Stefanie Siegel taught English in New York City Public Schools from 1987 to June 2012. From 1991 to 2012, she taught at Paul Robeson High School in Bedford Stuyvesant/Crown Heights Brooklyn, where she also held the positions of Coordinator of Student Affairs/Senior Advisor and was a member of robesonunite the student led group that organized to save the school from being phased out. In 2002, she founded Bailey’s Cafe, initated by the desire to find a place of solace within the school system. Her work with young people and school reform has been key in shaping her vision for the organization. She has degrees from Reed College, University of Chicago, and the City University of New York.
Infinite energy. Daunting talent. Range of accomplishments. Profound impact.Poet. Performance artist. Filmmaker. Rapper. Classical actor. Improvisationalist. Director. Choreographer. Producer. Painter. Educator. Activist.Kymbali Craig can’t be boiled down to a list, a category, a resume.She defies boundaries.Whether performing with Erykah Badu or creating a Black History Month show with 65 teenagers from Bed/Sty, Kymbali reaches down into her own soul and activates the spark of uninhibited expression in others to create performances which inspire audiences to want to move, sing, write, act.Kymbali stirs up the insides of people who have something to say, exorcises inhibition, and becomes the conduit for transforming interaction and exchange between performer and audience.In addition to Erykah Badu, Kymbali has performed with The Last Poets, Nona Hendryx, The Fugees, Ben Harper, Digable Planets, Spearhead, Reg E. Gaines, world-renowned drummer and producer John Arnold and others. She is featured on the poetry compilation album “Eargasms,” choreographed various artists including KC Flight, Sweet Sable, Neffertiti, and most recentlyLuke Campbell’s “Oh Shelia” music video.By using sound, word, movement and emotion, Kymbali transforms the lives of young people. She taps into the awarenesses of their world, and has them create moments, happenings, experiences. Performances, productions, plays, films… youngsters begin finding their own voices and rising above their own fears, transforming themselves from teenagers into solid artists, activists, entertainers. Other kids who watch these performances want to stand up and speak their truth, show their power, create their own change.Kymbali creates a revolution of expression everywhere she goes, with everyone she touches. She makes history. She inspires others to inspire others.
Nubia has worked in youth development for over ten years, both as a program coordinator of the Blossom Program for Girls and conducted her own self-empowerment workshops for young women. Nubia has taught first grade at a private elementary school and completed certificate programs in Mentor Supervision, as a Director Care Professional and a Family Development Worker. Nubia was the director of our Creative Arts after school program for children ages five to eight and, Divine Divas, our rites of passage program for young women. Currently, she is the Program Coordinator for Errands for Elders and Precious Pearls. Nubia also brings to Bailey’s her talents as an actress and vocalist.
Ife-Sharon N. Charles
Ife-Sharon N. Charles was born in Trinidad, West Indies and immigrated to the Prospect Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York thirty years ago. Ife currently resides in the Crown Heights community, which she serves and is a junior at City College where she is pursuing a degree in Human Service and Community Organizing. Ife is a New York State Certified Mediator specializing in Community, Family and Parent Teen Mediation. She holds the position of Family Mediation Coordinator at the Crown Heights Community Mediation Center (CHCMC) located on Kingston Avenue in Crown Heights. Her job at CHCMC enables her to continue her work with youths and families in her neighborhood. This is seen through her involvement with the 71st and 77th Precinct Youth Officers, where she conducts Conflict Resolution Workshops at Empowerment Programs offered by the precincts. She trains youths to become peer mediators by teaching them skills on how to manage and diffuse conflict. In addition, Ife runs the peer mediation program through the School Justice Center at Paul Robeson High School. She is currently working in conjunction with the 77th precinct in creating a viable Clergy Unification Council. It is the goal of the council that leaders of various religious affiliations work together on common projects to build better relationships between the police and the community, and to identify members from within their congregations to serve as mentors for youths in the community. In addition to her current job, Ife serves as a board member of the Kan Cobra Karate School located in her Crown Heights neighborhood. She is the treasurer and event planner of Unity Street Block Association, Alumni Coordinator of the Nile Day Care (the pre-school her children attended), and a member of Mothers-to-Mothers (a group of Jewish and African American women created after the riots of 1991 in Crown Heights). She is an empowerment and motivational speaker and has held speaking engagements at local churches and community centers. Ife is currently participating in the Coro Leadership Training Program in New York City.
As we mature in life we gain more wisdom and strength, we give back and share what others have given to us. My strength comes from giving and helping others learn, develop and grow. As a human I am still learning, developing, and growing. The survival of my family and community is part of my growth. We must learn to adjust our behaviors towards a more collectivistic culture. In terms of collectivism, I offer a host of skills; I am able to give orders as well as follow instructions comfortably. I enjoy teaching fiber arts, art therapy, creative writing, sewing, and expressive dance. Regardless of the setting professional or personal, I can adapt to the role of facilitator or team player.
My motto is “don’t say it if you don’t mean it.” If there is a need for doing a project, I will do my best and step up to the plate. In terms of education, I hold a bachelor’s degree in Community and Human Services, and masters in business and science. Currently, I am taking post graduate courses in family crisis and intervention/prevention services. After 20 plus years of working in a corporate environment, I have transitioned to academia. Working for the Department of Education in the capacity as Parent Coordinator has enabled me to interact with students for diverse cultural backgrounds. I believe blessings will come to you in the right time.
Rodney Rahim Deas
Rodney Rahim Deas or “Radio Rahim” has been in the entertainment world for thirty-nine years. In 1969, the Disc Jockey Gary Byrd gave an inspiring young man an amazing opportunity to break into the Radio Industry. This young man is now known to many as “Radio Rahim.” His first break took place at radio station WWRL in New York City. Radio Rahim was already working as an MC in the parks of Brooklyn, New York. While attending high school in 1972, he built a radio for a class project. In 1973, Radio Rahim was licensed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to broadcast. One year later, he was hired at the college radio station in Farmingdale, Long Island, New York’s WATC of State University of Farmingdale, which became his alma mater.
Through Radio’s promoting and managing, Last Poets, the originators of spoken word before the idea existed, went on to become the only group in the music industry to sell records without air play. In fact they sold over a million records. At that time, many record executives told Rahim that the message was “too black” for radio airplay. Radio Rahim blazed the trail and pioneered the way for promoting Hip-Hop. In 1983 in Brooklyn, Radio was the first to use what is now known as a street team to market the many award shows and new recording artists he was producing as a result the streets became Hip Hops marketing place.
Currently, Radio is working as treasurer for the Coalition for Public Education and the Pulaski Nostrand Block Association; he is a member of the first Quincy Community Garden and a volunteer teacher/mentor at Paul Robeson High School. Radio is one of the founding members of the September 17, 2011 Occupy Wall Street Movement.