Explore a life at the intersection of art, technology, education and social action

For many people, the word pioneer conjures images of those who created communities in new lands or developed novel ways of doing things. Creatives can be pioneers in their own right, using art and imagination to enrich our world. Pulling from a diverse history of personal and professional experiences, this talk explores a life at the intersection of art, technology, education and social action. Along the way, Sekou will share insight that can inform those who find themselves navigating unfamiliar territory.

About the speaker

Sekou Coleman is a creative professional, cultural activist and youth advocate with a passion for using art to educate and inspire. He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh, where he majored in Music, and worked afterwards as a community organizer fostering collaboration in and between the city’s marginalized neighborhoods. In 1996, he founded a program teaching music business, music theory, and music recording to urban middle and high school youth. This earned him the attention of a national nonprofit focused on improving opportunities for black men and boys, where he was hired to work on arts, media and technology initiatives.

Seeking to further engage his creative side, Sekou began working as a digital media specialist for a wide range of organizations in 2001. He created websites for television networks PBS and BET, developed software to support the marketing and promotion of recording artists for Sony Music, produced videos for independent musicians, designed interactive training software for the federal government and taught multimedia design software to creative professionals in the US and Ethiopia.

He is currently the producer for Beneath The Veneer, an independent documentary about a community healing from the physical, mental and emotional impact of multi-generational systemic inequity, as seen through the eyes and experiences of 6 young black men. Sekou lives in Asheville, NC where he also devotes considerable time and talent to working with organizations that support leaders and communities of color, such as the innovative giving circle CoThinkk and the bilingual youth-led media channel Word On The Street.

Favorite quotes from this talk See all

Everything that happened in my life came about through people asking the question and exploring 'what if.' We're in a world right now where we can focus a lot on what is. But I want to challenge you in home, in work, in your communities to really explore 'what if'—what if you took the time to leverage your experience, your opportunity, to make communities in this world healthier and better for all. — Sekou Coleman

If you look at culture as the root for a new framework that provides an opportunity for communities to build an impact policy in ways that create social, educational, economic and environmental impacts that open up opportunities for communities, you're looking at healthier, more robust communities. And artists can play an integral role in that as being catalysts using social capital to leverage and bring folks together. — Sekou Coleman

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