2022 Ebon Dooley Arts & Social Justice Awards Press Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
EBON DOOLEY ARTS &
SOCIAL JUSTICE AWARDS Dec. 3, 2022 | 6:30-8 p.m.
CONTACT: Angela Oliver, firstname.lastname@example.org, 404-624-4211
‘Herstory’ muralist, ‘Street Angel’ among honorees for ArtsXchange awards
WCLK’s Kiplyn Primus to emcee fifth annual ceremony named for late activist
East Point, GA — Six honorees have been named Ebon Dooley Arts & Social Justice Awards at the ArtsXchange: Dr. Janice Liddell, playwright and longtime Clark Atlanta University educator; Roselyn Lewis, Urban Youth Harp Ensemble founder and 40-year APS teacher; Carlton Mackey, Black Men Smile creator and assistant director of education at the High Museum of Art; the late “Street Angel” Marshall Rancifer, advocate for Atlanta’s homeless; Meadowlark Pictures, independent film and stage producers; and Ashley Dopson, community muralist and art teacher.
Kiplyn Primus, host of WCLK’s “The Local Take with Kiplyn Primus,” will emcee the fifth annual awards ceremony from 6:30-8 p.m. Dec. 3 at the ArtsXchange, 2148 Newnan St., East Point. Tickets are $35 or free for members. The event will include a performance by the I Am Arts Dance Company and heavy hors d'oeuvres.
The Dooley Awards are given annually to artists, activists or organizers/organizations whose work creatively builds community and advances liberation, in the legacy of ArtsXchange founder Ebon Dooley. This year, the awards ceremony will also be dedicated toDr. Doris Derby — a civil rights movement photographer, beloved Georgia State University professor, poet, artist and fervent supporter of the ArtsXchange, who passed on March 28, 2022. Derby was also our 2021 Ebon Dooley Change Maker honoree.
Join us as we remember her, and as we celebrate the honorees: Liddell the Change Maker, Lewis the Bridge Builder, Mackey the Social Justice Champion, Rancifer the Economic Justice Champion, Meadowlark Pictures (Noah Washington, Solomon Simmon and Zipporah Dorsey) the Emerging Leaders, and Dopson the Jack Sinclair Visual Artist.
For more information or to purchase tickets, see artsxchange.org/ebon-dooley.
ABOUT THE ARTSXCHANGE
The ArtsXchange, d/b/a the Southeast Community Cultural Center, was incorporated in 1983 and opened The Arts Exchange In 1984 in Grant Park, reshaping the landscape of Metro Atlanta’s arts scene. In East Point since 2017, the ArtsXchange empowers artists, social justice activists, and creative entrepreneurs to engage communities with innovative artistic learning experiences and cultural exchange. Our programming is designed to be inclusive, diverse, and to encourage positive change as participants come to a better understanding of themselves and others. Our art is our activism.
ABOUT THE HONOREES
Change Maker | Dr. Janice Liddell’s lifetime of work in theater has uplifted Black women, exploded myths about Black people, and reclaimed their histories. Moved by the reporting of the 50th anniversary of the Lena Baker execution, Liddell initially sent her play, “Who Will Sing for Lena?” to various theaters royalty-free if viewers would sign a petition for the posthumous pardon of Lena Baker. 2,500 signatures were sent to the Georgia State Board of Pardon and Paroles, which influenced the pardon in 2005. The play has since been performed at festivals, theaters and schools from Atlanta, Denver and NYC to Edinburgh, Belize City and Monaco.
Liddell retired after serving in several capacities at Clark Atlanta University for more than 35 years, and as assistant vice president for academic affairs and coordinator of faculty development at Atlanta Metropolitan College until 2015. She is co-editor of a collection of literary criticism, an author of several published articles and poems, and has had several plays produced nationally and internationally.
Bridge Builder | Roselyn Lewis’ decades as a music educator has built bridges for Black children in Atlanta Public Schools by introducing them to the harp, opera, handbells, and other musical fields in which they are traditionally underrepresented. As co-founder and executive director of the Urban Youth Harp Ensemble, which was founded in 2000 during her years as a choral music teacher at Brown Middle School, her encouragement has inspired career paths for now-professional musicians, such as Mason Morton, one of her first harp students, who is now on tour as a member of “America’s Got Talent” runners-up Sons of Serendip. Lewis retired as choral music teacher in APS after a stellar career spanning 40 years.
Economic Justice Champion | Marshall Rancifer, lovingly known as the Street Angel, died in Sept. 10, 2022, leaving behind many years of tireless advocacy for Atlanta’s unhoused community. Through his Justice for All Coalition, Marshall helped innumerable homeless people get off the street; he estimated that over 25 years, he helped nearly 3,000 people find safe havens and new lives. Many of the people he helped were also substance addicted and he was there — often against city regulations — with food, hygiene kits, safe-sex kits, HIV/STD testing, referrals to detox programs, and assistance in getting documents like birth certificates for housing and employment services. Through unconditional love and an obsessive consistency, he fulfilled his covenant with God. Marshall had long ago recovered from addiction and living in the streets and promised God that if he was restored to his own personal fullness, he would work for the restoration of all of the “unsheltered,” as he called the homeless population. With his small band of volunteers, he did just that for a quarter of a century, enabling so many to escape sordid environments and extremely dangerous situations.
Social Justice Champion | Carlton Mackey is the new assistant director of education with a focus on community engagement and dialogue at the High Museum of Art. An artist and scholar, he is also the creator of BLACK MEN SMILE®, a viral social media platform and empowerment movement for Black men to “celebrate the way we see ourselves,” and author of “50 Shades of Black: Sexuality and Skin Tone in the Formation of Identity.”
As a community advocate, Mackey serves on the Atlanta Board of Education Ethics Commission and the Advisory Board of Foreverfamily, an Atlanta non-profit that works to provide the love of family and regular visitation for youths with one or more incarcerated parent. Mackey is the former director of the Ethics & the Arts Program at Emory University and co-created the Arts and Social Justice Fellows Program, which brings six Atlanta artists into Emory classrooms to help students translate their learning into creative activism.
Emerging Leaders (for honorees under age 35) | Meadowlark Pictures comprises an ambitious trio of writers/producers/directors who aim to create bold stories and ensure that history is correctly passed down for generations. The group includes Noah Washington, a Georgia State University senior, FanBase app marketing copywriter, former BronzeLens Film Festival intern and great-grandson of Booker T. Washington; Solomon Simmon, a SCAD alum and aspiring filmmaker who has appeared onscreen in the TV dramedy “Atlanta;” and Zipporah Dorsey, also a SCAD alum, blogger, and writer whose directorial debut came in the Meadowlark Pictures play, “1906.” The play, a retelling of the Atlanta Race Massacre of 1906 through the eyes of Black men who defended themselves, premiered at the AXC and has been part of many city- and county-wide commemorations of the lives lost.
Jack Sinclair Visual Artist | Ashley Dopson is a conceptual fine artist who uses her art to create intimate moments in public spaces. Hermurals can be seen in many corners of the city — “Dream Big: The Phases of Ms. Kamala Harris” on Cascade and Beecher, “Herstory: Heroines of the West End” at the Goodwill on Ralph David Abernathy, and “Fish Are Jumpin’ and the Cotton Is High” at the Krog Tunnel entrance to name a few. Raised in Atlanta, she credits her early childhood in New Orleans for her colorful palette and rich textures. Her works are a conglomerate of primitive impasto and a contemporary take on the painting styles of the Harlem Renaissance.
Dopson studied at Hampton University and had a 12-year career teaching art in public schools, winning Teacher of the Year at two schools. She has exhibited at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem New York and the Charles H. Taylor gallery in Hampton Virginia. She has completed 10 murals in Atlanta, where she often involved children in the neighborhood in the painting process.
ABOUT THE HOST
“The Local Take With Kiplyn Primus” airs at 7 a.m. Saturdays on 91.9 WCLK-FM. The Howard University and Clark Atlanta University graduate has a long career in public and commercial media. She is a veteran facilitator for StoryCorps' Atlanta studio, and has written extensively on global and local initiatives for several publications.
Photo: Ebon Dooley