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Folklife festival panels to discuss life in D.C.

(Published June 19, 2000)

A few steps away from the Washington Monument and Lincoln Memorial, around the corner from the White House and the Capitol and nestled throughout this capital city is an abundance of culture that the annual Smithsonian Folklife Festival will honor this year in a series of panels, presentations and displays June 23-27 and June 30-July 4.

"Social Justice" panel discussions will be located at the Front Porch/Narrative Porch Tent listed as "F" on festival maps and the "Work and Club Culture" panels will be conducted at the D.C. Café Tent listed as "D10" on the maps. The events will be on the National Mall, near the Metro entrance.

The first Social Justice panel discussion, "Itís Not Just A Zip Code: Neighborhood Activism in D.C.," is scheduled for June 23 at noon and includes panelists Dorothy Brizill of political web site DCWatch, Ward 2 activist Marc Weiss and Ward 7 activist Samuel Bost. Kathryn Sinzinger, editor and publisher of The Common Denominator, will moderate the panel and participate.

Also on June 23 is "D.C. Style from Head to Toe: Beauty and Fashion Purveyors Share their Traditions" from the Work and Club Culture panels at 4:30 p.m. Alfred Dudley of the Dudley Beauty School will moderate. Panelists include Julius Lofton, a fourth-generation tailor in the family-owned J.C. Loftonís Inc. and his father, and Larry Smith of In Vogue Salon.

On June 24 at 11 a.m. the Social Justice panel on "Newcomers, Old Fights: The Immigrant Experience in D.C." will include Dr. Yusef Ford, Sandy Dang and Gabriel Martinez as speakers.

At 12:30, the Work and Club Culture panel on "D.C. Journalists and the Politics of Persuasion" will include speakers Bob Levey, a Washington Post columnist, Denise Rolark Barnes, publisher of The Washington Informer, and The Common Denominatorís Sinzinger will serve as moderator/panelist. Johnny Yataco, of the Hispanic Link Newspaper, also is tentatively scheduled to join the panel.

Panelists Robert Frye, WPFW radio host Captain Fly; Jesse Brown of Brooklandís Cup of Dreams Café; and deejay Kendall Braithwaite, will gather for a Work and Club Culture panel on "Deejays, Clubs and Cafés: Nightlife in D.C." at 1:15 p.m. And, at 2 p.m. a Work and Club Culture panel on "Go Go: D.C.ís Homegrown Music" will include speakers Maurice Shorter and Ignatius Mason.

On June 25 at 11 a.m., "U Street Home of Leaders," will include Social Justice panelists Judith Bauer, a scholar; John C. Snipes, "unofficial mayor of U Street;" Lori Dodson, curator at Thurgood Marshall Center; and Dominic Moulden of the Manna Community Development Corp.

On June 26 at 11 a.m., "Health and Healing" of the Social Justice panels, will include Dr. Ivan Walks, D.C. Director of Health; Dr. Pat Jawkins, associate director at Whitman-Walker Clinic; Brandon Armani of Us Helping Us; and Rosa Rivas of Hermanas Unidas.

"The Last Colony? The Federal Government and Home Rule in D.C.," a Social Justice panel, is scheduled for June 27 at 11 a.m. Moderator Mark Richards will lead panelists Tom Sherwood of WRC-TV4, local historian Charles Cassell and commentator Mark Plotkin of WAMU in discussion.

On June 30 at 11:45 a.m., the final Work and Club Culture panel, "Making it Work Behind the Scenes: A Talk with D.C. Labor and Service Workers," is scheduled. Moderator Jackie Lynn Rhodes will lead fellow panelists in a discussion.

For the rest of the festival, Social Justice panels will continue daily. These panels include:

--"A Tale of Two Rivers, the Anacostia, the Potomac, and Their Defenders," scheduled for June 30, 11 a.m. Confirmed as panelists are Karen Zachary, executive director of Friends of the Potomac, and Carl Cole, advocate for revitalization efforts East of the River.

--"Local Action, National Impact: D.C. Activists Share Their Stories" on July 1 at 11 a.m. with panelists Tony Gittens, Sylvia Hill and Fred Weiner.

--"Generations Take a Stand: Youth and Elder Activism in D.C." on July 2 at noon with moderator E. Veronica Pace, D.C. Office on Aging director; Bernice Fonteneau of Gray Panthers; Jerel Drew, youth representative of "Life Pieces to Masterpieces" program in Lincoln Heights; and Jaison Gardner, youth representative of SMYAL.

Copyright 2000, The Common Denominator