Human rights are interrelated, interdependent, inherent and indivisible to all human beings whatever our nationality, place of residence, sex, national or ethnic origin, color, religion, language, disability, gender or any other status. Art is the innovative and effective tool in human rights work whereby we explore the importance of and respect for human rights principles around the world. Social Justice art is but one of the many avenues that link both the promotion and protection of human rights. The importance of choosing a human rights culture over the prevailing government remains a tragic conundrum in this pervasive time of fear, terror, racism, oppression, fascism, immigration bans, global solidarity protests, undocumented citizens, enforced deportations, police militarized confrontations, extrajudicial racial killings, ICE raids in sanctuary cities and media censorship in America today.
Who is thermometer?
Leni Stoeva, born Elena Stoeva (junior) is a visual artist and the Creative Placemaking Coordinator for the Soulsville USA neighborhood through Community LIFT. She is a Young Arts Patron, a Salzburg Young Contemporary Innovator of 2016, and an ArtsMemphis Fellow. Leni Stoeva was born in Sofia, Bulgaria and grew up in Memphis, TN. Ms. Stoeva has led arts and culture-based programming and events in Soulsville for the past three years. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Memphis College of Art and a Master of Fine Arts in Digital Media from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.
Dr Elvira Anton-Carrillo, MA and PhD in Social and Cultural Anthropology. Senior Lecturer in Spanish and Cultural Studies at the University of Roehampton. London. UK. She has widely researched and published on subjects Identities, race, ethnicity, gender and sexuality in the media in Spain, Latin America and especially the Caribbean. As part of a European Project about transnationality in Latin American has recently contributed with publication on audiovisual transnationality in Latin America and transnational identity within the so-called Ibero-American Community in Spain and UK.
RUSSELL G JONES
Russell G Jones an Auldeco, Obie and SAG Award-winning actor that has been seen on stage (Manhattan Theater Club, Second Stage, The Public/Mark Taper Forum) on film (Side Effects, Traffic, The Ticket) and on TV (Godless, Louie, Law & Order and The Americans). As a multi-disciplined theater artist passionate about social justice, he has worked as a facilitator, moderator and teaching artist for two decades creating programming, workshops and curriculum for Developing Artists Theater Company, The National Black Theater, The Liberty Partnerships Program at Bank Street Teachers College, Bronx Academy of Letters, The Cleveland Public Theater, Labyrinth Theater Company, The Cathedral School, HB Studio and The New York Society for Ethical Culture. He is the creator of BLIND SPOT a multi-platform campaign that facilitates cross-cultural dialogue and critical thinking so we can recognize and resist internalized and systemic oppression.
tobacco brown is an international professional artist and designer creating public and private commissions within a multidisciplinary genre. brown is a master gardener, sculptor, historian and social practitioner. she uses paper, wood, repurposed objects, nature's materials and industrial by-products to produce her passionate creations. her aim is to draw parallels between nature and the socio-political cultural realities, decoding and extracting the rich cultural and deeply historic content from blighted and disengaged communities. she practices the artistic discipline of activating site specific land installations that complement her vibrant artistry of extracting equity, justice and positive social change from the political landscape. her art has been installed globally and served creatively in engaging communities in examining social inadequacies, encouraging education in the arts, and in promoting encounters that engage individual and collaborative artists in actions that create dialogue and serve the greater needs of social justice continuity and activism in the arts.
tobacco was chosen by portfolio to study with Milton Glaser at the School of Visual Arts in New York City after receiving a BFA in Communications Design at University of Memphis. Since that time, she has created commissioned works for stilwerk Design Center and IGA Rostock in Berlin Germany, the Urban Art Commission with Memphis City Schools, the Downtown Memphis Commission, the Women's Foundation of Greater Memphis, and Community LIFT, LLC. In May 2016, she was a shortlist candidate for the Memorial of Enslaved Africans Garden on the University of Virginia Grounds. In 2014, she was selected as one of the 40 African American Artists to Watch, by NBC GRIO MAGAZINE, NYC. she was an Artist in Residence at the Memphis Slim House and an ArtsMemphis Community Engagement Fellow in 2016. tobacco has been viewed on WMC-TV Action News "Taking Back Our Neighborhood,” in The Commercial Appeal, "Inspired By Mother Nature", 2011 and "Women To Watch", 2014, Memphis, TN, Wullscht Du Noch ein Eier, “Der Taggesspeigel and stilwerk Gets an American Garden,” Die Welt, 2001, Berlin, Germany.