Watch the 2015 'DEIS Impact Keynote Address here!

For full size video, click here


2016 Keynote Address and Performance


Germaine Ingram

Germaine Ingram
Photo by J.J. Tizio

Tuesday, Feb. 2 at 2 p.m. in Shapiro Campus Center Theater: Performance of "Freedom Underfoot", with Germaine Ingram (bio below) about the final horrific year of the Civil War in Atlanta, consisting of original songs and dances, combined with text from slave narratives, diaries, women's autobiographies, and letters that excavate the ambitions, fears, and internal conflicts of southern women----slave, free, white and black. Musicians Dr. Jacqueline Pickett and Diane Monroe will lend their musical talents to this performance (bios below). 

Wednesday, Feb. 3 at 7:30 p.m. (note correct time) in Shapiro Campus Center Theater: Keynote Address- "The Law and the Stage: Platforms for Pursuing Social Justice"

Civil rights lawyer and jazz tap dancer Germaine Ingram illuminates her lives in the law, arts & culture, and the broad civic arena as avenues for advancing fairness, respect, and inclusion. This keynote includes excerpts from her performance, "Freedom Underfoot," presented Tuesday, Feb. 2 at 2 p.m. in Shapiro Campus Center Theater. Violinist Diane Monroe will lend her musical talents to this address (bio below). 

Germaine Ingram Dancing
Photo by Nathea Lee

See an excerpt of Ingram's work from a suite of original music and dance inspired by "Click! Song," a novel by John A. Williams about the personal and professional journey of an African American journalist in the period from World War I to the Civil Rights Movement. Music is by bassist Tyrone W. Brown.

Free ticket info coming soon.

These events are part of the Student Support Services Program (SSSP) 25th Anniversary Celebration, and co-sponsored by Brandeis Posse and the Minor in Creativity, the Arts, and Social Transformation (CAST).

Germaine Ingram Bio:

Germaine Ingram is a jazz tap dancer, choreographer, song writer, and vocal and dance improviser.  Her work channels styles and traditions she learned from legendary Philadelphia hoofer LaVaughn Robinson (1927-2008), her teacher, mentor, and performance partner for more than 25 years.  Since her work with Robinson, she has created choreography for national tap companies, performed as a solo artist, and collaborated and performed with noted jazz composers and instrumentalists, as well as dance artists rooted in diverse genres.  Through choreography, music composition, performance, writing, production, oral history projects, and designing and leading artist learning environments, she explores themes related to history, collective memory, and social justice.  Her recent projects include  an evening-length production inspired by the establishment of the African Methodist Episcopal Church in Philadelphia in the late 18th Century; an hour-length performance piece for Atlanta, Georgia’s 150-year commemoration of the Battle of Atlanta, a turning point in the Civil War; and in April 2015, an evening-length production of original music and dance for the VivaDanca International Festival in Salvador, Brazil.  Currently she is a collaborator in an 18-month, multi-disciplinary exploration of how art addresses incidents of sudden loss of human life.

She was a 2010 Pew Foundation Fellow in the Arts, and a 2014 resident fellow at the Sacatar Institute in Itaparica, Bahia, Brazil.  She received, among other awards, an Artist of the City Award from Painted Bride Art Center; Transformation Award (2008) and Art & Change Award (2012) from the Leeway Foundation; Rocky Award (2011) from DanceUSA /Philadelphia;  and Philadelphia Folklore Project’s Award for Folk Arts & Cultural Heritage Practice (2012).  Her projects have been funded by the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, Independence Foundation, Leeway Foundation, Pennsylvania Humanities Council,  Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, Wyncote Foundation, and Lomax Family Foundation. 

She practiced law for 30 years before becoming a full-time artist.  She litigated employment discrimination class action suits that reformed apprenticeship and hiring practices in the heavy construction trades, and challenged policies and practices that limited employment opportunities for women and minorities in the Philadelphia Police Department and the Pennsylvania State Police.  As General Counsel and Deputy to the Superintendent of the Philadelphia School District, she led multi-pronged litigation against state funding formulae that discriminate against districts with concentrations of poor and minority children, and helped to implement an aggressive education reform agenda. As a faculty member at the University of Pennsylvania Law School she founded a clinical program that provided free representation for children and youth.  Among her non-profit board commitments are the Leeway Foundation, which funds women and transgender artists, and the Picasso Project, which supports high quality arts education in inner-city public schools.

Dr. Jacqueline Pickett Bio:

Dr. PickettDr. Jacqueline Pickett is Instructor of Double Bass at Columbus State University where she teaches both classical and jazz applied double bass lessons and coordinates the double bass studio. She currently serves as Principal Bass with the Columbus Symphony Orchestra. As a chamber musician, Dr. Pickett has performed and recorded with the Ritz Chamber Players, Nashville Chamber Orchestra (Orchestra Nashville), Pauline Oliveros' New Circle Five, and Terry Riley's Khayal. She has given solo double bass recitals in Johannesburg, South Africa and universities throughout the United States. She continues to present solo double bass recitals themed on current social issues.

Dr. Pickett is the founder of Torch Academy, a 501(c)(3) charitable non-profit organization promoting formal music instruction and social empowerment for underserved/at-risk youth, and the Metro Atlanta Women's Jazz Society, an organization that offers big band and chamber ensembles dedicated to featuring women jazz artists. Dr. Pickett holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Double Bass Performance from University of Wisconsin-Madison, a Master of Music degree from the Yale School of Music, and a Bachelor of Music degree from West Virginia University.

Diane Monroe Bio:

Diane MonroeDiane Monroe is a violinist whose versatility and expressive artistry consistently bring both jazz and classical audiences to their feet.  Her visibility as a jazz artist began with her long-standing membership as first violinist of the Uptown String Quartet and the Max Roach Double Quartet. These critically acclaimed groups have appeared on The Cosby Show, CBS News Sunday Morning, and Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood. Monroe is more, however, than simply a fine performer. Her original compositions and arrangements were highlighted on the TV shows and in performances with the two ensembles at major concert halls and festivals throughout the world.

 The Uptown String Quartet and the Max Roach Double Quartet, featuring legendary drummer Max Roach, Diane Monroe as first violinist with string partners Lesa Terry, Maxine Roach, and Eileen Folson; Cecil Bridgewater, Trumpeter,  Odean Pope, Saxophonist, and Tyrone Brown, bassist, have recorded on the Soul Note, Philips/Polygram, and Mesa/ Bluemoon labels.

 During her four-year run with the String Trio of New York, she toured in concert with Joe Lovano, Oliver Lake, and literary artist, Quincy Troupe. She has also performed with Reggie Workman, Bill Dobbins, Anthony Davis, John Blake, Regina Carter, Uri Caine,  and Don Byron, to name a few. She’s played the Mellon, Peco, Stuttgart, Bologna, Cool, JVC, North Sea, and Barcelona Jazz festivals, as well as the 1997 Montreux Jazz Festival featured in Central Park for Fiddlefest. She was also a jazz soloist in the original Fiddlefests at Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Switzerland’s Tonhalle, and the Apollo and Zeigfeld Theaters.

 In a benefit performance hosted by distinguished news commentator Peter Jennings, Diane shared the spotlight performing with such jazz greats as Percy Heath, Jimmy Cobb, John Faddis, Renee Rosnes and Wycliff Gordon. Her jazz playing has also been feartured in the documentary film Small Wonders and the Meryl Streep movie Music of the Heart.

 Ms. Monroe is in demand as an educator, panel specialist, leader of jazz improv workshops, rhythm clinics, and master classes. The Verbier Festival, Switzerland 2000, highlighted her summer as soloist/conductor of the Fiddlefest Jazz String Orchestra. During this festival, Monroe conducted the string orchestra students in a spontaneous collaboration with the violinist Kennedy, in a blues medley. In 2007, Monroe conducted the jazz string section for the Saxophonist James Carter with his quartet, in a presentation at the Kimmel Center’s Verizon Hall entitled, “Gardenia’s for Lady Day”. At last season’s ASTA conference, she chaired a panel, “Improvised music in the classroom” which included distinguished composer/pedagogue, David Baker.  In 2011, Monroe premiered Baker’s Violin Concerto, written for her, with the Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra.

 In addition to her contributions as a side-person, Ms. Monroe has been leading her own ensembles for about 15 years.  The Diane Monroe Quartet appeared on the Kennedy Center’s Women in Jazz Festival in 2012, and has performed at many other venues.  She has developed a program for her Sextet, “What Is This Thing Called Freedom,” that features vocalist Paul Jost and her longtime musical partner, Tony Miceli (vibes).  She and Miceli released their debut recording, Alone Together (Dreambox Media), in August of 2014.  All About Jazz sums up the recording:  “Monroe and Miceli are adept and resilient musicians of the highest caliber, so they are able to weave their combined sounds into many expressive variations that create "tone poems" and tell stories.”

Philadelphia native Diane Monroe is a Curtis Institute of Music and University of the Arts graduate, and has taught at Oberlin Conservatory, Swarthmore College, and Temple University. She received the 2002 Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, and is currently a Pennsylvania Performing Arts on Tour roster artist.