Join for a day-long event that honors 25 parents and 25 siblings of victims of violence. We share food, performances, speeches, art—in the memory of those we lost. At the end, we leave knowing that there is a community of people who understand our pain and stand with us. Through this, we gain the strength to be proactive in our personal lives and in our communities instead of resigned to the unfairness that has marked our lives.
Matt Meyer, a native New York City-based educator, activist, and author is the War Resisters International Africa Support Network Coordinator, and a United Nations/ECOSOC representative of the International Peace Research Association. The founding chair of the Peace and Justice Studies Association and former Chair of the Consortium on Peace Research, Education and Development (COPRED), Meyer has long worked to bring together academics and activists for lasting social change. A former public draft registration resister and chair of the War Resisters League, he continues to serve as co-convener of the War Resisters International Africa Working Group. Archbishop Desmond Tutu, in commenting on Meyer’s first book (co-authored with Pan-African pacifist Bill Sutherland), wrote that "Sutherland and Meyer have looked beyond the short-term strategies and tactics which too often divide progressive people . . . They have begun to develop a language which looks at the roots of our humanness."
Sonia Sanchez formed the Broadside Quartet. She was an activist for racial equality, pioneered black studies and has written poetry, plays and kids’ books. Sonia Sanchez was born on September 9, 1934, in Birmingham, Alabama. In the 1950s, she formed a poets’ group, the Broadside Quartet. In the early 1960s, she was a political activist. From 1968-'69, she taught black studies courses at San Francisco State University. From the 1970s through the '90s, she wrote poetry, plays and kids’ books. She retired from her Laura Carnell Chair in English in 1999.
Pastor Isaac Scott
Pastor Isaac Scott is a formerly incarcerated artist and activist. As the Program Director for The Confined Arts, he is a leader in promoting justice reform and prison abolition through the transformative power of the arts. Since returning to society, he’s combined fine art and graphic design with his passion for the arts to accomplish goals that could not have been achieved without such a socially valued means of expression. Isaac’s passion for equal human rights runs deep as a result of being directly affected by the criminal justice system and its disenfranchising nature. Today, Isaac is a 2018 Change Agent Award recipient from the School of General Studies at Columbia University, where he currently studies film and media as a Justice in Education Scholar. Pastor Scott is also the Arts and Communications Coordinator at the Center for Justice at Columbia University. His work includes research, public speaking, and managing the center’s public outreach. Isaac is studying filmmaking to pursue his ambitions for producing content that honestly represents the true lived narratives of stigmatized people. He believes that art, in every form, is effective in changing perceptions and conquering stigma. Through lived experience, Isaac personally understands the need for realistic representations of individuals like himself, who’ve been convicted of a crime in the past. Isaac also understands the healing power of the arts; it’s influential enough to transform both the artist and the audience. He is now in a position to assist those artists following behind him and to use his creativity in many ways to continue educating and promoting change.
Marsha Reeves Jews is the Editor-At-Large for World Bride Magazine and is a wedding planner at the Frederick Douglass-Isaac Myers Maritime Park Museum in Baltimore, MD and for private clients. Ms. Jews is the host and Executive Producer of Keep It Moving w/Marsha Jews, a weekly radio show on WEAA 88.9 FM, a national public radio station on the campus of Morgan State University. Ms. Jews was the President/COO/Associate Publisher for Career Communications Group, Inc. (CCG), a ten million dollar multimedia company. As Associate Publisher, Ms. Jews managed the day-to-day operations for all aspects of two publications: the Black Engineer and Information Technology magazine and Hispanic Engineer and Information Technology magazine; co-produced and designed the conference workshops, panel discussions, awards ceremonies and plenary sessions for The Black Engineer of the Year Awards Ceremony and Conference; and was co-founder and co-producer of Women of Color Technology Awards and Conference.As former Executive Director of the Alvin Ailey Dance Theatre Foundation of Maryland, Inc., Ms. Jews was responsible for the overall management of the statewide organization and for presenting the world renowned Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre’s annual Baltimore performances, community outreach, fundraisers and the year-round AILEY/Camp for at-risk middle school children.