Interview between Reggie Harris and Susan J. Erenrich; introduction by Susan J. Erenrich
19 August 2020
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Grassroots Leadership and the Arts for Social Change Corner editor, Susie Erenrich, invited Reggie Harris on to her radio show to discuss his role teaching people, through stories and song, about the legacy of race and racism in the United States. Reggie is a teaching artist for the John F. Kennedy Center’s Changing Education Through the Arts program, a Woodrow Wilson Scholar, and the Director of Music Education for the Unitarian Universalist Living Legacy Project. Read the interview and listen to Reggie’s music by following the link to the radio show within.
Reggie Harris is a singer-songwriter, storyteller, and cultural ambassador on a mission to educate, entertain, and inspire. For over 40 years, he has captivated audiences in the U.S., Canada, and across Europe. Reggie combines spirituals, roots music, historic inspiration, and moving original songs, often wrapped in the themes of unity and social justice. He is a teaching artist for the John F Kennedy Center’s CETA program, a Woodrow Wilson Scholar, and the Director of Music Education for the UU Living Legacy Project. He is a master song leader who deeply values the power of song and the dignity of every human being. Previously known as one-half of the acclaimed folk acoustic duo Kim and Reggie Harris, this natural collaborator, also invigorates his solo touring with occasional partnerships, most notably with Greg Greenway (Deeper Than the Skin) Scott Ainslie (Long Time Coming), and Pat Wictor. Reggie leads workshops and seminars on songwriting, race relations, and performance at colleges and universities, retreat centers, and festivals. A partial list includes the Kennedy Center Summer Education Institute, The Swannanoa Gathering, Boston’s Summer Acoustic Music Week (SAMW), the People’s Music Network, and the Southeastern Unitarian Universalist Summer Institute (SUUSI).
Susan (Susie) J. Erenrich is a social movement history documentarian. She uses the arts for social change to tell stories about transformational leadership, resilience, and societal shifts as a result of mobilization efforts by ordinary citizens. Her career in nonprofit/arts management, civic engagement, community organizing and community service spans more than four decades. She has diversified teaching experience at universities, public schools and community-based programs for at-risk, low-income populations; has edited and produced historical audio recordings and anthologies; and has extensive performance, choreography and production experience. Susie holds a Ph.D. in Leadership and Change from Antioch University. She is the editor of The Cost Of Freedom: Voicing A Movement After Kent State 1970; Freedom Is a Constant Struggle: An Anthology of the Mississippi Civil Rights Movement and Grassroots Leadership & the Arts for Social Change (a volume in ILA’s BLB series). She is the producer/host of Wasn’t That A Time: Stories & Songs That Moved The Nation, a live community radio broadcast on WERA.FM. Listen on-demand or live every Friday from 1:00 – 2:00 PM Eastern time.