Activist Kevin Powell and community organizer & policy adviser Shaniyat Chowdhury will be in conversation with Rev. Dr. Donna Schaper. We’ll conclude with a poetry reading from Joy Priest
In preparation for the 2020 Election, please join us for an informal conversation on the historical significance of voting in this country, and what is at stake in this election—with special guests Kevin Powell and Shaniyat Chowdhury, both of whom are key figures in today’s progressive politics as well as former congressional candidates. They will be in conversation with social activist Reverend Donna Schaper. We’ll also be highlighting grassroots congressional races that have been run, checking in with former congressional candidates on and the issues for which they ran and which inspired them to run in the first place.
In this talk
Kevin Powell is one of the most acclaimed political, cultural, literary and hip-hop voices in America today. Kevin is a native of Jersey City, raised by a single mother in extreme poverty, but managed to study at Rutgers University in New Brunswick thanks to New Jersey’s Educational Opportunity Fund. Kevin has gone on to be the author of 12 books, including his newest title, The Education of Kevin Powell: A Boy’s Journey into Manhood. Kevin’s writings have also appeared in CNN.com, Esquire, Ebony, The Huffington Post, The Washington Post, Rolling Stone, The Guardian, ESPN.com and Vibe Magazine, where he worked for many years as a senior writer, interviewing such diverse public figures as Tupac Shakur and General Colin Powell.
As an activist, he is the president and co-founder of BK Nation, a new national, progressive, multicultural organization focused on such issues as education, civic engagement, leadership training, health and wellness, social media, arts and culture, and job and small business creation.
As a pop culture curator, Kevin produced the first exhibit on the history of hip-hop in America at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio, which toured America and overseas. As a humanitarian, Kevin’s work includes local, national and international initiatives to end violence against women and girls (including a very well-regarded appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show highlighting domestic violence); and he has done extensive philanthropic and relief work, ranging from Hurricane Katrina to earthquakes in Haiti and Japan, to Superstorm Sandy in New York, to his annual holiday party and clothing drive for the homeless every December since 9/11.
Rev. Dr. Donna Schaper
The Rail has a tradition of ending our conversations with a poem, and we’re fortunate to have Joy Priest reading.