“In City Love, two gentle, humble teachers and musicians bring us powerful lyrics with mobilizing rhythms—inviting us into a conversation about race in America. They sing about racial justice in a way that is critical, inspiring and concurrent with the ideas about race and America found in both activist and academic spaces today. A performance from City Love would be a great way to begin—or sustain—dialogue about race in school. Their music makes you want to dance—sing—cry—speak out—and unite.” - Ali Michael, PhD, Director of Consulting and Professional Development at the University of Pennsylvania Center for the Study of Race and Equity in Education
"Run, don't walk to bring City Love to your school! Their melodious presentation will inspire and entertain audiences of all ages. They truly are masterful in bringing a compelling message of hope, love and social justice! Wheeler students want them back!" -Princess Sirleaf Bomba, Director of Unity and Diversity at The Wheeler School
"Create The Change" Workshop: Let's make music for the world we need
We are excited to bring our music into schools, universities and community centers as a means to foster courageous conversations about challenging topics, help encourage others to use their creativity for positive social change and to reflect on the issues that affect all of our lives. We believe that creative expression transforms our values, identities and our communities when we use it to distill our understandings of the social issues that affect our world.
In our "Create the Change" workshop we share our creative process and some of our music as a primer to engage students to explore and express themselves around a social justice issue through an original collaborative performance with a group of their peers. We will plan with you to determine what issues could be most helpful for your participants to explore together. Past themes have been a chance to dive into issues such as white privilege, mass incarceration, inequitable access to education, understanding the Black Lives Matter movement, cultural appropriation, environmental justice, peace movements, media bias, LGBTQ issues, gender issues, Quaker tenets and history of Quaker involvement in social justice movements, and looking at the roots of gun violence. Participants perform and reflect on their experience. During the workshop we also perform some of our original songs that embody the empowering process of self expression around these same issues.
We are glad to tailor our workshops to meet your goals, needs, and constraints. We generally prefer to have at least 90 minutes available to work with those in attendance. Our workshops deal with social justice themes, and so with respect to developmental appropriateness, we prefer to work with individuals who are in the 4th grade or older. Please contact us to discuss crafting a workshop around your institution or organization’s needs. (90-120 minutes, Up to 300 participants)
"Talk about it, be about it" Interactive concert: Healing the Racial Divide on campus with Music and Dialogue
"Talk About It, Be About It" is a combination of musical/lyrical immersion and deep collaborative reflection. We have a range of original songs we can share that explore issues of white privilege, inequitable access to education, high stakes testing and school closures, mass incarceration, the Black Lives Matter movement, police violence, the inconsistency between America's love for black culture and disregard for black communities, forgiveness, hope, unity, and positive change. The sequence of songs represents a journey - each song shares a depth and breadth of information, paints pictures, and connects with listeners, opening the door for transformative dialogue between participants about urgently relevant topics.
We share some of our reflections before each song, and follow each song with targeted inquiries that guide participants through the co-creation of anonymous digital or analog story boards which can serve as both barometers and road maps for the work that needs to be done on campus about the above issues.
We offer additional visits to return and process the information together in affinity groups and as a whole in order to help bring everyone together and create broader understanding about the experiences, awarenesses, blindspots, hopes, and possibilities within the community. (75 minutes, Maximum of 500 participants)
"Wake the Mic" Social Justice showcase and Gallery: Campus-wide Creative Convergence for positive change
"Wake the Mic" is a campus wide event for colleges and universities that invites campus groups, individual students and faculty-staff to share their talents to address the social justice issues that they feel passionate about. Whether rap, dance, visual arts, theater, comedy, singing, instrumentals or spoken word, all forms of expression are welcome.
We work with staff at your institution to contact student groups and faculty/staff about the event, and curate contributions that adhere to the values of anti-racism, anti-oppression and respect for all people. We serve as the emcees for the event and share performances throughout to help set the tone and keep the momentum going. "Wake the Mic" is a powerful opportunity for campus groups to come together, learn about one another's work, and open up dialogue that can inspire meaningful collaborations and coalitions.
"Never too young for justice": An engaging, developmentally appropriate performance for Prek-3rd grade
With this highly participatory performance we use a collection of our children's songs to engage our youngest learners to celebrate the ways in which we are all both similar and different. We name the fact that some of the differences between us carry very different weights, and people in our world and our country have not always been - and still are not always - treated fairly based on differences like the color of our skin, our gender, religion, who we love, and more. Students share out what it looks like to be an upstander, and we discuss how even if many grownups and kids in our country are still learning how to be kind, safe and fair to all people, we can set an example for the world in our classrooms.
Our performance helps to initiate or sustain developmentally appropriate conversations and shared dialogue in early childhood classrooms that will help our students make sense of the world they see around them and feel empowered to be the change the world needs. We will leave your school with recordings of our music so that you can continue to use our songs to build dialogue and harmonize all the voices in the room around values of diversity, equity and justice in your classroom. (20-45 minutes, Maximum of 500 participants) Visit our "City Love Kids" page for more information.
"City Love's work is insightful, thought provoking, and engaging. I see City Love contributing to schools by supporting healthy identity development, increasing empathy and understanding across diverse groups, and helping with conflict resolution. As an administrator at an independent school, I know that there is a deep need for their programs.” - Frances Hoover, Director of Admissions and Diversity at The Philadelphia School
“A perfectly pitched presentation for middle school students generally and our middle school students specifically. The transformative power of the arts as a medium for discussing highly charged issues, especially at a time in life when people are trying to figure out who they are and how they want to be, was compelling, inspiring, and enriching.” - Michael Zimmerman, Head of School at Friends School Haverford
“Thank you so much for sharing your musical gifts with us at “Ending Mass Incarceration and the New Jim Crow.” I think the performance at our opening worship set the tone for our time together perfectly - It grounded us in Spirit, recognized our spiritual ancestors who have walked hard roads ahead of us, and called into the space those our society has shunned and shunted off to remote exile, all the while encouraging us to move forward with hope.” -John Meyer, Education Coordinator at Pendle Hill