20 Years After the Crown Heights Riots, Black and Jewish Community Leaders Endorse DeScribe's "Harmony" Hip Hop Music Video as a ground breaking Tool for Unity and Racial Harmony in Brooklyn
Monday, August 2, 2010
1:00 - 2:00 PM
Brooklyn Borough Hall
▪ DeScribe (Born Shneur HaSofer), Crown Heights' Hassidic Hip Hop and R&B artist, will host a press conference at Borough Hall on August 2nd, 2010 at 1:00 pm with NYS Senator Eric Adams and Borough President Marty Markowitz, to premier his revolutionary "Harmony" music video, which celebrates diversity, understanding and harmony amongst the Crown Heights' Black and Jewish communities. This event is presented in collaboration with heads of the Crown Heights community and Shemspeed, an independent recording label and artists' promotional agency based in Crown Heights. The event is sponsored by COLlive.com, one of the most prominent Chabad Hassidic media outlets providing constant up to date information about the movements worldwide news and initiatives and Marley Coffee, owned by Bob Marley's son, Rohan Marley helps promote and support environmental and social justice causes, including aiding Jamaica's poor communities and "going green."
It's been almost 20 years since the Crown Heights riots showed the ugly face of racial tension that exists between the Black and the Jewish communities in this Brooklyn neighbourhood. Many efforts since then have been made to create multi-cultural programming and social structures to work towards peace and mutual understanding between the two communities, but still today the lack of real communication remains, and most of all, the tension still remains. In a recent wave of violence and rising crime in Crown Heights it has become obvious that we must push for "raising an awareness of the need for racial harmony in Crown Heights and in the world."
This is the year of change and our mission is just that.
We are reaching out to the Crown Heights residents, but being that the scope of the idea is global, our goal is ultimately in the international community at large, via Describe's "Harmony" music video.
The "Harmony" music video seeks to raise and inspire people from all walks of life to celebrate diversity and acknowledge humanity's unity. As a Hassidic Jew living in Crown Heights, DeScribe experiences a silent tension which explodes at times, including the Crown Heights Riots in 1991. Much of this tension is due to a lack of understanding and communication between races, creating an unhealthy environment for all. The goal of the "Harmony" project is to help facilitate awareness, mutual respect and collaboration, helping to bridge the gap between all communities. It is only through open communication and committed relationships that we will be able to bridge the divides between us and create a sustainable society founded on the pillars of peace, justice and equality.
On August 2, 2010 at 1:00 PM, Describe will host a press conference at Borough Hall, 209 Joralemon Street, Brooklyn with local and state politicians to introduce the Harmony Campaign.
▪ DeScribe (Born Shneur HaSofer), a Crown Heights' Hassidic Hip Hop and R&B artist, will host a press conference on August 2, 2010 at 1:00 P.M. at Borough Hall, 209 Joralemon Street, Brooklyn together with NYS Senator Eric L. Adams and Borough President Marty Markowitz among many, to introduce DeScribes Harmony Campaign.
▪ The Harmony Music video has fueled the HarmonyCampaign, a revoluntary grassroots Crown Heights community organization that celebrates diversity, understanding and harmony amongst the Black and Jewish communities.
▪ DeScribes press event is organized in collaboration with Crown Heights community leaders and Shemspeed, an independent recording label and artists' promotional agency.
▪ This press event is sponsored by COLLIVE.COM one of the most prominent Chabad Hassidic media outlets providing constant up to date information about the movements worldwide news and initiatives and Marley Coffee, a socially conscience company that promotes Environmental and Social Justice including aid to Jamaica’s developing communities and local green initiatives. Marley Coffee’s Social Justice initiative is headed by Bob Marley’s son Rohan Marley
▪ The Harmony music video a promotional video for the Harmony Campaign will be released at the press event. A preview link is available at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lLfL2NqBvfs.
▪ The event will also include the DeScribe-Marley Coffee Harmony Award ceremony to honor the Politicians and community leaders for their continual efforts and achievements of Harmony in the racially diverse Brooklyn communities since the 1991 riots.
About the Crown Heights community:
+ Mixed community of approximately 150,000
+ A microcosm of broader racial trends in New York City and nationally
+ Site of Crown Heights riots 20 years ago
+ Efforts made since then to create multi-cultural programming and social structures to work towards peace and mutual understanding between the two communities
+ Continuing tensions
+ Recent wave of rising crime and violence affecting all communities
About Harmony Campaign:
+ Mission is to raise awareness of the need for racial harmony in Crown Heights, New York, the U.S. and the world
+ Inspired by Yes, We Can! positive post-racial message
+ Primarily intended for Crown Heights community, but ultimately for the New York City and national arena
+ Harmony music Video reflects potential for cross-cultural cooperation and promotes its message of humanity's unity
+ Describe (born Schneur haSofer) is a Chabad Lubavitch Hassidic Jew living in Crown Heights
+ DeScribe explains how living in the community he experienced silent racial tension that explodes at times, including the Crown Heights Riots in 1991
+ Describe explains that much of this tension is due to a lack of understanding and communication between races, creating an unhealthy environment for all.
+ Desribe says that “Only through open communication and committed relationships that we will be able to bridge the divides between us and create a sustainable society founded on the pillars of peace, justice and equality for all.”
+ Describe organized the Harmony Campaign to raise awareness, mutual respect and collaboration with a goal of bridging the gap between all communities and increasing in acts of goodness and kindness between all people, as instructed by the Lubavitcher Rebbe leader of world Jewry.
More About the Artist:
▪ An artist who takes his musical mission very seriously, DeScribe awakens souls through his spiritual songs which rival radio hits with their catchy melodies. His creative music videos have received over 200,000 views since they have premiered and he was featured on CBS as one of the most prominent artists in their documentary on "Faith, Music & Culture." The vibrant energy-driven rhythmic vibe of DeScribe is in a class of its own. His unique combination of Hip Hop, Reggae and R&B, form the vehicle for his pulsating, soul awakening music. His journey of darkness into light is his music and message, guided by the the Chassidus and Wisdom of the Rebbe, and he serves as an inspiration to people around the globe.
About the Director:
▪ Acclaimed music video director Lenny Bass has won much of his praise by holding a mirror up to the world around him, while at the same time reserving his right as an artist to enhance that world with visual metaphors, color and texture. His self-driven motivation landed him at New York’s F.I.T., where he was originally lured into the film and video worlds. One of his first tastes of hands-on-film-making was working in the production offices of one of the premier groundbreaking female African-American directors, Millicent Shelton. Shortly afterwards, he found himself on the road with influential rap group De La Soul. His experience with De La Soul led him to direct a video for the new artist Blacksmith, as well as a clips for their protégé, DV Alias Khryst. From there, Bass’ career exploded into the mainstream, including clips for Little T & One Track Mike, Fantasia, E- 40, Nappy Roots, Boyz ‘N Da Hood and Youngbloodz, among many others. His video for Craig David’s "Walking Away" was nominated for the 2002 MTV Video Awards.
About the Organization:
▪ Shemspeed is an independent recording label and artists' promotional agency, founded in Crown Heights, devoted to world Jewish music and inter-cultural projects that promote peace, justice and equality. At Shemspeed, our mission is to seek out and promote original Jewish music with powerful social messages from cutting-edge Jewish artists. Our purpose is two-fold: to expand the performance quality and availability of Jewish music and to raise public awareness of the vitality and diversity of Jewish music, both within the Jewish community and among the World Music scene at large. As a Jewish social entrepreneurial venture, our mission extends far beyond selling CDs and booking concerts. Shemspeed combines passionate performances by cutting-edge musicians with thought-provoking and innovative programming. Our two-pronged approach typically features concerts and informal, interactive workshops conducted by the artists themselves. Shemspeed's repertoire of programs is always evolving. Current offerings include the 40 Days and 40 Nights College Tour, Jewish High School Music Project, The Israeli Keffiyeh Project, and our longest running program, the Sephardic Music Festival.
NYS Senator Eric Adams states:
“DeScribe’s ‘Harmony’ music video celebrates understanding between the Black and Jewish communities of Crown Heights; it is a positive and useful instrument for promoting unity and harmony in our diverse Brooklyn neighborhood.
“As a New York State Senator, I have discovered that a government works best when its officials can transcend political partisanship to bring out that which is best for their constituents. As a resident of this 20th Senatorial District, I have learned that a community works best when its leaders can bridge social divides to reveal that which is essential for their communities.
“The formidable task DeScribe has undertaken is the repair of the rift that has divided us; I urge everyone to abandon mistrust and cynicism, to embrace the desire for progress, to join a cause of paramount significance.
“The City of New York, the greatest city in the world, includes and embraces people of every race and every faith. We are here today in the best tradition of our unique and diverse Crown Heights neighborhood to foster the most noble of ambitions, the creation of a society that celebrates its splendid diversity while proclaiming that we are united in a moral and ethical conviction that every human belongs to the brotherhood of the one true race, the human race.”
“I have always believed that music, like sports and food, brings communities together,” said Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz. “I applaud DeScribe for creating the ‘Harmony’ song and music video, for celebrating Brooklyn’s diversity and for reminding us all that, overwhelmingly, Brooklynites live side by side in peace. Mazel tov!”
Confirmed Guests Include:
▪ Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz
▪ New York State Senator Eric Adams
▪ Rohan Marley, CEO Marley Coffee/House of Marley
▪ Lenny Bass, Industry Nominated Music Video Director
▪ Dr. William L. Pollard, President of Medgar Evers College
▪ Rabbi Shia Hecht, Chairman of the Board of the NCSJE
▪ Rabbi Eli Cohen, Executive Director of the CHJCC
▪ Rabbi Chanina Sperlin, Former Vice Chairman of the CHJCC
▪ Chaplain Jacob Goldstien, Chairman of Community Board 9
▪ Dr. Richard Green, CEO of the CHYC
▪ Council Member Letitia James
▪ Assemblyman Karim Camara
▪ Zaky Tamir, Chairman of the Board of Crown Heights JCC