Bayard Rustin (1912-1987) was a leading strategist of the Civil Rights Movement. Rustin organized the 1963 March on Washington and it was Rustin’s understanding and teaching of non-violence and unwavering commitment to non-discrimination that became the framework through which Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. lead.

Rustin’s life as a Gay, Black activist, a Quaker and a singer, will be told and celebrated through the Ohio premiere of the choral work Bayard Rustin: The Man Behind the Dream by Cincinnati composer and conductor Steve Milloy.  Guest soloists will be La’Shelle Allen, mezzo soprano and  Keith Dean, bass-baritone. Three performances will be conducted by Jeremy Winston (Central State University) and the fourth concert in Cincinnati will be conducted by Chris Miller, Minister of Music at Mt. Auburn Presbyterian Church.

Singers from Yellow Springs, Dayton and Greater Cincinnati have been rehearsing all summer and will come together for this once-in-a-lifetime experience.

In addition to the performance of the Oratorio, there will be professionally facilitated symposiums, exploring the various aspects of Bayard Rustin’s life and its relevance in today’s world. Symposiums, which will also include the showing of the Documentary on Bayard Rustin:  Brother Outsider and talk-back sessions, will be at Sinclair College (Dayton) Wilmington College (Wilmingon), Miami U Regionals (Hamilton)  and Xavier University (Cincinnati) during the week of September 3. John D’Emilio, author of the definitive biography of Rustin:  Lost Prophet: The Life and Times of Bayard Rustin will also be speaking and organization of Youth Collaborative Conversation has also begun.  We will also welcome guest Lecturer Dr. Jared Leighton, whose dissertation Freedom Indivisible: Gays and Lesbians in the African American Civil Rights Movement has attracted national attention.

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