Oct 15, 2019
Community Engagement

Harlem-based interdisciplinary artist, Bayeté Ross Smith, will headline the fourth program in the Seeing Black: Disrupting the Visual Narrative speaker series. In addition to a public presentation on October 16 @ 6pm, he will be engaging with youth in the community at several events October 14 – 17, 2019. Please let Lisa Draine know if you would like to interview Bayeté and/or cover the following appearances:

Monday, October 14: 12:30 pm – 1:45 pm: Speak to students in Professor Theresa Davis’ drama class: Stories of Social Justice (expected attendance: 15)
Location: UVA Drama Building, Room 217
Address: 109 Culbreth Road (directly across from the Culbreth Parking Garage)

Tuesday, October 15: 10:40 am – 12:10 pm: Speak to students at Charlottesville High School (expected attendance: 100)
Location: Charlottesville High School, Black Box theater
Address: 1400 Melbourne Rd, Charlottesville, VA 22901
Enter at main entrance/office to sign in before going to Black Box

2:00 pm – 3:00 pm: Speak to students in Professor Sabrina Pendergrass’ African American Studies class: Race, Culture, and Inequality (expected attendance: 15)
Location: UVA New Cabell Hall, Room 411
Address: 1605 Jefferson Park Ave, Charlottesville, VA 22903

Wednesday, Oct. 16: 9:00 am – 11:00 am: Presentation & activity at Blue Ridge Juvenile Detention Center (expected attendance: 20)
Location: Blue Ridge Juvenile Detention Center, Cafeteria
Address: 195 Peregory Ln; Charlottesville, VA 22902 (allow 15 min. for security clearance)

6:00 pm – 7:30 pm: Our Kind of People: An Evening with Bayeté Ross Smith.
Public presentation followed by a discussion with Kevin McDonald, UVA’s new Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Admission is FREE and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC. No reservations required.
Location: Jefferson School African American Heritage Center, auditorium
Address: 233 4th Street, NW; 2nd Floor; Charlottesville, VA 22903

Thursday, October 17: 9:30 – 11:00 am: Meeting with students and faculty at UVA Law School
Location: UVA Law School, room TBD
Address: 580 Massie Road; Charlottesville, VA 22903


Bayeté Ross Smith http://www.bayeterosssmith.com/ is a photographer, interdisciplinary artist, filmmaker, and educator from Harlem, New York. His work explores issues of identity and representations of African-American culture. Mr. Ross Smith is a faculty member at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and the International Center of Photography. He is a Presidential Leadership Scholar, a member of TED Residency class three, and an inaugural POV/New York Times embedded mediamaker.

Bayeté’s work is held in the collections of The Smithsonian Institution, the Oakland Museum of California, the Birmingham Museum of Art, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, and The Brooklyn Museum. He has exhibited internationally with the Goethe Institute (Ghana), Foto Museum (Belgium), the Lianzhou Foto Festival (China), and America House in (Ukraine), among many others. His collaborative projects “Along The Way” and “Question Bridge: Black Males” have shown at the 2008 and 2012 Sundance Film Festival, respectively. His work has also been featured at the Sheffield Doc Fest in Sheffield, England and the L.A. Film Festival.

He has created a variety of community-based public art projects with organizations such as BRIC Arts Media, The Amistad Center, The Laundromat Project, the NYC Parks Department, the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, the Hartford YMCA, and San Francisco D.A.’s Office and The California Judiciary Council. In addition to his art practice, Bayeté is a Program Director for the Kings Against Violence Initiative (KAVI), a hospital and school based violence prevention organization in New York that partners with Kings County Hospital.

Mr. Ross Smith’s work has appeared in numerous books, magazines, and newspapers, including: Question Bridge: Black Males in America (2015), Dis:Integration: The Splintering of Black America (2010), Posing Beauty: African American Images from the 1890s to the Present (2009), Facing History and Ourselves, TIME, and The New York Times.

Kevin McDonald, J.D., Ed.D. is the University of Virginia’s new Vice-President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. He joined UVA after serving as the Chief Diversity Officer and Vice-Chancellor for Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity at the University of Missouri System and the University of Missouri – Columbia.

Prior to the University of Missouri System and Flagship campus, McDonald held positions at several other universities, including as Vice-President and Associate Provost for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Rochester Institute of Technology, Vice- President for Equity and Inclusion at Virginia Tech, as Associate Director for Compliance and Conflict Resolution at Johns Hopkins University, and as Campus Compliance Officer at the University of Maryland, College Park. Prior to his work in higher education, McDonald worked for the U.S. Department of Justice and for Network Solutions, Inc.

McDonald holds a law degree from The Ohio State University and a doctoral degree in higher education leadership from the University of Rochester. He received his undergraduate degree in psychology from Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan.

Bayeté Ross Smith’s Charlottesville residency is generously supported by: Andy & Kelli Block; the Bama Works Fund, and UVA Arts and the Office of the Provost & the Vice-Provost for the Arts. All events in the auditorium are supported by Ting, Inc. About the Series: Produced by the Jefferson School African American Heritage Center, Seeing Black: Disrupting the Visual Narrative is a series of photography-centered presentations and community outreach featuring renowned black photographers, writers, and local leaders. A response to the events of August 11 & 12, 2017, the programs are designed to challenge the accepted notions of what it means to be black in America and to broaden Charlottesville’s ongoing conversation about racial identity, social justice, and systemic racism. Contact: Lisa Draine, Producer, Seeing Black Speaker series The Jefferson School African American Heritage Center 233 4th Street, NW; 2nd Floor Charlottesville, VA 22903 Email: lisadraine@gmail.com Cell: 434-409-1800