other children and young adults who, like her student, were US born women, men and children trapped in modern day slavery.   Her response was to launch Love Never Fails, a nonprofit dedicated to the rehabilitation, education and protection of young people at risk or currently being sexually exploited. Vanessa is an accomplished Sr. leader at Cisco Systems as well as a Mom of two children, singer, song writer and musician.  She graduated from University of San Francisco with a BS in Information Systems Management.  Though successful, Vanessa has experienced first hand what it means to be a foster child, on welfare, abused and abandoned. She believes the issue of sex trafficking will be solved with committed demonstration of love through prayer, mentoring, job training, outreach and education; all services that Love Never Fails provides.

Regina Jackson—presently organization and venue: East Oakland Youth Development Center Director

Regina Jackson has made it her mission to invest heavily in the future of children, our nation’s greatest resource. She has taken on the challenge of molding, and mentoring young people in her hometown of Oakland, CA in order to transform their lives. She believes that EOYDC’s biggest challenge is combating hopelessness. “When young people don’t have high expectations, they often won’t try. Because my staff and I believe our youth can perform at high levels, they often rise to meet and exceed those expectations”.

Her involvement with EOYDC began in 1984 when, as a graduate of the CORO Foundation Graduate Fellowship in Public Affairs, she was invited to serve on the Board of Directors.

Regina Y. Evans, is a Poet, Playwright , and a Social Justice Performer. Her poetry readings have been featured at several venues including the Network for Victim Recovery of DC Fundraiser ( Wash DC), The 2013 Justice Conference: Poetry Slam (Philadelphia, Pa), Love Never Fails Breaking The Chains New Year's Eve Gala,YWCA of Silicon Valley Freedom Week (San Jose, Ca), and Rescue Is Not Enough Anti Trafficking Event, San Jose, Ca., 

She has performed her current play, 52 Letters, which brings awareness to the issue of sex trafficking, as a part of the 2013 DIVAS Tell All series, curated by Catherine Debon, at The EXIT Café in San Francisco, CA, 2013 DIVAfest, at the EXIT Studio in SF, CA (as a part of the DIVAS Tell All Series), and at the 2013 SF Fringe Festival, EXIT Stage Left, SF, CA. 52 Letters was honored to receive a 2013 Best of Fringe Award at the 2013 SF Fringe Festival.

Ms. Evans is also the writer of Echo: A Poetic Journey into Justice, a stage play also focusing upon the issue of trafficking. Echo played to sold out performances in Berkeley, CA in 2010 (The Berkeley City Club). The play caught the notice of President Barack Obama who confirmed his support of the effort through a personal White House phone call in 2011.

She is a Board Member of the Virago Theatre Company which holds a residence at The Flightdeck, Oakland, Ca., and a member of Love Never Fails Anti  Sex Trafficking Organization, Oakland Bay Area, Ca.

Ms. Evans is the published author of the inspirational poetry books Nonnie and The Butterfly and Nothing Cool About Ten.

9 a.m.

Jorge Pineda is a Musician, Percussionist, Arranger, Vocalist, and Composer. He founded Latin Blood (Sangre Latina) in early 70's, and performed with several local bands. In 1976, he completed music studies at SFSU, and in 1977, left the Bay Area to pursue a different career in chemistry and business.In 2005, he came back to the Bay Area music scene and joined a local group as a vocalist and arranger. In 2012, he started the Latin Jazz Project in San Francisco, California. Currently, working on a Latin Jazz septet and continue to compose and arrange.

Larry Douglas by Craig Harris, allmusic writes:

"With a tone that the dean of American jazz critics, Leonard Feather, described as “velvety and silky," Larry Douglas has ruled as one of San Francisco's top trumpet/flugelhorn players for more than three decades.
In addition to leading his own electro-acoustic group, the Larry Douglas Alltet, Douglas has worked with such stellar musicians as Freddie Hubbard, Chuck Berry, Albert Collins, Sun Ra and Rufus and Carla Thomas.

"As a member of Johnny Otis and His Orchestra, his playing was featured on four albums including the Grammy-nominated Spirit Of The Black Territory Bands. His debut solo album Dedications released in 1985, received a great response from fans in Europe and the Eastern Bloc.
Douglas has collaborated with flute/saxophone player, and director of the jazz program at the University of California, Santa Cruz, Dr. Karlton Hester since the late-1970s, playing with Hester's groups, the Contemporary Jazz Art Movement and the Hesterian Musicism.

"The recipient of a Bachelors degree in instrumental music education from Florida A&M, and a Masters of Music degree from the San Francisco Conservatory, Douglas has shared his knowledge with students at Aptos, Middle School, from 1981 until 1990, and Galileo High School of San Francisco, since 1991. He also teaches Black Music: Jazz, Blues, & Popular Music in American Culture, a jazz history course at Vista Community College. Who's Who Among America's Teachers honors our nation's most respected teachers and has placed Larry T. Douglas on its roster for the past 3 years; Editions 7-9, 2002-2005.

"A native of Statesboro, Georgia, Douglas found early inspiration in the music of an older brother, Gary, who played trumpet, one of his high school teachers and alto saxophone player, James Blakely. While in college, he and his band, Funk, Incorporated, took first place in the national and international levels of the Budweiser Music Festival competition. He moved to San Francisco, as a member of the United States Army's Sixth Division Band, in 1975 and continues to make his home in California.

9:30 a.m.
Closing the show is Nora Chipaumire (Writer, Choreographer & Performer)

Born in Mutare, Zimbabwe and based in New York City, Chipaumire has been challenging stereotypes of Africa and the black performing body, art and aesthetic for the past decade. She has studied dance in many parts of the world including Africa (Senegal, Burkina Faso, Kenya, and South Africa), Cuba, Jamaica, and the U.S. A graduate of the University of Zimbabwe’s School of Law, Chipaumire holds an M.A. in dance and M.F.A. in choreography and performance from Mills College.

Chipaumire is a 2012 Alpert Award in the Arts recipient and 2011 United States Artist Ford Fellow. She is also a two-time New York Dance and Performance (aka “Bessie”) Awardee: in 2008 for her dance-theater work, Chimurenga, and in 2007 for her body of work with Urban Bush Women, where she was a featured performer for six years (2003-2008) and Associate Artistic Director (2007-2008). She is the recipient of the 2009 AFROPOP Real Life Award for her choreography in the film, Nora. She has also been awarded the 2007 Mariam McGlone Emerging Choreographer Award from Wesleyan University Center for the Arts, and a MANCC Choreographic Fellowship in 2007-2008.

Recent works include Miriam (2012) produced by MAPP International Productions; The Last Heifer (2012), commissioned by Danspace Project for Platform 2012, Parallels; Visible (2011), commissioned by Harlem Stage and created in collaboration with Jawole Willa Jo Zollar; Kimya (2011), a work for Jokajok!, a female ensemble based in Kenya; I Ka Nye (You Look Good)(2010), created and performed with choreographer Souleymane Badolo and musician Obo Addy; Silence/Dreams (2010), created and performed with Fred Bendongue; and lions will roar, swans will fly, angels will wrestle heaven, rains will break: gukurahundi (2009), created and performed with Thomas Mapfumo. She is featured in several films, including Dark Swan (dir. Laurie Coyle, 2011); the award-winning, Nora (dir. Alla Kovgan & David Hinton, 2008); and the documentary Movement (R)evolution Africa (a story of an art form in four acts) (dir. Joan Frosch & Alla Kovgan, 2006).

Chipaumire has been an adjunct faculty member at Arizona State University-Tempe, Bennington College, the University of Minnesota-Minneapolis, and Barnard College.


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