Thursday, February 25th, 7pm - 8:30pm
Inside Black Stories Matter is a storytelling and roundtable discussion series from TMI Project that marries the personal and the political with ideas for direct action for anti-racism that everyone can take to make a positive impact on their community. Host Jessieca McNabb, Workshop Leaders Dara Lurie and Micah, and a featured storyteller -- all from the Black Stories Matter program -- will be joined by a community leader every month.
As part of TMI Project’s annual participation with Black History Month Kingston, this month’s segment of Inside Black Stories Matter will feature storyteller Victorious Ritter Snow, who will share the story she wrote and performed in TMI Project’s 2017 production Reclaiming Our Time. She will be joined by special-guest and history teacher, Albert Cook. Together, the panel will discuss Black History, in the Hudson Valley and beyond, and how it connects to present-day issues.
All are invited to listen, learn, and leave with concrete anti-racism actions.
This event is open to the public with a suggested donation of $20.
Warning: The featured story and conversation for this event may contain content like violence and trauma that may be sensitive to some audience members.
“Absolutely life-changing. It revealed racism didn’t know I had and I’m grateful for that. The only way across is through!”
- Black Stories Matter Audience Member
Guest Storyteller Victorious Ritter Snow
Victorious is a longtime resident of the Hudson Valley. She graduated from SUNY Albany and her career has been centered around nonprofit work with amazing organizations like the Brooklyn Community Foundation, City Year, and Habitat for Humanity. On Juneteenth in 2017, Victorious was one of five writers who participated in TMI Project’s immersive program of workshops that began with an overnight stay in a preserved cellar kitchen on Huguenot Street in New Paltz where enslaved Africans once lived. The workshops culminated in the production “Reclaiming Our Time,” which was performed live at the Reformed Church of New Paltz in September, 2017, and was the recipient of the 2017 Awards of Excellence from Greater Hudson Heritage Network. Currently, Victorious is working as a freelance web developer.
Special Guest Albert Cook
Albert Cook has been a member of the Social Studies Department at New Paltz High School for 23 years, where he currently teaches World History, AP American History, and Black History. Mr. Cook is also an instructor in the Urban Education Initiative at Vassar College, where he co-taught classes on the Legacy of Dr. King, the History of Black Voter Disenfranchisement, and the History and Legacy of Mass Incarceration. He has lectured throughout the region on issues surrounding the history of African Cultures and the development of Race and Racism in North America.
Mr. Cook is currently hosting Black History and the History of Racism in America, an episodic series on Radio Kingston covering a range of topics from The Mythology of the Biology of Race, The Etymology and Historical Function of the N-Word, and a variety of topics related to the present problems that American society faces around issues of race and anti-Black racism.
Jessieca McNabb was born in Alabama and raised in Ulster County, NY. A sought-after entertainer, comedian, and emcee, Jessieca got her comedy career started at the Laughing Wolf Comedy Club in New Paltz, NY in the nineties. Other performance credits include Rosendale Theatre, Ole Savannah, The Bearsville Theatre, The Colony, Woodstock Pub, and her monthly gig at The Lodge. Since 2019, Jessieca has served as the emcee for multiple nonprofit organizations and charity events, including Black History Month Kingston, Kingston African American Festival, Harambee, and for TMI Project’s annual Voices in Action Benefit Showcase. Jessieca is an activist for Black Lives Matter and the LGBTQ+ community and co-hosts popular Radio Kingston shows No One Like You, My Kingston Kids, and Harambee Radio.
In addition to leading TMI Project workshops, Dara is an author and manuscript coach. She received a B.A. in Film & Theater from Vassar College and M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Hunter College. Dara grew up on the Upper West Side of Manhattan and migrated in the early 1980s to West Berlin, Germany, where she tended bar, wrote and performed in the theater while living in different communities of squatters, Green Party activists, journalists, teachers, and social workers. Her first book, Great Space of Desire; Writing for Personal Evolution, is a memoir and creative guide for writers wishing to tell their own stories.
In addition to leading TMI Project workshops, Micah serves as the manager at GWI’s (Good Works Institute) Greenhouse Kingston, a yoga teacher at Mudita, and creator of DAY 1 (a New Year’s Day community event). He is on the board of Wild Earth (a non-profit Wilderness School), Radio Kingston, The Center for Creative Education, and O+ (a nonprofit health and wellness festival for artists and creators). He also serves as City of Kingston’s Art Commissioner at the Kingston Farmers Market.
Black Stories Matter is TMI Project’s way to participate as an organization in the national outcry of injustice by using true storytelling to speak truth to power and to dismantle the white supremacist systems that hold racism in place. We support and amplify Black voices, share resources, and inspire anti-racist action. We acknowledge the historical predominance of white-centered narratives that permeate the cultural, political, and policy conversations in this country, and seek to elevate the full spectrum of Black experience to its proper place within the realm of American discourse. Learn more at tmiproject.org/blackstoriesmatter.
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