Saturday, January 13, 2007


Press Contact: Jennifer Houlihan, WNYC

(212) 669-7748 /

WNYC® Radio, in conjunction with The Brooklyn Museum
and Akila Worksongs, Inc.



Are Dr. King and His 'Dream' Still Relevant?

Activist / Author Kevin Powell and WNYC Host Brian Lehrer to Join

Multi-Cultural Conversation with Generation X and Y New Yorkers

About the Leader and His Legacy

Sunday, January 14, 2007, 4-7pm
at the Brooklyn Museum

Free and Open to the Public

What is Dr. King’s legacy in the post-Civil Rights era?

The US Supreme Court is poised to hear challenges to voluntary public school integration plans in Kentucky and Washington. Michael Richard’s recent outburst triggered discussion anew of who can and can’t use the “n-word,” with one black comedian vowing to stop using the word, while others staged “N*gg* Night” to celebrate it. And here in New York, the grieving family of a young black man sits vigil, waiting for indictments against the police officers whose shooting of their son resulted in his death.

Is this where Dr. King envisioned that we, as a nation, would be in 2007?

WNYC, New York Public Radio®, in conjunction with the Brooklyn Museum and Akila Worksongs, Inc., presents “LOOKING FOR MARTIN: Are Dr. King and His Dream Still Relevant?,” a day of conversation, poetry and song that will explore how his message translates to people of all ages and races in the 21st century.

HOST: Dean Meminger, anchor and correspondent for NY1 News

KEYNOTE ADDRESS: Kevin Powell, Brooklyn-based community activist and author (Someday

We’ll All Be Free), who speaks frequently around the country, often on Dr. King and his work

PANEL DISCUSSION: With multi-ethnic and cross-generational leaders and thinkers, including:

Kevin Powell

Brian Lehrer, WNYC’s acclaimed host of “The Brian Lehrer Show,” whose

widely-read op-ed on the Sean Bell shooting “Whites Should See the Shooting

Through Black Lens” aired on WNYC and ran in the Daily News

Marinieves Alba, Activist, Educator, Writer, and Media professional who uses

the arts and culture as a platform for inspiring and creating social change

Jin Hee Lee, Staff Attorney at New York Lawyers for the Public Interest, a

civil rights law firm that provides community lawyering in the areas of

disability rights, environmental justice, and access to health care

Tahani Salah, Columbia University undergrad, Poet, Youth Outreach

Coordinator for UrbanWord NYC

DISCUSSION TOPICS: Poverty in post-Katrina America, the state of affirmative action, immigration,

and what Dr. King’s “dream” can mean to people of color, women, the poor,

and gays and lesbians, regardless of race.

LIVE PERFORMANCES BY: Toni Blackman, rapper, and Baba Israel, rapper and beatboxer,

accompanied by Yako, Vocal Percussionist, and Dalmar James, Jr.,

Acoustic Guitarist
Universes, an acapella spoken word and theater ensemble

*Plus a special Dr. King speech and sound montage produced by DJ Reborn, hip-hop theater musical director, and featured deejay on the national tour of Russell Simmons' Tony Award-winning Broadway show Def Poetry Jam

Powell conceived “LOOKING FOR MARTIN,” out of a desire to produce a celebration truly reflective of the diversity of cultures and ideas of New York City, while very much in the spirit of the social justice work of Dr. King.

“Dr. King is, without question, one of the most important and courageous figures in American and world history,” said Kevin Powell, “It is a delight to produce an event in his honor with WNYC, the Brooklyn Museum, and Akila Worksongs, three of the finest institutions in New York City. Between their very diverse audiences, and what I bring to the table as a product of post-Civil Rights America, as a member of the hip hop generation, I feel very strongly that our program will fully update Dr. King's life and work to the 21st century, in a way that will appreciate him as a whole human being and as a whole man, while also acknowledging -- as he had done when he was alive -- the great contributions of all the women and men, girls and boys, who made the struggle for civil rights in America a reality.”

WNYC, New York Public Radio, is New York's premier public radio station, comprising WNYC 93.9 FM and WNYC AM 820. As America's most listened-to public radio stations, reaching more than one million listeners every week, WNYC FM and AM extend New York City's cultural riches to the entire country and air the best national offerings from affiliate networks National Public Radio and Public Radio International. WNYC 93.9 FM broadcasts a wide range of daily news, talk, cultural and classical music programming, while WNYC AM 820 maintains a stronger focus on breaking news and international news reporting. For more information, visit

The Brooklyn Museum, housed in a 560,000-square-foot, Beaux-Arts building, is one of the oldest and largest art museums in the country. It’s world-renowned permanent collections range from ancient Egyptian masterpieces to contemporary art, and represents a wide range of cultures. Only a 30-minute subway ride from midtown Manhattan, with its own newly renovated subway station, the Museum is part of a complex of nineteenth-century parks and gardens that also includes Prospect Park, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, and the Prospect Park Zoo.

Akila Worksongs, Inc. is a service company in the arts and entertainment field. It has three areas of expertise: artist representation (which includes a speakers' bureau), communications (public relations, media, and marketing), and consulting (event planning, project management, cultural programming). April R. Silver founded the company in April 1993. In October 1998, encouraged by family and friends, Ms. Silver left her marketing job (at a community health center in Brooklyn) in order to run AKILA WORKSONGS full time.

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