Prior to her work with Jewish Council on Urban Affairs, Michaela Purdue was a field organizer for Amnesty International, USA, where she mobilized activists and communities on local and global human-rights issues. Through the project United to End Racism (UER), she was a delegate to the national White Privilege Conference for three consecutive years, and led the UER delegation to this conference in 2006. Also through UER, she was a delegate to the United Nation's World Conference against Racism, held in Durban, South Africa in August 2001 and has since participated on several delegations to various countries in Africa to train community members in peer counseling and leadership development. She is an executive board member for Beyondmedia Education, a media arts and advocacy organization that collaborates with underserved and underrepresented women, youth and communities to organize for social justice through the creation and distribution of alternative media and arts. She received a bachelor's degree in psychological services and human development and a certificate in learning and organizational change from Northwestern University in 1999.
This post-show discussion immediately followed the performance of American Ethnic, a spoken word and hip-hop infused exploration of how the media shapes the way we see race, gender and ourselves. American Ethnic was written and performed by hip-hop theater artist Usman Ally, NEA Award-winning performer Idris Goodwin and three-time HBO Def Poetry Jam performer Kelly Zen-Yie Tsai. It was directed by Remy Bumppo Artistic Associate Nick Sandys.
Remy Bumppo's thinkTank features short dramatic works with a focus on provoking timely conversation about a social, political or economic issue in which Chicago citizens have a stake. A post-show discussion follows, led by speakers from the community representing various viewpoints on thinkTank's theme. Past topics include immigration (2007) and national security (2008).
Recorded Sunday, March 22, 2009 at The Greenhouse Theater.