We are thrilled to announce that three-time JusticeAid jazz artist Matthew Whitaker and U.S. Rep. Ritchie Torres (NY-15) will be joining us at Erasure: The Otherization of Queerness, a free public forum on Sunday, September 18th, 4 PM, at The Riverside Church in New York City.

Whitaker, along with The Resistance Revival Chorus, will provide a musical backdrop for this lively free public forum featuring a virtual statement by U.S. Rep Ritchie Torres and led by media creator and LGBTQ activist Imara Jones with panelists Charles King, Ceyenne Doroshow, and Jorge Membreño. (Read bios here.)

Matthew’s latest album, Connections, features Jon Baptiste and Regina Carter. Listen on Spotify.

Piano and organ phenomenon Matthew Whitaker is one of the most exciting talents to emerge in recent years. A child prodigy, he now shares the stage with some of the biggest and brightest stars in jazz. His unrelenting energy uplifts his bands and audiences alike.

“Matthew Whitaker IS music. To see and hear him play is to know that divine talent exists…You can expect great things on the horizon from this remarkable and lovable musician.” — WBGO

U.S. Rep. Torres, representing the South Bronx, is an openly gay member of Congress. He is committed to supporting LGBTQ individuals of all ages, including protecting the hard-fought wins that have secured basic rights for LGBTQ individuals and investing more in mental health care. In June, Torres introduced a new resolution condemning the rise in hate crimes and legislation targeting transgender and nonbinary communities. Hear Rep. Torres address the onslaught of laws targeting the LGBTQ community across the country.

“A wise person once said that if you don’t have a seat at the table, then you’re probably going to be on the menu. And when you have LGBTQ people of color in the room where decisions are made, then communities like mine have a fighting chance of securing its fair share of the federal budget.” —U.S. Rep Ritchie Torres

The Riverside Church is an interdenominational, interracial, and international congregation in the Morningside Heights neighborhood of Manhattan. A focal point of global and national activism since its inception, The Riverside Church has a long history of social justice. This year marks the fourth time JusticeAid has partnered with The Riverside Church to host our public forum. See website.

Please share this email on social media with friends and colleagues who may be interested in joining us at our DC concert or NYC public forum. Thank you!

JusticeAid leverages the community-building power of art and music to transform awareness into action in the fight against injustice. Each year we identify and raise funds for justice causes by hosting music, arts, and educational events. Since 2013 JusticeAid has granted more than 1.7 million dollars to nonprofits working to ensure access to justice for the disenfranchised and marginalized. Our grantee partners are fighting racist voter suppression and racist policing, working to end mass incarceration and inhumane immigration practices, ensuring access to legal services, and addressing the criminalization and hatred of others.