Spectrum Dance Theater and Crosscut Community Panel Series
As part of Spectrum’s 2016-17 Season: American – Identity, Race, or Culture?
Moderated by Marcus Green, founder of South Seattle Emerald. Panelists to be announced soon.
We live in a progressive city — or so we think. According to this KCTS 9/Crosscut/Washington poll, only half of Washingtonians believe that race affects the use of police force. Why are there so many opposing perspectives? How do we identify solutions to end violence against African Americans in America? What actions can we as community members take?
In anticipation of Donald Byrd’s Shot (world premiere), which examines the continuous murder of black people by American law enforcement, Spectrum Dance Theater and Crosscut invite you to a panel discussion on police brutality, racial bias and its impact in the Seattle community.
Marcus Green, founder of South Seattle Emerald will moderate the panel, which includes:
Sheley Secrest, the Vice President of the Alaska Oregon Washington State Area Conference NAACP and is a committed Black Lives Matter activist. Sheley successfully fought to increase civilian oversight of local police misconduct complaints. She advocated for the implementation of city ordinances which decrease economic inequality and secured inclusion oversight in government funded contracts of State projects. Sheley was a driving force in passing legislation in education reform to close the achievement gap of African American students. She has over 15 years of experience performing legislative advocacy, and is currently working to restore Affirmative Action efforts to achieve racial equity throughout Washington. Sheley is a graduate of Seattle University Law School.
Lisa Daugaard, the Director of the Public Defender Association in Seattle, and has served as Deputy Director of the King County (WA) Department of Public Defense through 2015. The Racial Disparity Project (RDP) at the Public Defender Association works to reduce racial bias in the criminal justice system. From 2001, under Lisa’s leadership, the project focused on police reform and on racial disparity in Seattle drug arrests. Starting in 2005, the RDP worked to develop Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD), a pre-booking, community-based diversion model for low-level drug suspects (including sellers), in which police officers connect willing individuals suspected of drug activity directly to a harm reduction-based social service intervention program, rather than booking them into jail and referring them for prosecution. Lisa served from 2013-2016 as co-chair of Seattle’s Community Police Commission, and remains a member of the Commission.
Donald Byrd, TONY nominated/Bessie Award winner, is the Executive Artistic Director of Spectrum Dance Theater (since 2002), formerly Artistic Director of Donald Byrd/The Group. He is credited with over 100 dance works for his own groups plus Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Dayton Contemporary, and Philadanco, among others; classical companies include Pacific Northwest Ballet, Joffrey Ballet and Dance Theater of Harlem. He has worked with The New York Shakespeare Festival/Public Theater, La Jolla Playhouse, SF Opera, Seattle Opera and NYC Opera. Honors include Masters of Choreography Award (Kennedy Center), Fellow of The American Academy of Jerusalem, James Baldwin Fellow of US Artists, and Fellow at the Institute on the Arts and Civic Dialogue. He has been a panelist for the NEA, The Princess Grace Awards, and has served as Cultural Envoy for The US Dept. of State. He currently serves on the SDC Diversity Task Force and the SDC Journal Editorial Board, and recently completed his term on the Tony nominating committee.
Riall Johnson, a retired NFL professional football player who in 2012 segued his passion for the field into political campaigning, most recently serving as field director for the I-1491 campaign for extreme risk protection orders in Washington State. Throughout his career, Johnson has advocated for civil rights and activism, investing his spare time volunteering and organizing multiple community events and fundraisers over the years — most notably for the Boys and Girls Clubs of America. The blight of racism, gun violence and police brutality hits close to home for Johnson; he has experienced countless incidents that reflect the gravity of these issues and believes that through passionate dialogue and appropriate policy that these issues can be improved upon.