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Brandon Leake Will Contribute to New Web Series HATE: WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO?

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Leake is a producing partner on the project.

Brandon Leake Will Contribute to New Web Series HATE: WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO?

Brandon Leake, a poet, educator, performer, and the 2020 winner of America's Got Talent, has joined the Team Harmony Foundation as a producing partner on its new web series, HATE: WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO? A Boston-based, international nonprofit organization, the Team Harmony Foundation works to educate, inspire, and engage youth around the world in the battle against hate and violence. In addition to his role as producing partner, Leake has written a new spoken word presentation for Team Harmony that will debut during the October 20 edition of HATE: WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO?

Originally established in 1994 by a coalition of business and community leaders, Team Harmony will kick-off its youth-driven, monthly series at 7:00 pm (EST) and 7:00 pm (CET) on Tuesday, October 20, when it will stream live on TeamHarmonyFoundation.org. Featuring Leake and a corps of student reporters from around the globe, the series is aimed at middle school, high school, and college students.

"I have been so impressed by ALL THAT Team Harmony is doing and I knew I had to be part of this effort in a big way," said Leake. "Together, we will stand up against hate and show the world exactly what love can look like. Together we are far more powerful than we ever are on our own."

Each 45-minute episode of HATE: WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO? will explore the state of hate worldwide and highlight peaceful activism that promotes tolerance, equity, and inclusion through conversations with political, civic, business and education leaders including Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley, Jonathan Greenblatt, National Director and CEO, Anti-Defamation League

, and Emerson College President Lee Pelton, and stories produced by as many as 100 youth reporters from across the US and around the globe. To date, young people from more than 35 countries - including Afghanistan, China, Cuba, Egypt, India Kenya, Morocco, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Pakistan, Poland, Uganda and the United States (with 15 states represented) - will help drive programming.

In addition to the web series, Team Harmony has worked with educators to develop diverse program offerings such as a free, downloadable activism tool kit specifically designed for middle and high school teachers and students. Now available, the kit includes age-appropriate activities that promote inclusion and community building, celebrate diversity, encourage unity, and refute hate speech in all its forms.

As part of its ongoing effort to cultivate the next generation of leaders, Team Harmony and Emerson College will also introduce a 10-course Virtual Institute for Activism (VIA) in January, 2021, designed to provide young people with the background, knowledge, and skills needed to raise awareness, engage in difficult conversations, and use their voices to peacefully advocate for racial and social justice. Courses will include Using Social Media for Social Good, the Art of Organizing, and Influencing the Influencer. The inaugural class of VIA will accept up to 200 students from around the world.

The name of the series HATE: WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO? was inspired by Emerson College President Lee Pelton whose letter to the Emerson community following the death of George Floyd went viral, sparking important and timely conversations. "At the end of his powerful letter, which recounted his experiences as a Black man in America, President Pelton challenged us all by asking 'what are you going to do?' in response to systemic racism, violence and hate speech," said Team Harmony board member Josh Zakim, a former Boston city councilor whose late father Lenny Zakim, a respected civil rights activist, and longtime regional director of the Anti-Defamation League, was a driving force behind Team Harmony. "Everyone associated with Team Harmony believes President Pelton's letter, which has been widely circulated with millions of online views, will spark a global conversation, compelling youth, here at home and around the globe, to take action and work to combat hate," added Zakim.

To date, Team Harmony has attracted a coalition of organizations including the Anti-Defamation League of New England, The Center for Global Communications, the Boston Bruins, the Carter Presidential Center, The Ben Marion Institute for Social Justice - Atlanta, the Council of American Islamic Relations, Massachusetts Chapter, the Martin Richard Foundation, the Massachusetts Commission of LGBT Youth, The Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association, the NAACP-New England Area Conference, and Project 351.

Photo Credit: Brandon Leake


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