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Symposium on Race & Society
In Katrina's Wake: Racial Implications of the New Orleans Disaster. November 2-4 2006, Charlottesville Virginia
Speaker Bio

Paula Larke

Advocate for Peace: keynote speaker, workshop facilitator, humorist, vocalist, drummer, banjoist, bassist, storyteller, and percussive-word artist.

A veteran of the professional stage, (New York Shakespeare Festival, New Federal Theatre, La Mama) Paula now utilizes her music, poetry, and stories of real life heroes and "she-roes" as a modern day "djali", or historical chronicler. She teaches essential lessons of peacemaking: integrity, fortitude, hope, and healing. She has over thirty years experience in promoting literacy, eradicating intolerance, teaching African and American history, and encouraging ethical consciousness and behavior for individuals and organizations. Her accolades as a performer/lecturer include enthusiastic endorsements from the NC Department of Juvenile Services, Leadership America, the General Board of Global Ministries, and innumerable advocacy organizations across the U.S. In addition, she provides counseling and motivational workshops through faith-based and community service organizations across the country.

Paula is an experienced advocate and mentor, combining her musical and theatrical artistry with skills learned in her studies with CTI (CONNECT Training Institute), Creating a Culture of Peace, The Children's Creative Response to Conflict, Inc., and the Brecht Forum TOP Lab (Theatre of the Oppressed) as well as two decades of community organizing and education training from the Highlander Center in New Market Tennessee.

Within her organization, VOICES IN THE TREETOPS, Inc., Paula follows a family tradition - mentoring other artists in the integration of arts and social justice activism. "Treetops' " mission is to give on-the-job training to elder and young artists alike. She translates issues, goals, messages, etc. into singing, dancing, story-telling, acting, or Image Theatre to enhance, energize, and unite divided or competing individuals, institutions and community service agencies. Through her talents as a multi-disciplinary artist Paula brings heightened consciousness, joy, motivation and healing to minds and hearts across the nation.

In addition to her 20-year membership in Alternate ROOTS, Paula is a member of Actors' Equity Association and of Local 1000 (North American Traveling Musicians.) She is a co-founding member of Atlanta, City of Peace, Inc.



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