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Featured Speakers

DR. ROBERT JENSEN, Keynote Speaker

Scholar-activist Dr. Robert Jensen is a professor in the University of Texas at Austin’s School of Journalism. A former journalist, Jensen is a well-known critical theorist who holds a Ph.D. in media ethics and law.Jensen2

Considered a feminist scholar, Jensen’s work critiquing media and power has focused primarily on “pornography and the radical feminist critique of sexuality and men’s violence” and questions about racism and white privilege.

Jensen has written and contributed to numerous books, and is well-known for building academic literature while writing for the popular press. He also co-producer the documentary film “Abe Osheroff: One Foot in the Grave, the Other still Dancing.”

For more information about Jensen, visit his University of Texas professor profile.

JASIRI X, Highlighted Performer

Jasiri XFrom Jasiri X’s official Facebook (page):

“Emcee and community activist Jasiri X is one of the rising stars in Pittsburgh’s burgeoning hip-hop scene. Following in the footsteps of Steel City natives Mac Miller and Wiz Khalifa, Jasiri is the latest Pittsburgh rapper to achieve national attention. Jasiri brings a socially conscious message to his music, delivering hard-hitting edutainment in the tradition of hip-hop greats from Public Enemy to dead prez.

After garnering significant attention last year for his tribute track “Trayvon” and being featured on outlets as diverse as AllHipHop and The Huffington Post, Jasiri kicks off 2013 with his latest album, Ascension. Produced entirely by Rel!g!on, Ascension hits iTunes and all other digital retailers on March 26th, 2013 through Wandering Worx Music and will distributed by Green Streets/Nature Sounds. The album features artists Brother Ali and Rhymefest of Kanye West’s Good Music.”

PARADISE GRAY, Highlighted Speaker

Paradise GrayParadise Gray is a pioneering hip-hop performer, writer and photographer from Bronx, NY, and currently based out of Pittsburgh, PA. An active member of the hip-hop scene, Gray is also known as a hip-hop archivist, historian and curator.

In the previous 30 years, Gray has been also been a fixture through his involvement with various entertainment clubs and groups. In the late 80s he formed The BlackWatch Movement with Lumumba Carson, spawning groups that were critical to the grassroots consciousness of New York City’s youth and helping change the face of Hip-hop to one of Black Pride.

More recently, Gray has worked with Jasiri X to direct a series of music videos titled “This Week With Jasiri X” a ground-breaking hip-hop news series. He also serves as the Director of One HOOD (a grassroots community organization) and is a founding organizer of Pittsburgh’s Coalition Against Violence. An active member of the Pittsburgh community, he was given the Pittsburgh Black Media Federation’s 2008 Community Communicator of the Year award and the 2009 Thomas Merton Center’s New Person Award. He serves on numerous boards and regularly lectures at local universities.

For more information about Paradise Gray, visit his official page.

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