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African American leaders host first annual music, art and self-advocacy event for people with disabilities in the New York area

January 13, 2014

by Leroy Moore, John McKnight and Chester Finn

We are pleased to announce that Community Empowerment Programs Incorporated (CEPI) will be working extensively with Leroy F. Moore Jr., founder of Krip Hop Nation (KHN), on programs that empower people with disabilities in arts, self-advocacy and music.

KHN and CEPI share common goals in community integration, professional development and leadership development of people with disabilities across the country and internationally. It’s been nearly two decades since the advocacy, outreach and education policy work and African American leadership programs of Moore and KHN began. CEPI began its nonprofit venture during 2008 with a focus on providing education to families with children, which includes working with and on behalf of people with disabilities through its outreach, disabilities and self-advocacy department. CEPI believes strongly in the practice of “nothing about us, without us” across platforms.

John McKnight, Chester Finn and Leroy Moore
John McKnight, Chester Finn and Leroy Moore
Leroy More, founder of Krip Hop Nation, observes: “Very rarely do I find myself in spaces where music and activism flow together with political and historical expressions on people of color around disabilities. But when it does happen, it opens up new friendships, partnerships, education, trust and deep conversations.”

Chester Finn, professional self-advocate, leader in the self-advocacy movement and co-founder of Community Empowerment Programs Inc., says, “I enjoy working on local and national self-advocacy and community integrated services for people with disabilities and presenting during workshops to a variety of audiences and stakeholders who share common goals of helping families and individuals enhance their personal and professional lives.”

John McKnight, CEPI co-founder and CEO, explains: “Having worked with a variety of populations in the social service sector, one thing has always stood out for me: We all share a common goal of helping other people achieve better outcomes in one way or another.

“Whether it’s through creating microfinance opportunities for targeted community members, creating livelihood programs with the help and support of community based organizations, non-government organizations, local, state and federal government partners, and educational institutions, the residual effects are long lasting and impact families, children and youth in ways that affirm for me, through the level of appreciation that has been shown to me, the value of giving back.”

Community Empowerment Programs Incorporated (CEPI) will be working extensively with Leroy F. Moore Jr., founder of Krip Hop Nation (KHN), on programs that empower people with disabilities in arts, self-advocacy and music.

KHN’s International Movement travels around the world to provide workshops on disabilities initiatives and human rights for people with disabilities through music and hands-on workshops, lectures and performances. Moore helped produce Pushing Limits’ three-part radio series on hip hop and artists with disabilities at KPFA 94.1 FM Berkeley, Calif., in 2004 and also coordinated a workshop on hip hop with community advocates with disabilities and LGBTQ persons at the University of California at Berkley.

KHN has performed at other prestigious universities and colleges, such as New York University. KHN has also traveled to annual festivals, including DaDaFest in Liverpool, U.K., and venues in Germany, all over the U.S. and Canada and is planning an Africa tour.

Upcoming performances and other Krip-Hop Nation work in 2014 are run by a core group of Krip-Hop Nation people from around the world, like Binki Woi in Germany, Lady MJ in the U.K., Ronnie Ronnie in Uganda, Africa, and Leroy Moore in the U.S., who all provide advocacy and outreach. Information can be found in Poor Magazine online, San Francisco Bay View newspaper, and the Philadelphia-based IDEAL Urban Magazine. Self-advocates and others gain a perspective on what it takes to run self-advocacy organizations around the country by participating in activism, arts and music workshops.

Combined with CEPI’s local early intervention provider programming, national policy and governance outreach, and international Tools for School Kids Abroad program in Eastern Visayas municipalities of the Philippines, it makes practical sense to combine our expertise around education, arts, outreach, music and advocacy to co-develop programs and services that continue to strengthen the knowledge base of beneficiaries across the nation and internationally.

The partnership is seeking support in the form of sponsorships for people with disabilities who want to attend, donations of conference facilities, air travel, and lodging for participants and presenters.

Beginning in January 2014, the partnership will start working on its first annual activism, music and arts event facilitated by African American leaders hosted in Albany, N.Y., and a location to be determined in New York City shortly thereafter. Future 2014-2015 plans include scaling up the program on an international level by establishing a networking music conference in Africa. This will be exciting and the partnership is seeking support in the form of sponsorships for people with disabilities who want to attend, donations of conference facilities, air travel, and lodging for participants and presenters.

For more information and to offer support, contact:

 

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