Has lectured at the House of World Cultures-Berlin, the Kit Tropenmuseum-Amsterdam, the University of California-Berkeley, University of Texas-Austin, University of Wisconsin-Madison, The New School for Social Research, Columbia University, Princeton University, and the Federal University of Bahia and Rio de Janeiro-Brazil. Professor Dawson has also taught seminars on African Spirituality in the Americas at the University of Iowa, NYU, and Yale University. He has a research focus on the African diaspora and its Culture. In addition, Dawson has worked as a photographer, filmmaker, curator, arts administrator, and consultant. He served as curator of photography, film and video at the Studio Museum in Harlem (NYC), director of special projects at the Caribbean Cultural Center (NYC), and curatorial consultant and director of education at the Museum for African Art (NYC). As a photographer, he has shown his work in more than 30 exhibitions. He has also curated more than 40 exhibitions, including Harlem Heyday: The Photographs of James Van Der Zee and The Sound I Saw: The Jazz Photographs of Roy DeCarava. Dawson has been Associated with many prize-winning films, including Head and Heart by James Mannas and Capoeiras of Brazil by Warrington Hudlin.
Zinga A. Fraser, PhD is the Director of the Shirley Chisholm Project of Brooklyn Women’s Activism from 1945- Present at Brooklyn College of the City University of New York. She has a doctorate in African American Studies from Northwestern University specializing in Race, Politics, and Culture. Zinga received her Bachelor of Arts from Temple University in Political Science with a minor in African American Studies. In 2005, Zinga obtained a Master’s of Arts from the Institute for Research in African American Studies at Columbia University, where she was a Paul Robeson Fellow. Her work focuses on African American Politics, Black Women’s History and Feminism. She has examined the life and work of Shirley Chisholm over eight years. Her master’s thesis, “Unbought and Unbossed: A Radical Political Ideology” received the Zora Neale Hurston Award, Excellence in Writing Award for Social Sciences at Columbia University. Her dissertation is a comparative study of Barbara Jordan and Shirley Chisholm and Black women’s politics in the Post Civil Rights Era.
Zinga has also worked for the former Congressman Major R. Owens, the Lawyer’s Committee for Human Rights and served as the U.S. Policy Program Coordinator for the Women’s Environmental and Development Organization.
In 2010-2012 she was a Visiting Scholar at Columbia University. She was also awarded the 2009-2010 Vivian A. Ware Fellowship from the Delta Research and Educational Foundation. Dr. Zinga Fraser was recently awarded the 2014 Byran Jackson Dissertation Research on Minority Politics Award, which recognizes outstanding scholarship by a graduate student in the area of race and urban politics, from the American Political Science Association. Zinga A. Fraser currently resides in Brooklyn, New York.
Dr. Fraser has been featured in several media outlets including the New York Times, Associated Press, Washington Post, BBC World News, San Francisco Chronicle, NBC, CBS, NY1, USA Today, Essence, Elle, The New York Amsterdam News, Chronicle of Higher Education and more
Dr. Kevin C. Holt is an ethnomusicologist whose research broadly focuses on American popular music and race. Dr. Holt holds a BMus in classical performance on the double bass from Oberlin Conservatory of Music (2008) a BA in African-American Studies from Oberlin College (2008), an MA in African-American Studies from Columbia University’s Institute for Research in African-American Studies (2011) and an MA (2013) MPhl (2015) and PhD (2018) in ethnomusicology from Columbia University. He is the recipient of two awards from Columbia University, including the Paul Robeson Fellowship (2009) and the Zora Neale Hurston Thesis Award for the Social Sciences (2011) and was a recipient of the Ford Predoctoral Fellowship (2013). Dr. Holt’s doctoral dissertation, titled Get Crunk! The Performative Resistance of Atlanta Hip-Hop Party Music offers an exploration of Atlanta hip-hop and the sociocultural contexts that gave it form and meaning. Get Crunk! is an ethnography that draws heavily on methodologies from African-American studies, musicological analysis, and performance studies in order to discuss crunk music as a performed response to the policing of black youth in public space in the 1990s. Dr. Holt is also a featured contributor to The Oxford Handbook of Hip-Hop Music (2018).
Kalia Brooks Nelson is a New York based curator and educator. Brooks Nelson holds a PhD in Aesthetics and Art Theory at the Institute for Doctoral Studies in the Visual Arts, Portland, ME. Previously she was a Helena Rubinstein Fellow in Critical Studies at the Whitney Independent Study Program, received an MA in Curatorial Practice from the California College of the Arts (CCA) in San Francisco and a BA in Sociology and Geography from the University of North Carolina, Greensboro. Brooks Nelson is also an ex-officio trustee on the Board of the Museum of the City of New York.
She has curated and co-curated numerous exhibitions in the United States and abroad including exhibitions at Gracie Mansion Conservancy, New York, NY; New York City Hall; International Center of Photography, New York, NY; Philadelphia Photo Art Center, Philadelphia, PA; Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning, Queens, NY; the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts (MoCADA), Brooklyn, NY; Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Art Center on Governor’s Island, NY; Wallach Art Gallery, Columbia University, New York, NY; Rush Arts Gallery, New York, NY; California College of the Arts, San Francisco, CA; and Arts Initiative Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan.
Brooks Nelson is currently an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Photography and Imaging at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. She has taught in the department for eight years with a focus on visual cultural theory, the history of photography, and the business of art. She has also been on the committee to facilitate a series of international conferences entitled, Black Portraitures, to foster discourse around the image of the black body in Western art and culture. Brooks Nelson has also been an Adjunct Instructor at Cooper Union’s School of Fine Art and at Parsons School of Art, Media and Technology.
She has lectured extensively in public talks and symposia at venues including Harvard University; the Museum of Art Sao Paulo, Brazil; College Arts Association national conference; Society of Photographic Education national conference; David C. Driskell Center, University of Maryland, College Park, MD; New York University, New York, NY; The Odeon Theater, Florence, Italy; La Sorbonne, Paris, France; La Bellevilloise Culture Center, Paris, France; the Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY. Brooks Nelson has written and served as photo editor for publications including Art Forum; Art South Africa Magazine; Exposure, The Journal for the Society of Photographic Education; Posing Beauty: African American Images from the 1890s to the Present, W.W. Norton; Obama: The Historic Campaign in Photographs, Harper Collins; The Light Work Annual, Light Work; and Reflections in Black: A History of Black Photographers 1840 to the Present, W.W. Norton.