Diversity Work this Weekend: Blueprint Roundtable

Thanks to VP Sonia Mañjon and the Invisible Men group, Blueprint Roundtable will hold a workshop on Saturday at Wesleyan. Three of our colleagues (and students) from California College of the Arts (Chris Johnson, Hank Willis Thomas and Bayete Ross Smith) began this work as an outgrowth of an innovative transmedia art project, Question Bridge: Black Males. Question Bridge creates a platform to represent and redefine Black male identity in America. Question Bridge is on exhibit at the Hartford YMCA, hosted by the Amistad Center for Art and Culture, Hartford, CT. The Blueprint Roundtable is a collaboration with the Amistad Center for Art and Culture.

While filming Question Bridge, the artists heard a compelling exchange between a younger participant and an older civil-rights activist, “Why didn’t you leave us the blueprint?” This sparked a series of multi-generational conversations about how to pass along experience and wisdom. Wesleyan’s Invisible Men, a forum for people who identify as men of color, will host Blueprint Roundtable with three goals:

  1. To solidify a working group of inter-generational male participants to take part in a community conversation about issues facing Black and Latino men,
  2. To galvanize support for Invisible Men at Wesleyan University, and
  3. To reach out to younger male students and older Black and Latino men in Middletown to establish a framework for support, mentoring, and further collaboration.

This program reaches beyond the borders of campus. The Roundtable will be moderated by acclaimed actor Delroy Lindo, star of Romeo Must Die and Malcolm X.

Panelist and performers include:

Wesleyan Students: Ismael Coleman, Reese Poddel, Jalen Alexander, Phabinly Gabriel, Shasha Brown, Nkosi Archibald and Maurice Hurd.

Middletown Youth: AJ Hart (senior, Capital Prep Magnet School), Zyan VanEwyk (freshman, Capital Prep Magnet School), Deontrae Taylor (Middletown High School graduate, current Job Corp member)

Middletown Community Leaders: Antonio Rivera (former Wesleyan Prison Education Project participant), Tony Bostick (Wesleyan Associate Director Public Safety), Pastor Willis McCaw (Ministerial Alliance), Ronald Edens (Community Leader), Kevin Woodard (United Fathers) and Grady Faulkner, P’11 (Common Council)

Blueprint Roundtable