YWe Talk: The Art of Advocacy

January 26, 2023

12:00 - 1:00 p.m.

The Art of Advocacy

What role does art have in generating social and political change? What is the responsibility of artists in highlighting and addressing social issues?

Join YWCA Central Alabama for our next YWe Talk as we discuss the role art plays in the fight to create a world that truly promotes peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all! Moderated by Dr. LaRhonda Dingle Magras, CEO of YWCA Central Alabama, the panelists will explore how their work lives at the intersection of art and advocacy. They will also discuss how their work has been a force for education and conversation about contemporary social issues, from gender and race to accessibility and more.

This free webinar will be held at noon on Thursday, January 26, 2023. Register by clicking the button below. You will receive an email with a Zoom link on the day of the event.


T. Marie King

T. Marie King is Director of Youth Pathways and Experiences with Jones Valley Teaching Farm, in Birmingham Alabama. T. Marie is also an advisor for the creation of equitable spaces, she’s an expert in facilitating difficult conversations and challenges audiences through her lectures to do the necessary self-work to become a part of active communal change. She is a trained Empathetic and Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation facilitator. T. Marie holds a B.A. in Urban and Global Economic Development, and a M.A. in Leadership and Divinity.

On December 20, 2022, film producer, T. Marie, released her first full length documentary to worldwide audiences on the unsung hero and civil rights icon the Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth. The documentary was premiered and released on Alabama Public Television but can also be viewed on PBS.org worldwide.

Alie B. Gorrie

Alie B. Gorrie is an actor, teaching artist, and disability inclusion consultant. She has performed on tour, off-Broadway, and in regional theatre across the country. As a creative, she produced and created ABLE: a series, a documentary series discussing disability inclusion in the arts. As an inclusion consultant, Alie B. has worked with NYC theatres, regional theatres, and businesses across the country on their disability inclusion efforts. She is the founder of Songs for Sight, an organization that serves children and teens in Alabama with low vision.

Currently, she is the Community Engagement Manager at Red Mountain Theatre, where she brings theatre education residencies to students/schools, seniors, and people with disabilities across Alabama. She has her BFA in Musical Theatre from Belmont University and her MA in Arts in Medicine from the University of Florida.

Tania De’Shawn

Tania De’Shawn is a poet, teaching artist, and entrepreneur. She is the founder of Element Agape, a multimedia company that nourishes artists to create art that affects social change. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Berea College. While at Berea, she debuted her co-choreographed poem “Sister Circle” at the 2018 Kinetic Expressions. In 2022 she published her debut poetry collection, Be Gentle with Black Girls. Her collection serves as an entry point to addressing the adultification bias that negatively affects the education and social development of Black girls across the nation.

Tania’s poetry has been featured at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, Sidewalk Film Festival, Birmingham Public Library, Scribes & Vibes, the historic Majesty Lounge, and more. The Be Gentle With Black Girls initiative has monthly workshop discussions focusing on different topics such as body image, career transition, and financial health to connect black women and girls to resources that will help them reach self-actualization. Tania is currently based in Birmingham, Alabama. She serves the community as a teaching artist with the Element Agape, Pen America, & the Flourish Alabama, which allows young artists to bloom.

Priscilla Hancock Cooper

Priscilla Hancock Cooper is founding director of the Alabama African American Civil Rights Heritage Sites Consortium, a collaboration of 20 civil rights sites in Montgomery, Birmingham, Selma and the Black Belt. She assumed this role after a long career at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute where she retired as Vice-President of Institutional Programs in 2017. While at BCRI, she launched “The Women Gather,” a program of poetry and music featuring local women artists.

As a writer, performer, and arts educator Ms. Cooper worked with arts, education, and cultural institutions throughout the Southeast. Most recently, Ms. Cooper was commissioned to write a short play about the life of Carrie Tuggle for young audiences. For 12 years, she was the teaching writer for the “Writing Our Stories” Creative Writing Violence Reduction Program at the Department of Youth Services (DYS) Chalkville campus, sponsored by DYS and the Alabama Writers Forum. She worked with more than 300 incarcerated girls (ages 12-18) from across the state of Alabama and edited twelve anthologies of their work.

Ms. Cooper received two individual artist fellowships from the Alabama State Council on the Arts. The 1994 fellowship supported the stage adaptation of her collection of poetry, “Call Me Black Woman” which toured to colleges across the country. The 2006 fellowship supported development of her play, “Back to the Dream” that was produced by Red Mountain Theatre Company to capacity audiences, sparking a dynamic community dialogue. Ms. Cooper has received numerous community awards for her work with youth, arts and culture including the Girl Scouts of Central Alabama, Stillman College Alumni Association, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, and Birmingham Chapter of the NAACP.

YWe Talk: The Art of Advocacy