PORTSMOUTH — Leadership Seacoast, a local community leadership program, announced it will host its first ever virtual grad school session on Thursday, July 23.
“A Conversation About Social Justice: How You Can Advance Racial and Gender Equity” will be facilitated by local experts Joanna Kelley, Emmett Soldati, Najee A. Brown and Crystal Paradis. It will be held from 9 to 11 a.m.
New Hampshire native, Kelley is the proprietor of Cup of Joe in Portsmouth and a BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color). In addition to owning her own business, Kelley was named Big Sister of the Year in 2017 and is a current board member. In early 2020, she joined the board of the Seacoast African American Cultural Center with a goal of expanding conversations about the BIPOC community.
Born and raised in New Hampshire, Soldati is an entrepreneur, activist and local provocateur. He is the owner of Teatotaller, a café in Somersworth known as a LGBTQ+ friendly community, where he has hosted nearly every 2020 presidential candidate to tea. Soldati holds a bachelor’s degree in film and visual anthropology from York University and a master’s degree in cultural studies from the London School of Economics and Political Science.
Producer, dancer, playwright and artist, Brown is the owner of media and arts company Mindlezz Thoughtz, founded in 2011 to help provide resources to aspiring artists. Most recently, Brown wrote and produced the sold-out hit play “Bus Stop,” co-wrote and directed the musical “Glimmerings of Hope,” which appeared in New York City and toured Michigan, and choreographed the award-winning musical “Henry Box Brown – A Musical Journey,” in Edinburgh, Scotland.
Somersworth City Councilor, Paradis is an activist, community organizer and communications professional. Paradis stumped for Hillary Clinton and the New Hampshire Coordinated Campaign to Elect Democrats in 2016 and founded Feminist Oasis in 2018. She currently serves as vice chair of the Somersworth Democratic Committee and was named the 2019 New Hampshire Democrats’ Young Progressive of the Year.