WWBA Program DEAI Programs

The Program Committee is comprised of 7 of our 11 Trustees, and Executive Director Cynthia Shor. Trustee members are poets and writers. The Committee regularly solicits feedback from members, staff, visitors, and performers. Below is a sample of our DEAI Programs.
“African American Voices of Democracy: From Hammon to Harlem to Hip Hop” – programs in which poets, writers, scholars, local African American descendants, community stakeholders, and community members discuss the African American cultural literary voice. Sponsored by HNY ACTION Grant.
March. Coltrane House: “Intersection of Jazz and Free Verse Poetry” – African American poet E.J. Antonio, Jazz musician Dudley Music, and Coltrane scholar Ashley Kahn. Sponsor by The Joel Foundation.
June. “Harlem Renaissance and Langston Hughes.” Collaboration with Whitman scholar with Ivy Wilson, author of “Whitman Noir,” and Peter Brooks, grandson of Cab Calloway, educator & performer. HNY ACTION Grant.
July. “Poet Jupiter Hammon and Long Island History.” Collaboration with Preservation Long Island. Hammon (1711-ca. 1806) known as a founder of African American literature. Speakers Robert Hughes, “Slavery and Huntington,” and David Mills, poet, educator, Hammon scholar. HNY ACTION Grant.
October. “Community and Literary Voices.” Community members of all ages are invited to read their favorite African American poetry. Collaboration with Westbury HS. Emcee Lorraine Currelley, African American slave descendant and poet. HNY ACTION Grant.
November. “Contemporary African American Poetry and Hip Hop.” In addition to musical study, hip-hop requires literary and historical analysis in order to better place it in the rich African American cultural timeline. Performance artist and poet Malik Work, emcee Open Mic. HNY ACTION Grant.
U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Tretheway as our 2022 Poet in Residence – HAC Re-Grant
Walking With Whitman “Poetry in Performance” Program Series is comprised of 12 poets inclusive of gender, race, ethnicity, and sexual orientation. Arranged by Suffolk Co. Poet Laureate George Wallace.
June 2021. “Every Atom, Every Hour: Whitman’s Personal Notebooks.” Discussion about sexuality in 1850s. Presenter is Whitman scholar and professor Zachary Turpin.
HNY Spring Reading & Discussions 6 Part Series “The Fire This Time,” w. Indran Amirthanayagam, diplomat, poet, Shri Lanka born poet and writer. HNY Reading Grant
HNY Fall Reading & Discussion 6 Part Series: “Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza – Hispanic Literature and Film. HNY Reading Grant
May 30, 2020: Juan Felipe Herrera, WWBA 2020 Poet In Residence. HAC Re-Grant.
June 25, 2020: “Japanese Poetry & Whitman–Themed” Anthology Open Call.
Sept. 17, 2020: A Queer Meeting: Wilde & Whitman in Camden, NY. Scholar Andrew Rimby leads LGBTQ discussion.
In conclusion, these programs indicate the aim of WWBA to center the work of historically underrepresented groups in the literary arts field. The Program Committee strongly endorses diversity in all forms and works very diligently to create programs to reflect this.