About the Film:
Join us for a panel discussion after the show!
Danielle Ponder is a musician and Attorney. A native of Rochester, NY she performs internationally with her band Danielle Ponder & The Tomorrow People. Danielle Ponder is also a Graduate of Northeastern University School of Law. She is currently employed as a Criminal Defense attorney for the Monroe County Public Defender's Office where she provides indigent defense to Monroe County Residents. She is involved in several community initiatives and sits on the board of Teen Empowerment.
Banke Awopetu McCullough, author
Banke Awopetu-McCullough is a native Rochesterian. Her love for reading, writing, and storytelling started at an early age and has taken her far. McCullough holds a Bachelors of Arts in Drama and African/African-American studies from the University of Virginia as well as a Master's in Adolescent Education from Roberts Wesleyan. Her education, astute observation, and highly developed emotional intelligence aid her as a professor, wife, author, activist, entrepreneur, and radio host. McCullough's debut novel, ALWAYS WANT MORE, is a smash hit dedicated to and set in Rochester. Through all of her endeavors, McCullough uses words to inspire and empower others.For more information visit www.banketheauthor.com
Reenah Golden-Collier is an award-wining literary performing artist, educator, and activist with an “International Poet License” that she uses to share her gifts with the world. She is the co-creator of Kuumba Consultants, the Arts-in-education agency that deploys over 50 teaching artists of all disciplines into schools and community. Reenah was also the founder and lead coach of 2008 HBO Brave New Voices finalists, Slam High which was the first slam team in Rochester. The program boasted a 100% high school graduation rate for its 9 years operating. -- Follow her online at reenahgolden.com and @reenahgolden on all social media.
Tokeya Graham, moderator
Tokeya C. Graham is an Assistant English Professor at Monroe Community College’s Damon City Campus. She owns T. Cornell Writing Resource which offers comprehensive writing services and workshops. She is a poet, performing in events for GEVA theater, Writers and Books, and MJS Productions among others. Her writing appears in magazines, academic anthologies, newspapers, and as stage productions. Tokeya is a long-time community activist lending her skills to causes that improve the life of women and children in our community. She is currently a member of the Board of Directors for the Women’s Foundation of Genesee Valley where she chairs the Voices of Experience event, an annual event pairing adult women mentors with young girls in our community. Her charity, Charity ROCs, connects people in need with donations and resources. A Rochester native, Tokeya continues to live in the city with her husband and their children. For more information, visit www.soulstainableliving.com.
For 80-year-old Sonia Sanchez, writing is both a personal and political act. She emerged as a seminal figure in the 1960s Black Arts Movement, raising her voice in the name of black culture, civil rights, women's liberation, and peace as a poet, playwright, teacher, activist and early champion of the spoken word. She is among the earliest poets to have incorporated urban black English into her poetry; she was one of the first activists to secure the inclusion of African American studies in university curricula. Deemed "a lion in literature's forest" by poet Maya Angelou and winner of major literary awards including the American Book Award, Sonia Sanchez is best known for 17 books of poetry that explore a wide range of global and humanist themes, particularly the struggles and triumphs of women and people of color.
In BaddDDD Sonia Sanchez, Sanchez's life unfolds in a documentary rich with readings and jazz-accompanied performances of her work. With appearances by Questlove, Talib Kweli, Ursula Rucker, Amiri Baraka, Haki Madhubuti, Jessica Care Moore, Ruby Dee, Yasiin Bey, Ayana Mathis, Imani Uzuri and Bryonn Bain, the documentary examines Sanchez's contribution to the world of poetry, her singular place in the Black Arts Movement and her leadership role in African American culture over the last half century.