AUTHOR, WOMEN'S RIGHTS ADVOCATE
Melissa Bird, MSW is a passionate feminist whose education in social work has led to a career advocating for children, women, and their families. She is a fierce believer in social justice advocacy and preparing women for leadership roles in politics. She has a wealth of experience working with policy makers, community leaders, and other stakeholders to improve access to reproductive health care for women, men and teens. Melissa teaches policy analysis, advocacy, and public speaking to community groups and university students. Melissa is currently obtaining her PhD at the University of Southern California and is the owner of Bird Girl Industries, an innovative public speaking and coaching company.
Having opened for the great Al Jareau, Kem, Kedisi, Maceo Parker and more, Jasmé Kelly is a roots and soul music singer with an undeniably global groove. Hailing from North Carolina, the UNC alum has been making music for over a decade using her in between time to serve as an arts educator and mentor in her home state Additionally, focusing her attention toward her other passion, the earth and clean energy by becoming a licensed solar energy technician during the summer of 2016. When not saving our planet by harnessing the sun, Jasmé is stunning audiences with her powerful performances, many including her playing live acoustic guitar a skill she picked up during her college days.
Raised in the church and singing since the age of three, gospel music served as the foundation for Jasmé’s musical growth, yet she defines her style more as “roots” music. A soul filled fusion of funk, jazz, r&b and folk music. Jasmé’s music while based on her life, is often influenced by her community and her belief art must critique and comment on the current state of affairs.
Her latest release, “Lady Jasmé”, does just that asking poignant questions, while treating listeners to Jasmé well honed, lyrical and musical stylings.
OPEN FORMAT DJ + MOVEMENT SOUNDTRACKER
JAZ:DUX has spun at some of the most popular and respected venues in Washington DC, soundtracking her signature miz of storytelling for a diverse group of companies, brands, clubs and philanthropics organizations with the occasional house party sprinkled in.
DJ JAZ:DUX has provided music for clients in addition to her own events and exhibitions curated through her Chocolate City Collective (entertainment) and Culture & Flavor (art) movements. Events include the Emerge Art Fair, U Street Movie Series, The Annual Le Hackie Awards, Marvin Gaye 74th & 75th Birthday Celebrations, Congressional Black Caucus, The Democratic National Convention and First Ladies of the U Street or FLOTUS DC.
MUSICIAN + ORGANIZER
Pierce Freelon is an Afro-futurist, professor, musician, and organizer. He is the creator of Blackspace - a digital makerspace based in Durham, North Carolina; and the co-founder of the Emmy-award winning PBS web-series Beat Making Lab. He has taught in the Department of African, African American and Diaspora Studies at UNC Chapel Hill, and is the front-man of the jazz/hip hop quartet The Beast.