Brain Café: Freedom Project
October 30, 2013 @ 7:00pm
Brown University Granoff Center for the Arts
154 Angell Street, Providence, RI 02906
Everett Brain Cafés are a series of free presentations that create a dialogue at the intersection of neuroscience, medicine and the arts. They bring together scientists, clinicians, artists, and community members to share their knowledge and experiences in an open dialogue with the audience.
The Freedom Project Brain Café will examine 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 will also include poetry and personal stories from a Providence native who grew up in the prison system. The poetry will be accompanied by acoustic guitar from Bertrand Laurence.
Freedom Project Brain Café presenters:
James Monteiro grew up in the Mount Hope area of Providence. Like many kids from the neighborhood, James grew up without a father figure in the home and it wasn’t long before he dropped out of school, got caught up in crime, and ended up in and out of the prison system.
While incarcerated in Baltimore, Maryland’s penitentiary, James made a conscious decision to change his life. He worked through feelings of low self esteem, abandonment, neglect, and self- hate, and began to challenge the demons within himself that had held him back for so long. He documented his experience of transformation through a book of spoken word poetry called THE LOST CHILD, a journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step. James will share excerpts from this book at the Brain Café and will discuss his experiences with the audience.
James is currently spearheading the development of the Billy Taylor House, a program that is designed to give youth from the Mount Hope neighborhood workforce development and enrichment opportunities. The program will help provide youth with a sense of identity and pride and an awareness of their own potential.
Abe Henderson grew up in Providence’s South Side. He is currently the Lead Discharge Planning Coordinator at the ACI for the Institute for the Study & Practice of Nonviolence (ISPN). In this role, Abe helps prepare young offenders for release from prison and works with them for six months after their release to help them integrate back into society. He has researched, investigated, and assessed employment training opportunities and rehabilitative, social, and educational service programs for individuals with criminal records. He has assessed and evaluated discharge programs for inmates prior to release at the Rhode Island Adult Correctional Institute. He has also created and administered nonviolence curricula and programming at ISPN and the ACI.
Everett is a multi-disciplinary arts incubator. Encompassing a Company, Stage and School, its ensemble of artists create, perform, teach and mentor new generations of artists within a diverse community. Guided by the principles of collaboration and experimentation, Everett explores complex social issues through a combination of dance, theater, music and video. At the heart of the organization is the belief that the arts can transform lives across cultures, generations, and economic backgrounds, and create a more just, equitable and joyous future.