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 kick off with an amazing line-up. Mike Wiley interviews Presiding Bishop Curry of The Episcopal Church, North Carolina Poet Laureate Jaki Shelton Green will read selections of her poetry, and esteemed gospel singer Jennifer Evans will set the mood with a song. Watch this space each month for information on our next guests. We’ll also be posting videos of each program shortly after each event.
Register below in the Distinguished Speakers section and join us September 17, 2020 at 7:00pm.
Journalist and Audio Documentarian
Seeing White: Exploring The History Of Race And White Supremacy And What It Will Take To Dismantle Racism.
John Biewen is audio program director at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University, where he teaches and produces the Center’s documentary podcast, Scene on Radio. Since 2015, Scene on Radio has received more than 7 million downloads and the show’s Seeing White series was nominated for a 2017 Peabody Award.
Singer | Songwriter
Laurelyn Dossett lives and writes in the piedmont of North Carolina. Thematically, her songs tend to mirror the stories of the region – both historical and contemporary. She has performed at regional music festivals such as Merlefest and been a guest on the radio show Prairie Home Companion. She has toured with Rhiannon Giddens, folk legend Alice Gerrard, and composer/violinist Daniel Bernard Roumain.
Race & Racism Educator
Dr. Deborah Stroman specializes in leadership as applied to the domain of racial equity in the United States. Dr. Stroman has three decades of extensive experience working with senior administrators, faculty, staff, students and alumni on leadership and equity issues on campus and beyond.
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
October 15, 2020 | Dr. Rupert Nacoste
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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