About the Program
Join us on Wednesday, June 23 from 6 – 7 PM for an engaging conversation with The Sankofa Project’s winter/spring 2021 featured artist, Rabéa Ballin, and Dr. Marcia Alesan Dawkins, highly acclaimed scholar and author of several groundbreaking books, including Clearly Invisible: Racial Passing and the Color of Cultural Identity and Mixed Race 3.0: Risk & Reward in the Digital Age, co-edited by Ulli K. Ryder.
The Sankofa Project Dialogues are presented in conjunction with commissioned artwork created for The Sankofa Project and displayed in Lawndale’s Main Street Windows. Each iteration of this program addresses an aspect of the United States’ historically censored or ignored narratives which reinforce the racial oppression of Black Americans. Hosted by The Sankofa Project’s curator, Tierney L. Malone, the dialogues explore the subject of each artwork with the artist and a prominent scholar.
Featured image: Rabéa Ballin’s In Passing, 2020, the winter/spring 2022 iteration of The Sankofa Project.
About the Scholar
An award-winning author, speaker, media commentator and educator, Dawkins understands how diversity, technology and creative culture are changing who we are and how we communicate.
Dawkins — known to “tweeps” as @drdawkins09 — has been sought out by Google, BBC World, NPR, AOL Originals, WABC-TV, CDC Radio-Canada, TIME Magazine, Vox, Truthdig, The Root, The New York Times, Fast Company, HuffPo Live, The Leadership Alliance, The Mayo Clinic, The Nashville Public Library Foundation and The Public Relations Society of America, among others.
Her first book, Clearly Invisible: Racial Passing and the Color of Cultural Identity, was released in August 2012 to rave reviews. Most notable among these is Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to President Obama, who remarked, “Clearly Invisible is a thought-provoking analysis… that challenges the way we view race and culture in our society.” Dawkins’s second book, Eminem: The Real Slim Shady, was a finalist for the 2013 USA Best Book Award and was considered for an NAACP Image Award. Her latest book, “Mixed Race 3.0: Risk & Reward in the Digital Age,” is a co-edited e-anthology about technology and demographic change.
Dawkins has received grants and awards from organizations such as the National Communication Association, the Eastern Communication Association, the Irvine Foundation, the California State University and Google Project Glass. She has been recognized by the University of Southern California for outstanding teaching and mentoring. In addition, she has been awarded residencies and fellowships from Brown University, Vanderbilt University Law School, New York University, Villanova University, East China Normal University and the University of Southern California.
Dawkins holds a doctorate in communication from USC Annenberg, master’s degrees in humanities from USC and NYU and bachelor’s degrees in communication arts and honors from Villanova.
About the Artist
Born in Germany, raised in Louisiana, Houston-based artist Rabéa Ballin earned her BFA in design at McNeese State University and her MFA in drawing and painting at the University of Houston. Her multi-disciplinary works explore the uniqueness of self-identity, hair politics, and social commentary. She documents these themes primarily through drawing, digital photography and various printmaking practices. In addition to working as an independent artist, she has been a member of the all-female ROUX printmaking collective since 2011. Ballin has served as an artist board member at both Art League Houston and DiverseWorks, and has completed residencies at DiverseWorks, Tougaloo College and Project Row Houses. Rabea currently serves as department chair and assistant professor of art history and drawing at Lone Star College. She currently lives and works in Houston’s historic Third Ward community.
About the Curator
Tierney L. Malone is a visual artist and modern day storyteller who uses the canon of African-American history and pop culture to create mixed media works that challenge contemporary culture and politics.
Malone has exhibited his art widely throughout Texas and the United States, including numerous solo exhibitions. His works are in the permanent collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the Kansas City Jazz Museum, Kansas City, Missouri; Goldman Sachs, New York, New York; and the Federal Reserve Bank, Houston, Texas. He is the recipient of the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Grant, a CACHH Visual Artist Grant, and a Kimbrough Visual Artist Grant.
Collaboration with the jazz community is also at the forefront of Malone’s practice, including commissions to create the jacket covers for jazz musician Don Byron’s 1999 CD, Romance of the Unseen, on the Blue Note Label and for jazz pianist Randy Weston’s 2003 performance at the Miller Outdoor Theater. In 2008, Malone completed two jazz-related major commissions: a limited edition print celebrating Da Camera of Houston’s 20th Anniversary and an outdoor mural entitled “Southern Sounds” for the Coleman Art Center in York, Alabama. Additionally, Malone is the creator of the Jazz Church of Houston and the host of the Houston Jazz Spotlight on 90.1 KPFT, both of which recognize and preserve Houston’s remarkable contribution to the musical genre of Jazz.
Born in Los Angeles and based in Houston’s historic Third Ward, Malone was raised in Mississippi and Alabama and considers himself a Southern Seed.