Join award-winning actor and playwright Mike Wiley and nationally known thought leaders for a series of virtual conversations examining issues of race, justice, and social equity.
Our Higher Ground Conversations continue in November with our young people’s program and special guest activist Bree Newsome. Watch this space each month for information on our next guests. We’ll also be posting videos of each program shortly after the event.
Register below in the Distinguished Speakers section and join us October 15, 2020 at 7:00pm.
Community Organizer | Activist | Musician | Writer
Bree is an artist who drew national attention in 2015 when she climbed the flagpole in front of the South Carolina Capitol building and lowered the confederate battle flag. Bree’s act of defiance against a symbol of hate has been memorialized in photographs and artwork and has become a symbol of resistance and the empowerment of women. Bree is also a musician and writer who won the 2016 NAACP Image Award and been included in the Ebony 100 and Root 100 lists in recognition of her civil rights work.
Noah is a 20-year-old junior at Virginia Tech studying engineering. Noah’s family has had a huge impact on his awareness of the needs of others and his compassion for those less fortunate than he. His mother and church introduced him at a young age to the cruel history of race, particularly in America, and the importance for white people to take an active role in reconciling this history.
Educator | Activist
Elisa is an American born child of Mexican immigrants and is based in Charlotte, NC. She is an after school educator, helping newly arrived immigrant and refugee children acculturate to their new environment. She is in her final semester of graduate school at UNC-Charlotte in Latin American Studies. Eliza has been an activist for over 10 years, focusing primarily on immigrant rights.
Multimedia Storyteller | Poet | Photographer
Brittany is a multimedia storyteller from Durham, North Carolina. She weaves poetry, photography and music to navigate family and race dynamics with complete vulnerability, transparency, and intimacy.
Educator | Sound Designer
Michael is director of CDS Courses at Duke University’s Center for Documentary Studies, a native North Carolinian, and sound designer who is passionately fascinated by the story of the world around him. His work tends to center on Black and Brown bodies and their existence in white space.
All Higher Ground Conversations are free and open to the public. We are accepting donations in our virtual tip jar to cover the costs of the series and continue to attract quality guests in the future. We certainly appreciate and value your support.
September 17, 2020 | John Biewen – WATCH NOW!
October 15, 2020 | Dr. Rupert Nacoste – WATCH NOW!
November 19, 2020 | Young People’s Program
December 17, 2020 | Dr. Heather Thompson
January 21, 2021 | Daniele McGuire
February 18, 2021 | Dr. David Cecelski
March 18, 2021 | Loki Mulholland
April 15, 2021 | Dr. Carolyn McKinstry
“If the house is to be set in order, one cannot begin with the present, he must begin with the past.” – John Hope Franklin
Mike Wiley Productions is a driving force in the development and promotion of documentary theatre. Led by actor and playwright, Mike Wiley, the company’s plays span the worlds of Emmett Till, Henry “Box” Brown, Jackie Robinson and more. Each work in the company’s repertoire is designed to inspire audiences to examine America’s racial history, teach the lessons of the past and encourage the application of these truths to the present.
Through his performances, Wiley has introduced countless students and communities to the legacies of Emmett Till, Henry “Box” Brown and more. His recent works include a one-man play based on Tim Tyson’s memoir Blood Done Sign My Name and The Parchman Hour, an ensemble production celebrating the bravery and determination of the Freedom Riders who risked their lives to desegregate Southern interstate bus travel in 1961.
Mike Wiley has a Masters of Fine Arts from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and was the 2010 and 2014 Lehman Brady Visiting Joint Chair Professor in Documentary Studies and American Studies at Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Most recently he was named a Distinguished Alumni of UNC-Chapel Hill and was the recipient of the 2020 Ann Atwater Theater Award, recognizing Triangle theater artists whose body of work reflects and honors Ann Atwater’s lifelong commitment to activism for social justice.
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