harry belafonte, talib kweli, cornel west coming to
the new school for juvenile justice conference

Growing up Locked Down Taking Place September 24-26

Harry Belafonte and Carmen Perez

Harry Belafonte and Carmen Perez (Photo: The Gathering For Justice, 2014)

Harry Belafonte, Talib Kweli and Cornel West are among the illustrious musicians, actors, poets, activists and academics who will take the stage at Growing Up Locked Down (GULD), a three-day, multi-media juvenile justice conference to be held at The Tishman Auditorium at The New School for Drama September 24-26. (See below for a full schedule of events; for tickets go here.)

Presented by The New School for Drama in collaboration with The Gathering for Justice, a social justice organization founded by Belafonte in 2005, GULD will tackle the issue of child incarceration through a sweeping series of concerts, theater productions, plenaries and youth-led programs.

Belafonte—musician, New School alum and committed social activist—will kick off the conference with a keynote address. The event continues with headlining speeches from West, juvenile justice advocates Bryan Stevenson and Bart Lubow, and performances from Talib Kweli, Immortal Technique, Quadir Lateef, Jasiri X, Aja Monet, Grace Weber, Mysonne, Aurora Barnes, Mike de la Rocha and more.

Juvenile justice advocates and activists, including actress and The Gathering for Justice President Carmen Perez, The Wire and Boardwalk Empire star Michael K. Williams and members of the Central Park 5 and Jena 6, will lead workshops and panels addressing subjects ranging from the state of childhood incarceration to the media’s role in reporting the issue.

In addition, GULD will feature performances by The New School for Drama in collaboration with The Naked Angels theater company, Impact Repertory Theatre and conscious muralists Beats, Rhymes and Relief.

The goal of GULD will be the establishment of two “solutions reports”—one prepared based on community discussions, the other developed based on GULD’s content—which will be delivered to the de Blasio and Cuomo administrations. Justice League NYC, an initiative of The Gathering for Justice, will take the conference and those solutions to a new city each year.

“The New School for Drama is honored to be partnered with The Gathering for Justice and Harry Belafonte to bring critical attention and action to the devastating impact of juvenile incarceration,” Pippin Parker, Director of The New School for Drama, said. “With its historical commitment to social justice and guided by the example of such distinguished alumni as Mr. Belafonte, The New School continues a proud tradition of pursuing the betterment of society through direct and relevant engagement.”

Wednesday, September 24, 2014
Pre-opening events: 12:00-3:00 pm

Opening Plenary: 3:00-4:30 pm, Tishman Auditorium, 63 Fifth Avenue
Performance by Talib Kweli
Welcome from Carmen Perez
Introduction from the Youth Student Round Table (YSRT)
Keynote Address from Harry Belafonte

Panel Discussion: 4:45–6:45 pm, Tishman Auditorium, 63 Fifth Avenue
Topic: “The State of Juvenile Justice in America”
Moderated by: Clinton Lacy (NYC Dept. of Probation)
Panelists: Vincent Schiraldi (NYC Dept. of Criminal Justice),
Gabrielle Horowitz-Prisco (NY Correctional Association), Nell
(author Burning Down the House), Rukia
Lumumba (CASES), Sarah Bryer (NJJN) and more to be announced

GULD Opening Night Social: 7:30–9:30 pm
Hosted by Immortal Technique & Aja Monet
Performances by: Jon Batiste, Aurora Barnes, Mike de la Rocha

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Opening Ceremony & Keynote Address: 8:30–9:30 am, Tishman Auditorium, 63 Fifth Avenue
Morning Invocation led by Nane Alejandrez
Performance by Impact Repertory Theatre
Welcome and introduction by Linda Sarsour
Keynote address by Bryan Stevenson (Equal Justice Initiative)

Panel Discussion: 10:00-11:00 am, Tishman Auditorium, 63 Fifth Avenue
Topic: “Beyond the RFP: The Role of Philanthropy in Juvenile Justice Reform”

Workshops: 10-11 am

Lunch provided by GULD: 11:15 am-12:30 pm

Lunchtime Plenary: 12:45–2:00 pm, Tishman Auditorium, 63 Fifth Avenue
Topic: “Media Accountability in Juvenile Justice”
Moderator: Tamika Mallory
Panelists: Sarah Stillman (The New Yorker), members of Jena 6 and Central Park 5

Workshops: 12:45-1:45 pm

Afternoon Keynote Address: 2:00-2:30 pm, Tishman Auditorium, 63 Fifth Avenue
Introduction from Cherrell Brown
Keynote Address from Bart E. Lubow

Mid-Afternoon Plenary: 2:30-4:00 pm Tishman Auditorium, 63 Fifth Avenue
Topic: “Community-Based Solutions”
Moderated by Erica Ford (LifeCamp)
Panelists: Khary Lazarre-White (Brotherhood/Sister Sol), Jeannette Bocanegra (Community Connections for Youth) and more to be announced

Panel Discussion: 4:30-6:00 pm, Tishman Auditorium, 63 Fifth Avenue
Topic: “Building in Communities of Color: Black & Brown Unity”
Moderated by: Mike de la Rocha
Panelists: George Gresham (1199SEIU), Nane Alejandrez, Tina Reynolds, Thenjiwe McHarris and more to be announced

Friday, September 26, 2014

Breakfast provided by GULD: 8:45 am

Plenary: 9:45-11:30 am, Tishman Auditorium, 63 Fifth Avenue

Performance & Keynote Introduction: Peace Poets (TBD)
Opening invocation and keynote address from Cornel West

Panel Discussion: “Where We Go From Here: A Radical Shift in the 21st Century”
Moderated by: Soffiyah Elijah (NYCA)
Panelists: Harry Belafonte, Cornel West, Carmen Perez and more to be announced

Breakout Sessions led by Justice League: 11:45-1:45 pm

Closing Plenary: 2:00-3:30 pm, Tishman Auditorium, 63 Fifth Avenue
Panel Discussion: Justice League Report
Moderated by: Tynesha McHarris
Panelists: Members of Justice League

Young Theater Workshop Performance: 3:45-5:00 pm, Tishman Auditorium, 63 Fifth Avenue

Panel Discussion & Concert: 7:30-11:00 pm, Tishman Auditorium, 63 Fifth Avenue
Panel Topic: “The Celebrity Platform to Advance Juvenile Justice Reforms”
Panel Moderator: Michael Skolnik
Panelists: Michael K. Williams (The Wire, Boardwalk Empire), Immortal Technique, Jasiri X, Mysonne, Scott Budnick and more to be announced

Performances by Immortal Technique, Grace Weber, Gina Rene, Quadir Lateef, Jasiri X and more to be announced
“LIVE ART” featuring Beats, Rhymes and Relief

About The New School for Drama The New School for Drama has a legacy of vision. Artistic voices as distinctive as Tennessee Williams and Marlon Brando found their singularity here, under the wing of founder Erwin Piscator and a faculty including Stella Adler and Lee Strasberg. Since 1994, the university has offered the MFA degree in dramatic arts. With theater in the air and on its streets as surely as on its hundreds of stages, New York City provides an unrivaled curriculum in observation and a wealth of professional opportunities. Through its interrelated program of acting, directing, and playwriting, The New School for Drama is creative in its simplicity and original in its vision. The New School is forging the next generation of artists capable of meeting our expectations of storytelling, of seeing ourselves as we truly are, and of touching what is human about art. Learn more at www.newschool.edu/drama/.

About The Gathering for Justice The Gathering for Social Justice is a social justice organization founded by Harry Belafonte in 2005. Led by Executive Director Carmen Perez, the mission of The Gathering is to end child incarceration and correct and replace the societal and institutional pillars that enliven mass incarceration with viable community solutions. The Gathering has earned great success and a reputation to match as intergenerational experts in gang intervention, violence prevention, cultural reconciliation, restorative justice, nonviolence training, leadership training and grassroots mobilization. The group organized historic gatherings of disenfranchised and impacted communities across the United States, encouraging nonviolence and civic and political participation. In 2010 The Gathering moved its national office and Executive Director to New York City to support the creation of a young worker’s program for 1199SEIU. That program, Purple Gold, is represented in 5 regions in the East Coast, serving 75,000 members under 35. In 2011 The Gathering took its national experiences and transferred them to the international stage where Ms. Perez participated in a trans-national delegation that supported the 2011 peace truce between the world’s largest and most violent gangs, MS 13 and 18th Street, in the ravaged prisons of El Salvador–lowering the country’s violent crime and murder rate by 70 percent and bringing El Salvador from the world’s highest crime rate per capita, to number 44. Learn more at www.generationalalliance.org.

Founded in 1919, The New School was born out of principles of academic freedom, tolerance, and experimentation. Committed to social engagement, The New School today remains in the vanguard of innovation in higher education, with more than 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students challenging the status quo in design and the social sciences, liberal arts, management, the arts, and media. The New School welcomes thousands of adult learners annually for continuing education courses and calendar of lectures, screenings, readings, and concerts. Through its online learning portals, research institutes, and international partnerships, The New School maintains a global presence. Learn more at www.newschool.edu.


79 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10003


Media Contact:

Scott Gargan
212-229-5667 x3794
[email protected]

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