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Honorees & Special Guests

Center for Popular Democracy's
Stronger Together

New York City Gala
Tuesday, October 23, 2018
6:30-9:30PM
Brooklyn Bowl - 61 Wythe Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11249

 

 

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MASTER OF CEREMONIES

Ana Maria Archila
Co-Executive Director, CPD

Ana María Archila emigrated to the U.S. from Colombia at the age of 17 and has become a national leading voice for racial justice, economic justice and immigrant rights as Co-Executive Director of the Center for Popular Democracy (CPD).

Most recently, Ana María confronted Senator Jeff Flake on an elevator about his announcement that he would confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. Within hours, the senator announced he would seek an investigation from the FBI into Dr. Ford’s accusations of sexual assault by Brett Kavanaugh, delaying the Senate’s confirmation vote.

 

 

HONOREES

Lemon Andersen
Writer, Poet, Actor

Lemon Andersen is a Tony Award-winning playwright, poet, spoken word artist, activist, and television writer who currently writes for Spike Lee’s She’s Gotta Have It for Netflix. He is also a committed philanthropist, having organized critical fundraising efforts for Puerto Rico, post Hurricane Maria through the Maria Fund and brings support to the ongoing crisis with displaced Puerto Ricans in the diaspora.

Lemon is also largely viewed as one of the most influential Latinx writers working today. His spoken word performances and writing have been performed in venues across the country, and his appearance on Def Poetry Jam, produced by Russell Simmons on Broadway, which ran for six seasons on HBO, earned Lemon a Tony Award. Recently, Lemon MC'ed and helped produce the timely musical called, A Time Like This: A Music for Change, at Carnegie Hall. County Of Kings, Lemon’s coming-of-age autobiographical memoir produced by Spike Lee at the Public Theater, was met with critical acclaim by The New York Times and was awarded Grand Prize at the New York Book Festival.

Lemon is a proud resident of Brooklyn.

 

Jessica Marshall
Activist, Educator

Jessica Marshall is a CPD volunteer who has spent several years consulting for nonprofits that want to improve educational opportunities for under-resourced schools and high-needs students. Previously, she was co-founder and Chief Strategic Officer at LightSail Education, an award-winning K-12 literacy platform. Prior to LightSail, Marshall helped design, raise funds for, and launch union-supported public schools in New York, Los Angeles and New Orleans. Marshall has produced multiplatform educational content for Hill & Wang and National Geographic, and held senior digital roles at Time, Inc., Lifetime Entertainment, TV Guide, and ABC Disney. Marshall, a former lecturer in History and Literature at Harvard, is currently an adjunct professor of English at Pace and Golden Gate Universities. She was the first woman trustee of the Harvard Lampoon, and now sits on the board of Libraries Without Borders. But more to the point: she’s been arrested twice while participating in CDS actions in DC this year, and is looking forward to more.

 

Leah Hunt-Hendrix
Way to Win Co-Founder and Senior Advisor

Leah co-founded Solidaire, a network of philanthropists who are committed to funding social movements with a focus on racial and economic justice. For the first five years, she served as Founding Executive Director and grew the membership from a small handful of progressives to a vibrant community of over 160 members. Leah has a PhD from Princeton University, where she studied religious philosophy and political theory and wrote her dissertation on the history of the concept of solidarity. She has served on numerous boards, and acts as an advisor to her family foundation, the Sister Fund. Her writings have been featured in The Nation, Huffington Post and Politico, and she has been profiled by Salon, Avenue Magazine, and San Francisco Magazine. Born and raised in New York City, she has lived in Egypt, Syria and the West Bank, and now resides in San Francisco.

 

Tory Gavito
Way to Win Co-Founder

Under Tory’s leadership, the Texas donor table transformed from an idea to a powerhouse institution; established the Texas Future Project Research Center, a collection of qualitative and quantitative data on the Texas electorate on a fee-generating online platform; led a team of Texas’ best analysts and strategists to develop a strategic plan to make Texas competitive statewide by 2022; financed winning races—including in 2015, electing a progressive Mayor in Houston, the nation’s fourth largest city, and in 2016, sweeping Harris County, Texas’ biggest county with a population size that matches that of Oregon. Tory has a JD from Saint Mary’s University School of Law, was an advocate for immigrants in the workplace for a decade, and grounds her work in movement-building. Tory’s career is inspired by her grandmother and namesake, who immigrated to Texas from Mexico in the 1940s.

 

Jenifer Fernandez Ancona
Way to Win Co-Founder and Chair of the Board

Jenifer helps to run WDN, a national community of 220 progressive women donors who leverage their wealth, power, and community for a more fair, just, and sustainable world. Jenifer also directs WDN Action, a 501(c)(4) organization advancing justice through advocacy, funding, and civic engagement of underrepresented communities. She has a wide range of experience in communications, donor organizing, strategy development, grassroots organizing, and multi-racial coalition building. Jenifer has worked as Director of Strategic Communications at Citizen Engagement Laboratory, as a consultant to the Democracy Alliance, as a top legislative aide in the California State Assembly, and as a news reporter for the Los Angeles Times. Jenifer holds a BS degree in journalism from Northern Arizona University. She lives in Oakland with her husband, Dan Ancona, and their 7-year-old son.

 

Way to Win

Way to Win is a resource and strategy hub founded in 2017 by a group of donors and organizers seeking a new approach to progressive political funding that wins elections, advances transformative policy, and builds lasting power. The Way to Win strategy supports candidates who reflect the values and demographics of their communities and the independent political organizations who work to elect and hold them accountable to improving lives. 

 
 
 

PERFORMERS

Anthony Ramos
Actor, Singer - Hamilton, She's Gotta Have It

Anthony Ramos is a Grammy and Tony award-winning musician and actor, best known for originating the dual roles of John Laurens and Philip Hamilton in the critically acclaimed hit Broadway musical Hamilton.

He can currently be seen reprising Spike Lee’s role of Mars Blackmon in the Netflix series She’s Gotta Have It, the contemporary, small-screen remake of Lee’s 1985 debut film of the same name. The ten-episode series premiered internationally on Netflix and was recently renewed for a second season. In addition, Ramos has a recurring role on NBC’s hit comedy, Will & Grace.

On the film side, Ramos stars in Reinaldo Marcus Green’s Monsters and Men, which premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival and will be released by Neon this September. Ramos will also be seen in Bradley Cooper’s directorial debut, A Star is Born, opposite Cooper and Lady Gaga, for Warner Bros.  Other feature work includes a supporting role in Godzilla: King of Monsters, a lead role in Ed Burns’ upcoming indie film, Summertime,  Elizabeth Woods’ White Girl, which was released by Netflix and Geremy Jasper’s Patti Cake$ for Fox Searchlight.

As a solo artist, Ramos made his debut with the release of the Freedom EP, a collection of future soul pop anthems that was inspired by the 2016 presidential election and current climate in the world. The full EP of original music was released on January 20, 2018, one year after the inauguration. Ramos also co-wrote and performs three original songs in his series, She’s Gotta Have It.

Ramos hails from Bushwick, Brooklyn and is a graduate of the American Musical and Dramatic Academy.

 

Jasmine Cephas Jones
Actor, Singer - Hamilton, Blindspotting

Jasmine Cephas Jones originated the roles of 'Peggy Schuyler' and 'Maria Reynolds' in the Tony Award winning Broadway hit Hamilton. She is a member of the LAByrinth Theater Company.

Jasmine’s recent film appearances include the features Blindspotting, Dog Days, Mistress America and Titus. Upcoming films include Monsters & Men, which recently screened at the Sundance and Toronto International Film Festivals, and Blood Surf.

Jasmine has also appeared on the HBO show Girls, Blue Bloods, Unforgettable, and Odd Mom Out. She  sang America The Beautiful with her original 'Schuyler Sisters' co-stars on the field before Super Bowl LI. She also recently debuted a fashion collaboration with the Lou & Grey brand.

Her theater credits include Hamilton and The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner (Atlantic Theater)

Jasmine trained at the Berklee College of Music for vocal performance and The Neighborhood Playhouse for Theater.

 

 

DJ Bobbito Garcia
DJ, Author, Filmmaker

NYC native Bobbito García is a freelance creative who has put an indelible footprint on multiple urban movements.

During the 1990s, the legendary air personality was one-half of the “Stretch and Bobbito” program on WKCR. The duo introduced the world to an unsigned Nas, Biggie, and Wu-Tang, as well as an unknown Jay-Z, Eminem, and the Fugees. The total record sales for all the artists that premiered on their platform exceed 300 million. In 1998, the Source Magazine voted them as “The Best Hip Hop Radio Show of All Time.“ 

As the progenitor of sneaker journalism, García penned his landmark Source article “Confessions of a Sneaker Addict” in 1990, then in 2003 became the critically acclaimed author of Where’d You Get Those? NYC’s Sneaker Culture: 1960-1987 (Testify Books). In 2005, ESPN’s “It’s The Shoes” series, hosted by Bobbito, became the first show on the subject in broadcasting history. 

A former professional basketball player in Puerto Rico, García performed in the ground breaking Nike “Freestyle” commercial. In 2007, the brand released seven co-designed Air Force 1 sneakers bearing his name. The voice of EA Sports’ popular NBA Street video game is also a world-renowned DJ, who has spun World, Soul and Jazz music at Lincoln Center, Central Park SummerStage, and the Kennedy Center (DC).

As an award-winning filmmaker, García has directed Doin’ It In The Park: Pick-Up Basketball, NYC and Stretch and Bobbito: Radio That Changed Lives, which premiered on PBS and Showtime, respectively. His third film, Rock Rubber 45s, releases this summer. 

A founding member of the Kennedy Center’s Hip Hop Culture Council and a recent Wesleyan University “Distinguished Alumni Award” recipient,  "Kool Bob Love” currently produces his b-ball tournament Full Court 21™ in four continents, and co-hosts NPRs “What’s Good with Stretch and Bobbito” podcast.

 

DJ Tony Touch
DJ, Singer-Songwriter, Producer

DJ Tony Touch aka Tony Toca is an icon in the hip hop and urban Hispanic genres and a true innovator who has revolutionized the DJ game over and over. Touch began as a B-Boy during the rap music renaissance era of the early 80’s. Heavily influenced by pioneers like the Rock Steady Crew, Grandmaster Flash, Red Alert, ”Little” Louie Vega, and Jam Master Jay, he quickly shifted his interests towards the turntables. From his legendary mixtapes, to his skills on the 1’s and 2’s, he has become one of hip hop’s most recognized DJ’s.

Touch has toured over 30 countries and has been featured on TV shows such as “Saturday Night Live” and “The Dave Chappelle Show” spinning for Eminem.This C.E.O/Artist/Producer is now currently working on his seventh commercial release titled “The Piece Maker 3…Return of the 50 MC’s” and is expected to make history once again.

LOAF Muzik
NYC Hip Hop Collective

LOAF Muzik is a Hip Hop Collective from New York City. Pulling from the same mellow soul and jazz samples as their forebearers but pairing them with modern beats and dense rhymes, LOAF Muzik's tracks have a retro feel but still sound fresh. The Collective composed of Shadow the Great, Kidaf, Oso Dope, and  Shine Sinatra already have a tight sound and undeniable skills as MCs. A force to be reckoned with - not to be slept on; with a mission to bring you pure Hip-Hop Mixtapes and Performances Look out for LOAF Muzik. 

 

 

 

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