Maria Cuomo Cole, Kenneth Cole, Jussie Smollett of ‘Empire, George Gresham of 1199SEIU, Roland Martin, V. Bozeman of ‘Empire’, Ken Sunshine, and Don Coleman of advertising renown, are just a few of those coming together with Harry Belafonte to celebrate the 10th anniversary of The Gathering for Justice. On Monday November 9th, 2015 at Harlem’s historic Apollo Theater, the Justice Ball will honor the organization’s founder as well as members of the Central Park Five and leading immigration advocate and co-founder of Inclusiv, Alida Garcia. The Justice Ball is Co-Chaired by George Gresham, President of 1199 SEIU; Steven W. Hawkins, Executive Director of Amnesty International; and Tonya Lewis Lee, noted author and filmmaker.
The evening will begin with a VIP cocktail hour and seated dinner and culminate with musical performances and an epic tribute co-hosted by TV One’s Roland Martin. Guests will enjoy appearances and performances by; John Batiste & Stay Human, “Empire” star Jussie Smollett, “Empire” songstress and powerhouse vocalist V Bozeman, Trinidad Soca Superstar Machel Montano, rapper and activist Mysonne “NY General”, emcee and community activist Jasiri X, social entrepreneur and artist Mike De La Rocha, the young people of Harlem’s “Impact Repertory Theater”, among others. The festivities are being conducted in celebration of the incredible strides in social justice facilitated by The Gathering for Justice. Founded by Harry Belafonte in 2005, and led by Executive Director Carmen Perez since 2010, the organization was born out of a need to address the criminalization of black and brown people. Mr. Belafonte was inspired to start the organization after watching a television special on a 5 year-old black girl named Jaisha Scott who was handcuffed by police officers in her Florida classroom for being “unruly”.
Over the past decade, under the leadership of Ms. Perez, The Gathering for Justice has also given way to the development of Justice League NYC, a task force of social and criminal justice advocates, activists, and formerly-incarcerated individuals. This past April, Justice League NYC led the March2Justice, marching with over 100 Justice Champions on a 250 mile journey from New York City to Washington DC. Upon arriving in DC, Justice Champions delivered a “Justice Package” to Congressional leaders which included legislation to address inequities in the criminal justice system, end racial profiling and put a stop to the militarization of law enforcement. For the past ten years, The Gathering for Justice has worked in the community and facilitated a number of trainings, and programs that elevate nonviolence and illustrate the importance of restorative justice.
“We’re coming together at the Justice Ball to celebrate an unbridled spirit and our hopes for the future,” said Ms. Perez. “We’re at a critical juncture in our country’s history where the issue of who gets justice and how has captivated the consciousness of America. There’s an incredible amount of work to be done but our focus is on what we’re building, and cultivating. We’re celebrating the spirit with which The Gathering for Justice was founded and the belief that we have the ability to change what obtaining justice means for future generations.”
About The Gathering for Justice
The Gathering for Justice is a social justice organization founded by Harry Belafonte in 2005. The history and methodology of the organization is rooted in Kingian nonviolence direct action and civic engagement. The Gathering for Justice has earned great success and a reputation as inter-generational experts in gang intervention, violence prevention and reduction, cultural reconciliation, restorative justice, nonviolence training, leadership training and grassroots mobilization.
Led since 2010 by Executive Director Carmen Perez, the mission of The Gathering for Justice is to build a national movement to end child incarceration and correct and replace the societal and institutional pillars that enliven mass incarceration with viable community solutions.