MOVE Together

DANCING TOWARDS AN INCLUSIVE COMMUNITY & GLOBAL SOCIAL JUSTICE

JOIN THE GLOBAL LINDY HOP, SWING DANCE & BLUES DANCE COMMUNITY for an online forum featuring Black artists and academics Saturday, July 11th, 2020 from 10 a.m. to noon Pacific Time to discuss the pressing issues facing us as a society and as a global dance scene. Let’s talk about how to be anti-racist; making the dance world more inclusive; and how we can all do a better job making the scene safe and welcoming for everyone.

We believe we have the power to shape the future starting with our global dance community first, as part of a broader global social justice movement for equality.

Hollywood Television Editor, LA-based dancer & DJ SHAHEED QAASIM is leading the discussion, and the panelists are:

  • RYAN FRANCOIS: Broadway, TV & Movie Dancer & Choreographer
  • REMY KOUAKOU KWAME: International dance teacher, performer & choreographer
  • KIM NALLEY: Iconic Jazz & Blues Vocalist Featured at Lincoln Center, Ethnomusicologist, Dancer
  • DAMON STONE: International Blues & Lindy Hop Instructor
  • BRITTNEY CARAWAY: Dancer, Jazz vocalist, Event MC, past Miss Camp Hollywood
  • ODYSSEUS BAILER: Dancer, Actor & Workshop Leader on African-American Cultural History of Lindy Hop
  • MARIE N’DIAYE: Teacher at Herräng Dance Camp and Managing Director/Choreographer at HotCha Chorus Line
  • AISHA QAASIM: CA-based Lindy Hopper, Attorney & Academic
  • KENNETH SHIPP: St. Louis-Based Blues Dance Instructor, DJ, Dancer
  • DR. ANDAIYE QAASIM: PhD in Ethnomusicology, Diversity & Anti-Racism Trainer

The purpose of the event is three-fold:

  1. EDUCATION: To further educate people about the nature of racism in a “Racism 101” educational segment, presented by diversity and anti-racism trainer Dr. Andaiye Qaasim, who will deconstruct some of the prevailing myths and misconceptions about racism; give a brief overview of the historical context of racism in the U.S.; and help define terms like systemic, institutionalized racism, and white supremacy.
  2. STORIES: To have a “real-talk” conversation, amplifying the voices of Black dancers, musicians, artists, and academics, who will share their experiences in dealing with personal experiences of racism, and their ideas about ways to make the global dance scene anti-racist, and more welcoming and inclusive.
  3. ACTION: To establish a baseline Code of Conduct to help make the dance scene truly anti-racist by delineating what is appropriate and inappropriate, and to provide tools to empower us all to have more open conversations. We plan to leave everyone with clear action steps designed to create positive change in the global dance community, to help us move forward together as a community, and make this a sustainable movement.

Some of the tools we will provide as suggested actions steps are:

  • An anti-racism pledge for dancers, musicians, and organizers.
  • Anti-racist and inclusive language and guidance for teaching contracts
  • Guidance on language or commitment statements organizations can incorporate in their mission/ vision statements

We believe that we as dancers can be an example of how to create positive change in our global community, and have a ripple effect on the world.

Stay up-to-date with the event on the Facebook Event page.


What Is The Money For?

This is a paid gig for our panelists. Please support them with your contributions! The funds raised from this event will first go towards paying our talented panelists – Black artists, dancers, musicians, vocalists, and academics– to honor their time, contributions, expertise, and emotional labor. We believe in paying our artists. The first $6,000 raised will go directly to pay the panelists and staff involved in the production.

Any contributions above $6,000 will be split as follows:

  • 30% to the new Lindy Hoppers of the African Diaspora Fund being launched by the Frankie Manning Foundation, under the leadership of Tena Morales-Armstrong and Julia Loving.
  • 30% to Guardian Baltimore, which under the leadership of Artistic Director Breai Mason-Campbell has a mission to practice, perform, and pass on African-American history through dance, with a particular emphasis on youth education and mentoring.
  • 30% to the Cleveland Junior Jitterbugs, led by Valerie Salstrom, which since 2006 has provided youth in low-income urban neighborhoods access to free swing dance programming that includes information on the history and culture of swing dance, dance instruction, and performance opportunities. In addition to increasing the Juniors’ dance abilities, the team also helps the youth build skills in communication, problem-solving, self-discipline, teamwork, and leadership which helps their self-confidence grow.

The remaining 10% will be paid to PSDF to cover administration and production costs and to support PSDF’s scholarship program for dancers. 

We hope to raise $30,000+ so that we can have a truly meaningful impactWe appreciate your support in helping us reach that goal!

The Pacific Swing Dance Foundation, as our sponsoring 501(c)(3) organization that is making this fundraiser possible, will collect and administer the #MoveTogether funds, under the direction of the #MoveTogether advisory committee. 

We are grateful for your support! Please share this widely, and please give generously! 

—Shaheed Qaasim and the #MoveTogether Team


How will I know what happens?

We will post here and on Facebook about the progress of this campaign. PSDF is committed to providing an open accounting throughout this process. In addition, when you donate, you may opt-in to receive PSDF’s very occasional newsletter where we send updates on our finances and programs.

If you have any questions about PSDF or this fundraiser, please get in touch:

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Support PSDF

Although our 501(c)(3) status is pending, you can still make a financial donation. Your donation will go into our general fund to help defray operational expenses and fund new projects such as collecting additional oral histories from original dancers, acquiring collections and memorabilia, and preserving and making items in the existing collection available to the public through digitization. Donors who provide their e-mail addresses will receive quarterly updates on new and ongoing projects.