Everett’s Freedom Cafés are a series of free presentations that create a dialogue at the intersection of social justice, the humanities and the arts. They bring together artists, educators, activists, scholars and community members to share their knowledge and experiences in an open dialogue with the audience. They have also been an important part of Everett Company’s research and development process for the creation of Freedom Project.
Select a button below to view our past Freedom Cafés!
THE LOST CHILD Freedom Café
This Freedom Café examines issues related to incarceration, such as: the disproportionate number of prisoners of color in the prison system, and the prison system’s default role as society’s solution to addiction and other mental health issues. The evening included poetry and personal stories from James Monteiro a Providence native who grew up in the prison system. He was accompanied by acoustic guitarist Bertrand Laurence. Abraham Henderson presented on his experience as a juvenile corrections officer and Jim Gillen presented on incarceration and addiction.
The Lost Child Excerpts
James Monteiro, Under the Sun
James Monteiro & Cheyenne Isom
The Lost Child
Q & A
Stories of Transformation Freedom Café
The three presenters 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 includes a dance performance by Sokeo Ros and opportunities for the audience to engage in conversation with the presenters.
Everett's Sokeo Ros
Questions & Answers
Hip Hop Saved My Life Freedom Café
This Brain Café examines the role of hip hop in the fight for social justice. Featuring Tricia Rose and Case Closed!
Tricia Rose, professor at Brown University and author of Black Noise and The Hip Hop Wars, argues that hip hop artists, and the commercialization of black popular culture more generally, have more power than ever to shape racial and gender images, perceptions and policies. Case Closed!, Everett’s resident hip hop company, present dances and stories that share the ways hip hop has impacted their lives. These pieces touch upon issues of incarceration, portrayals of women, and poverty.
A Boy Named Nothing Freedom Café
Presenters include parent advocate Osiris Harrell, who shares the story of how his daughter’s arrest in school spurred him to action, and Theresa Fox, an English teacher at Nathan Bishop Middle School, who shares her vision of a school that serves all students. Youth representatives from Providence Student Union presents on how high-stakes testing is impacting our schools, students, families and community. Everett Company presents a short performance, based on a true story, that portrays, through dance and song the events leading up to a young boys involvement with the Department of Children and Youth Services.
Q & A
Dear Mr. President Freedom Café
This Freedom Café asks questions about the roles that race and class play in shaping one’s interactions with law enforcement and the criminal justice system in America. The evening began with a performance by spoken word poet Christopher Johnson, hip hop dancer Sokeo Ros, and musician Rachel Rosenkrantz Riemer. Christopher has direct experience with the prison system and his poetry touches upon some of those experiences.
David Ellison, a public defender in Fall River, shares his experiences working within the justice system. He provides legal representation and advocacy to indigent clients who are charged with criminal offenses within the final jurisdiction of the District Court of Massachusetts.
The evening also includes a presentation from Steven Dy, a youth organizer from Prysm (Providence Youth Student Movement). Steven Dy worked extensively on a campaign to end racial profiling in Providence.
The Freedom Café concludes with an open conversation with the audience about the issues brought up during the presentations.
Public Schools Part 1 @ Brown University
This Freedom Café includes presentations by Providence Police Sergeant Michael P. Wheeler, Public School Teacher Theresa Fox, and Dean of Student Culture at The Paul Cuffee School Abraham Henderson. A short performance by Nathan Bishop Middle School students and Everett Company. It explores how zero tolerance policies, high stakes testing, and racial disparities in school discipline feed the school-to-prison pipeline.
Q & A
Public Schools Part 2 @ Everett Stage
This Freedom Café shares true stories portraying some of the struggles that young people go through in Providence as they deal with poverty and unsafe environments and how it impacts their ability to succeed in school. Presenters include Recovery Coach Tarah Dorsey and Paul Cuffee School Dean of Student Culture Abraham Henderson. The evening includes Caitlin’s Story an excerpt from Everett Company’s Freedom Project.