Brain Cafés are dialogues at the intersection of science, medicine, the humanities and the arts. These free public events bring together scientists, artists, scholars, clinicians and community members to share performance, stories and information about important social issues.
The three presenters will tell of finding fulfillment in life through service to others. From gang affiliate to youth worker, from Wall Street lawyer to prisoner advocate, from rock & roll musician to therapist, each presenter has gone through a remarkable transformation. Sokeo Ros is a performing artist who teaches at-risk youth. Brad Brockmann is executive director of the Center for Prisoner Health and Human Rights. David Medeiros, a licensed psychotherapist, counsels victims of domestic violence and has co-founded a domestic violence agency that provides treatment groups for offenders. The evening will include a dance performance by Sokeo Ros and opportunities for the audience to engage in conversation with the presenters.
Sokeo was born in a Cambodian refugee camp in Thailand, arriving in the United States at the age of three. As a sophomore in high school, he began performing with Everett’s youth hip-hop group. In 1998, Sokeo joined Everett Company as a creator and performer. He has collaborated on three touring productions and is currently working on Freedom Project, which explores mass incarceration in America. Sokeo is the director of the hip-hop dance program at Everett School and directs the hip-hop based troupe, Case Closed!, which he founded in 2004. Case Closed! has performed at venues across New England including the Veterans Memorial Auditorium, Brown University, and the Providence Performing Arts Center. Sokeo has received three Rhode Island State Council on the Arts grants to develop his hip-hop theater work. His latest RISCA grant supports the development of “From Refugee Camp to Project.” This work will share his family’s experiences of surviving the Khmer Rouge and then coming to the United States to live in an impoverished neighborhood. He recently travelled to Cambodia, volunteering at organizations that offer free education and performing arts to street kids and conducting research into his family’s history. This was Sokeo’s first trip to Cambodia, where he met many of his family members for the first time.
Brad is the Executive Director of the Center for Prisoner Health and Human Rights. He received his bachelor’s degree in Asian History and Chinese from Brown University and his Juris Doctor (cum laude) from the University of Michigan Law School in Ann Arbor. Brad worked as a Wall Street lawyer for many years before moving to Mexico City in 1998 to work at an AIDS hospice. He also did human rights work in Chiapas, Mexico. Brad returned to the US to attend Episcopal Divinity School in 2000 and received a Master of Divinity degree in 2004. For several years he worked as an itinerant preacher and educator for Partakers, a faith-based not-for-profit that strives to educate the public about prisoner rights and prison reform. From 2004 to 2010, Brad worked as a civil rights attorney with Prisoners’ Legal Services of Massachusetts, a public interest law firm that provides free civil legal services to the Commonwealth’s prisoners. He taught Social Ethics and Contemporary Moral Issues at Suffolk University as well as a graduate-level course at the Boston Theological Institute that examined punishment in the US through ethical, sociological, and theological lenses.
David Medeiros LICSW, MSW
David received his bachelor’s degree (cum laude) in Psychology from the University of Rhode Island and his master’s degree from Rhode Island College in Social Work. He has a private psychotherapy practice in Providence, and has extensive training and experience working with children, adolescents, adults, couples, and family systems. Areas of specialization include: Mood/Anxiety Disorders, Learning Disorders, Domestic Violence/Abuse, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. He has consulted/reported in hundreds of cases of domestic violence for the State of Rhode Island Court System. He is the co-director and co-founder of a domestic violence agency that provides treatment groups for offenders. David has been a student and practitioner of the Yang Style of Tai Chi for eleven years and when clinically indicated incorporates Eastern Philosophy into his therapeutic practice. He was recently inducted into the Rhode Island Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
The Freedom Project Brain Café is part of a major new work by Everett Company that will examine issues related to mass incarceration. Freedom Project will be a multidisciplinary documentary theater production that shares the true stories of people who have been marginalized by America’s criminal justice system. Freedom Project will premiere in the winter of 2015 at Brown University’s Granoff Center for the Creative Arts and will then be available for touring through 2017. Click here for more about Freedom Project.