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Paul Hillman

3rd Annual Black History, Education Celebration

The 3rd Annual History Month, Education Celebration was held Sat., February 6, 2016, at the Balsz Community Center. Channel Powe, Balsz Governing Board and President of the Black Caucus, and Lawrence Robinson, Roosevelt Governing Board, were the conveners of this Greater City of Phoenix Celebration Event.

In the local newspaper this morning (Sunday, Feb 7th, 2016) opinions page is a quote from a contributor ...While the Arizona Legislature wrings its hands about how to cut taxes and 'dumb down' education, other communities are supporting the many dreams of the next generation through the active support of educational alternatives that will prepare their students for success. That is exactly what this group of educators, activist, artists, community organizations in support of our youth and students are doing.

Channel Powe emceed the three hour program by welcoming everyone including Derrence B. White, Balsz School Board President...

Mr. White read an inspirational poem to gather us all in thinking how WE might provide resources and service to our next generation of young males and females as they continue their journeys of life...

Dr. Jeffrey Smith, Superintendent of the Balsz School District, discussed how proud he was of this city wide initiative being facilitated through the Balsz Governing Board members in the Balsz School District neighborhoods as some of the Black Firefighters looked on with pride.

Channel then listed all of the amazing presenter workshshops and persons began to attend rotating through group discussions and demonstartions led by Arlette Pender Love My Hair; Dr. Telpriore Tucker Louis Latimer; Judy Butzine Universal Human Rights and Honoring of Cultural Icons, Dr. Eugene Grigsby, Jr.; Dr. Linda Manning The Miseducation of the Negro; Mukhtar Sheikh Somali and African-American 'One in the Same'; Devin Del Palacio African-Americans in Space; and Fatherhood Discussion by the Black American Dad Foundation and Our Black Father's Committee. Completing the program during lunch a Youth Panel was formed and facilitated by Richard Crews; and at the end of the day a thoughtful engagement through the art of poetry and performance by Co-founder of Phonetic Spit, Tomas Stanton. What an incredible and thoughtful way to engage persons of all ages in this kind of civil dialogue addressing so many social challenges with respect and restraint.

The presenters wish to thank Channel and Lawrence for the certificates of participation we all received, signed by Mayor Stanton.

Thank you Christy Sholola for being present to enjoy this day and to assist discussing the Black History curriculum you helped to create many years ago....

Ancestral Life Force held by Claudia! lesson on African Life Force

I personally want to thank the Cultural Arts Coalition Board of Directors and participants for being an active and working group of individuals from all arts disciplines and educational positions in our communtiy. They embrace the arts as a means of communication which assists with establishing opportunities for learning and civil dialogue around issues of social justice and human rights. It is our cultural arts organization's mission to provide an environment for critical thinking and problem solving leading to positive community and personal outcomes for persons from every walk of life and life experience.

My final words are to quote a statement by Dr. Bernard Young, ASU Professor, who honors and celebrates the interwoven work of Dr. and Mrs. Jefferson Eugene Grigsby, Jr. in the Arts And Art Education book featured in an earlier image. It is also why I chose to showcase at this celebration event Dr. Grigsby's and his students' artworks and the artifacts from the Yoruba culture which inspired him and which he and Thomasena were surrounded with in their home.

Dr. and Mrs. Grigsby worked tirelessly together on community-based art and cultural programs and in civic roles, as educators, leaders and activists for social justice in the state of Arizona and throughout the United States. Bernard Young

Images of a past honoring event of Dr. Grigsby and other Black artists: More than 50 Arizona artists, writers and directors of non-profit organizations focusing on the arts in social and cultural settings, meeting daily challenges of community building are part of a six week exhibition sponsored by Dennis Isbell, Administrative Director at ASU West campus, Fletcher Library, January 17th- February 26, 2015. This exhibition emphasizes the history and legacy of arts in many greater Phoenix communities. There will be a Free reception for the public on February 5, 6:00-8:00 PM.

The Family by Eugene Grigsby

In Honor of MLK, Jr.'s National Recognition Day a component of this ASU West campus Exhibition highlights the African slave story (Sonny Sholola and Joe Willie Smith) to the USA and the final Juneteenth Emancipation documenting this ...

It was a gift to be a part of this event on Saturday and invaluable meeting all of you,

judy butzine, MSW 602.375.9553

Director of the Cultural Arts Coalition


Mission: The Cultural Arts Coalition, Arizona (CAC) 501 (c)3 Coalition Arizona (CAC) incorporated in 2005 facilitates and promotes multidisciplinary arts and cultural experiences through educational youth and adult programming, exhibitions, and celebrations, purposefully documenting each experience for community reflection.