Panelists will examine how those employing the arts and social media can impact and amplify the efforts to bring recognition of LGBT human rights to the forefront of consciousness.
PanelistMacky Alston, Filmmaker and former Director of Auburn Media Dr. Rev. Jacqui Lewis, Senior Minister at Middle Collegiate Church Bil Wright, playwright Tamiko Beyer, Author and Poet Hunter Reynolds, Visual Artist
Macky Alston is an award-winning documentary filmmaker, an educator on issues of media and religion, an organizer within the worlds of philanthropy and media-making, and a regular writer and reviewer on film and religion. A graduate of Union Theological Seminary (M. Div.), Alston comes from a long line of ministers in the American South, exposed to the power of the media and the pulpit, as charismatic leaders on the Left and the Right. www.mackyalston.com
Jacqueline Lewis is Senior Minister at Middle Collegiate Church in New York City. Lewis is a graduate of Princeton Theological Seminary and earned her Ph.D. in Religion and Society/Psychology and Religion at Drew University. She serves on the Multiracial Congregation Task Force of the Reformed Church in America. Lewis has been Adjunct Professor at The Graduate Theological Union and Union Theological Seminary, and is currently on the Doctor of Ministry faculty at Wesley Theological Seminary. She is a nationally recognized speaker and preacher on the topics of racial justice and reconciliation, and has been interviewed on NPR’s Weekend Edition, in Forbes Magazine, and on GRITtv. She is a contributor to the 2008 book Dispatches from the Religious Left.
Bil Wright is playwright, poet, and novelist, and actor. His work has been produced at Yale University, Orchestra Hall in Detroit, and the Samuel Beckett Theater in New York. His play, Leave Me A Message, which dealt with the repercussions of terrorism, was featured at the "Human Rights Festival 2007." He is the author of the books Sunday You Learn How To Box, One Foot In Love, and When The Black Girl Sings. Wright wrote the book for the musical This One Girl’s Story, which was inspired by the life of Sakia Gunn, the teenage victim of an anti-gay hate crime in Newark, N.J in 2003. www.bilwright.com
Tamiko Beyer is a poet, writer, and educator based in New York City. She is the author of the poetry collection bough breaks (Meritage Press). Her poems have appeared in DIAGRAM, The Progressive, The Gay and Lesbian Review, Sonora Review, and other journals and anthologies. She is a founding member of Agent 409: a queer, multi-racial writing collective in New York City that has performed across the east coast and led workshops at conferences such as the U.S. Social Forum. She edits the poetry section of the online literary journal, Drunken Boat. She leads creative writing workshop for at-risk youth and other community groups, and has a background in grassroots organizing. wonderinghome.com .
Hunter Reynolds is a visual artist who uses photography, performances, and installations to express his experience as an HIV positive gay man living in the age of AIDS. His work addresses issues of gender, identity, sociopolitics, sexual histories, mourning and loss, survival, hope and healing. He has exhibited at museums and galleries in American and abroad. He is the recipient of two Pollock Krasner Grants. He was an early member of ACTUP, and in 1989 co-founded Art Positive to fight homophobia and censorship in the arts-which is now organizing the protests against censorship at the Smithsonian for their removal of the David Wojnarowicz video at the National Portrait Gallery. He is currently working on a major one-person exhibition called "Survival AIDS" at Participant Inc, opening on May 1st.