2017-09-13 / Front Page

Kids Get Empowered At Queens Museum Event

BY EMI GITTLEMAN, FOUNDER AND EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF GET EMPOWERED!

Obba Babatundé, Emi Gittleman and all the participants in Get Empowered! pause briefly for a group photo.
Obba Babatundé, Emi Gittleman and all the participants in Get Empowered! pause briefly for a group photo. New York City is the next stop on a national outreach "Get Empowered! Unity Arts Tour” led by Emmy Award-winning actor, dancer, musician Obba Babatundé and “Get Empowered!” a multicultural, healing arts and education organization. Together, they are on a mission to uplift, unify and empower kids across the country, bringing dynamic, interactive arts, education and mindfulness resources and events to schools and after-school programs in underserved communities, with a focus on diverse populations including youth who are at-risk, have special needs, live in homeless shelters and are immigrants or refugees. And they are coming to the Queens Museum Great Lawn on September 15!

To date Get Empowered! has impacted the lives of over 5,000 kids nationally. It's important to everyone in the Get Empowered! team that they pay it forward and give back to others. In that spirit, they are donating programs and outreach events to schools in the city with Obba Babatundé.Obba Babatundé leads children in Get Empowered! activities.Obba Babatundé leads children in Get Empowered! activities.

Obba Babatundé is putting his passion and lifelong commitment to helping kids, advocating for diversity inclusion and community-building to good work by donating countless hours of his time and energy to join forces with Get Empowered! as an ambassador and mentor to bring resources and experiences to kids with the intention to "make a difference in their lives. That's what it is all about. Our kids and communities deserve to get empowered and they need our help," says Babatundé.

The New York tour includes FREE events at the Queens Museum / World’s Fairgrounds Park and schools in Jamaica and Canarsie…back to his roots, where Babatundé grew up and opened a school for at-risk youth before stardom hit. 

Babatundé, along with myself and 20 multicultural healing artists and educators representing six continents will provide hands-on world music, drumming, global dancing, meditation, and empowerment  Unity Arts activities to hundreds of kids of all ages.

Emi Gittleman, Founder And Executive Director Of Get Empowered! with two participants.Emi Gittleman, Founder And Executive Director Of Get Empowered! with two participants.On September 15, from 3-6 pm at the Queens Museum in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Obba Babatundé and Get Empowered! in collaboration and partnership with Welcoming America, YMCA of Greater New York, and YMCA-USA will be at the National launch of New Americans Welcome Week – a kickoff event for NYC and national sites in over 15 cities around the country. Also representing Get Empowered! will be celebrity ambassador Bakithi Kumalo (legendary percussionist and bass player for Paul Simon's band) along with Get Empowered! Director and entertainment facilitator Sabiá Pinheiro, CFO Garry Spanner along with 19 diverse cultural and healing artists (from 18 countries, speaking 11 languages and representing six of the seven continents – all but Antarctica). In attendance will be the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs and other elected officials and community leaders.  Attendees will have the opportunity to meet their neighbors, YMCA friends and families, visit the Welcoming Tent, learn from immigrant artists and experience other engaging and welcoming activities, including a photo booth, mapping game, yoga, drumming and more! Plus they can take a free tour at the Queens Museum. The event is from 3 pm to 6 pm, free and open to all. Reservations are appreciated, but not required.

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