Executive Director and Founder
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, initiated 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. Since leaving the New York City Department of Education, Stefanie devotes her time to expanding the reach and impact of Bailey’s. She has degrees from Reed College, University of Chicago, and the City University of New York.
Kadeem Alston-Roman hails from Brooklyn, New York. He attended Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School for Music, Art and the Performing Arts (The Fame School). He has choreographed over fifty dance pieces in a variety of dance genres that include: modern, contemporary ballet, jazz, tap, African and liturgical dance.
He has showcased his work at American College Dance Festival, Harlem Summer Stage, Brooklyn Borough Hall, Charles Moore Dance Theater, Muhlenberg College, Lehigh University, SUNY New Paltz, LaGuardia Arts, Bric Studios, Brooklyn Friends School, The Secret Theater, St. Paul’s Community Baptist Church, St. Luke’s Theater, Dance New Amsterdam and the Harkness Dance Center where dance luminaries such as Martha Graham, Alvin Ailey, Robert Joffrey, and Lester Horton showcased their talent. It was here that Kadeem was named one of the “top seven young choreographers in New York City.” His choreography has also been featured Off-Broadway in Play The Music Softly. He is the co-founder and artistic director of Full Force Dance Repertory. Kadeem has has been with Bailey’s Cafe since May 2013 sharing his knowledge of dance, acting and the healing arts. www.KadeemWorks.com www.fullforcedance.net
Teaching Artist: Poetry, Acting and the Healing Arts
Zoë Flowers is a Reiki Master, actress, poet and playwright. Her poetry can be found in anthologies such as; Stand Our Ground Poems for Trayvon Martin and Marissa Alexander, The Women Writers in Bloom Anthology and several online journals. Zoë is also the author of Dirty Laundry: Women of Color Speak up about Dating & Domestic Violence and a meditation CD entitled, Balance-An Evening Meditation for Activists, Advocates and Helping Professionals. With over thirteen years of experience in the domestic violence field, Zoë’s career began in Atlanta, Georgia where she served as the Public Awareness/Training and Membership Coordinator for the Georgia Coalition Against Domestic Violence. After years of service, she accepted the role of Prevention Education Coordinator at the California Partnership To End Domestic Violence and then moved on to serve as Director of Training and Technical Assistance at The Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Zoë is also the founder of Highest Good Consulting (HGC). HGC provides a wide range of trainings and project management in the fields of domestic violence, child abuse and sexual assault. HGC also coordinates wellness retreats for advocates and community members.
In 2002, Ms. Flowers conducted a series of candid interviews with African American women about their experiences with domestic and sexual violence. Dirty Laundry: Women of Color Speak up about Dating & Domestic Violence, was the book that emerged from those interviews. From Ashes to Angel’s Dust: A Journey Through Womanhood (FA2AD) is a ChoreoDrama that uses monologues; poetry and vignettes to breathe life into the original stories shared in Dirty Laundry and includes new stories about racism, same sex violence, body image and the journey to self-love. Zoë wrote, produces, directs and sometimes acts in the powerful 4-woman piece, which has had a number of successful performances across the country. Zoë joined Bailey’s in 2013 working with our youth and elders as a teaching artist and healer. www.highestgoodconsulting.org
Teaching Artist: Guitar, Vocals, Songwriting and Music Production
Michael Hill has been a performing musician since 1973. Since 1994 he has produced six internationally released albums of his Original New York-Style Blues and with his band Michael Hill’s Blues Mob has taken his music to twenty-nine countries around the globe. Beginning with Bloodlines (1994), his Alligator Records debut, Michael has built a distinguished body of work that has drawn world-wide critical and audience acclaim for dynamic musicianship and vivid storytelling.
From his beginnings in a band with his three siblings Michael has gone on to perform and/or record with a wide range of artists both well and lesser-known, including Harry Belafonte, Little Richard, Carla Thomas, B.B. King, Bobby Womack and Buddy Guy. A career highlight for Michael is his tenure from 1985 to 1992 as guitarist and vocalist with Sekou Sundiata’s bands The Kou and Dadahdoodahda. Sekou was a friend and inspirational colleague who has remained one of Michael’s greatest artistic influences. Michael recorded with Sekou and Dadahdoodahda on “Son Talkin’” from the Black Rock Coalition’s compilation album The History of our Future (1990) and with Sekou as guest orator on “Signifyin’ Monkey/Watch What You Say” from Michael Hill’s Blues Mob’s Bloodlines (1994).
Since 2007 Michael has continued as a performer, songwriter and producer in a variety of contexts while also working as an educator in a New York City public high school. In 2009 Michael began a productive working relationship with Brooklyn’s intergenerational arts and service organization Bailey’s Café, holding songwriting workshops and subsequently composing the organization’s theme song and music for two of their theater pieces. Michael Hill’s Blues Mob released Goddesses & Gold Redux (JSP Records) in 2012 and continues to perform at clubs and festivals, including in Spain and Portugal (summer 2011), Brazil (2012) and Germany (2013). www.michaelhillsbluesmob.com
Teaching Artist: Vocals, Acting and Visual Arts
Marienne Thomas came to Bailey’s as a volunteer in the fall of 2007, while she was completing her undergraduate degree. During the summer 2008 session, Marienne became our lead teaching artist. Her experiences with Bailey’s have deepened her understanding of her own creative talents. Marienne is multitalented; a painter, playwright, actress, choir director, praise dance choreographer, and youth leader, Marienne brings her passionate, out going and energetic personality to all that she undertakes. Her commitment to the growth and sustainability of Bailey’s is evident in her work. In the fall of 2013, Marienne returned to us, after a three-year absence; we are very happy to have her back on our team of teaching artists.
Keisha J. Turner
Teaching Artist: Dance, Yoga and Community Engagement
Keisha Turner, performer and teaching artist, hails from Chicago. She earned her BFA in Dance from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She has performed with several choreographers including Molly Shanahan and Duane Cyrus as well as with dance companies Chicago Dance Crash and Corpo Dance Company. Since 2008, she has worked with Brooklyn-based dance company Urban Bush Women as a performing company member, teaching artist, and most recently as a BOLD Network Facilitator. In her artistic practice, she values the ability of African American/African diasporic traditions of dance and improvisation to intersect with contemporary dance to tell stories that probe issues of politics, culture, and identity.
In addition to being a performer, Keisha has been a teaching artist and program facilitator for Bailey’s Café since 2012. She has been delighted to partner with Bailey’s to co-create engaging and uplifting programming for people of all ages residing in Central Brooklyn. In 2012 she also served as the Development Coordinator for LUG (Living Urban Green) Your Share, Bailey’s Café’s community education campaign that promotes sustainable living practices, character development, and self-empowerment in urban communities. She is also a movement coach for theatre, yoga teacher, elderly and child caretaker, improviser, avid traveler, and environmental activist.
Erika Olivia Alexander
Erika came to Bailey’s Café as a volunteer in the fall of 2008. Since then her role as grown to Graphic Designer and Board Member. Erika brings six year plus of experience in all aspects of graphic design work and project management. She has worked as a Graphic Designer/ Graphic Design consultant/ Graphic Artist / Photographer / Project Coordinator/ Retoucher / Production Artist/ Photo restorer & Web Designer. Additionally, Erika is working on her first novel.
Ife-Sharon N. Charles
Ife is a New York State Certified Mediator specializing in Community, Family and Parent Teen Mediation. For thirteen years she served as Deputy Director of the Crown Heights Community Mediation Center, a project of the Center for Court Innovation. Her job at CHCMC enabled her to continue her work with youths and families in her neighborhood, through her involvement with the 71st and 77th Precinct Youth Officers, where she conducts Conflict Resolution Workshops at Empowerment Programs offered by the precincts, training youth to become peer mediators by teaching them skills on how to manage and diffuse conflict. Ife assisted in developing and running the peer mediation program through the School Justice Center at Paul Robeson High School and worked in conjunction with the 77th precinct to create a viable Clergy Unification Council. 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 youth in the community. Ife was instrumental in developing the Save Our Streets Anti-Gun Violence Program in Crown Heights and in fall 2012, Ife was appointed Coordinator of Anti-Violence Programs for the Center for Court Innovation. 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 a graduate from the Coro Leadership Training Program in New York City and holds a degree in organizational management.
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.
Anna-Nanine S. Pond
Director: Board Chair
Anna-Nanine S. Pond specializes in strategic planning, institutional and program development, and research and assessment services targeted to private foundations, higher educational institutions and nonprofit groups across the U.S. Her past and recent clients have included The California Endowment, Hostos Community College, Women’s Leadership Circles and the Leadership Learning Community. Pond is a former program officer at The California Endowment, California’s largest private community health funder. She has extensive additional professional experience as a development staff person at several regional and national nonprofits committed to issues ranging from immigrant rights to the arts. Her areas of expertise include private grant making and nonprofit management, and her particular subject matter interests range from policy-related advocacy and community leadership development to capacity building and fund raising in support of diverse, low-income populations. She is a Principal at Anna Pond Consulting.