Girls Rock! Rhode Island launches tenth year of summer programming with new hire, two camps, and new workshops and clubs
Today, Reza Clifton reported for duty as Girls Rock! RI’s new co-executive director. She joins Hilary Jones on the leadership team as the ten-year-old organization enters its busiest summer yet.
By way of introduction, Reza provided these five fun facts, listed below. To learn (even) more, you can find current and recent samples of her work digitally through “3 AM is the New Black” a zine and series of online spaces Reza created to showcase art, essays and poems (@3amblack on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter). You can also follow her creative process and public policy analysis on VenusSings.com, AmbitiousBlackFeminist.com, and through her personal social media spaces, @rezaclif. She can be contacted by emailing her at Girls Rock! Rhode Island: firstname.lastname@example.org.
FIVE FUN FACTS
I learned trumpet, piano, guitar and drums growing up; percussion stuck, and even as an adult, I’ve participated in and even started drum circles. I began DJing later in life, and I credit some of the rhythmic choices and blends I deliver in that medium to my background as a percussionist.
I learned to dance salsa in Havana, Cuba in the year 2000. I was on a trip as a sophomore in college, and maybe it was the famous el Malecón (boardwalk/ocean wall) or the magic lots of visitors to Cuba describe, but finally and suddenly the steps clicked, and I’ve enjoyed dancing to the music and dance genre ever since. As Celia Cruz (from Cuba), the The Queen of Salsa would say, Azucar!!
I was on radio for 15 years (2001-2016), and my programming included… 1) international reporting – news, music, interviews and extensive coverage of Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean and communities of color in the US and RI;
2) Venus Sings Radio where I brought hip hop, soul music, Cape Verdean, Brazilian, and Dominican music, for example, to Voices of Women, a music format show that airs on WRIU, a station broadcast from the University of RI in Kingston; and
3) health-related research-sharing and conversation focused on ending helping disparities, achieving health equity, and sharing resources for communities of color and those near or under the poverty line.
I speak Spanish, and learned it from neighbors, who became like extended family, while growing up in Providence. After moving to Cranston, I studied Spanish throughout junior and high school, and continued advancing in the language academically and through travel. I’m not perfectly bilingual, but I’m okay!
I’ve recently begun attempting to delve into songwriting, and so far…I think I’m terrible at it! I’m realizing I might have to return to guitar or piano to help me, but I really want to learn to play the bass! I’m looking forward to settling in, not only to “co-lead” at Girls Rock! Rhode Island, but also to learn and explore new skills and past joys.