What is Change? What does a better society look like?

This is a time of great, unprecedented change. Taking a Knee for Change RoundTable connects inspiring leaders from different backgrounds, ages, ethnicities and job types with the public. We discuss a wide variety of relevant topics that affect the lives of all people and communities here in
This October 27, 2023 from 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. at the Portland Media Center (516 Congress Street. Portland, ME 04101), activist artist Titi de Baccarat invites the whole community to participate in the second Taking a Knee for Change RoundTable series, to interact with four motivating guest speakers from Maine.

Our panelists are:
Umaru Balde, born and raised in Guinea-Bissau in West Africa. He spent many years in the Middle East, Egypt and Israel before coming to the US as a student. Umaru has a Bachelors in Languages and Translation and a Masters in Philosophy and Comparative Religions from Al Azhar University in Egypt. He also has a Bachelors in Political Science (Social and Behavioral Science) and a Masters in Higher Education Leadership from the University of Northern Iowa. He is currently employed by the City of Portland, Maine as Director of the Justice, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Department.

Dylan Pugh is the only one of Portland’s five mayoral candidates who’s never held elective office. “I’m somebody who’s going to bring a fresh perspective and a different kind of thinking and a different idea about what kind of things are possible,” Pugh said in an interview. The 34-year-old software engineer works for the Gulf of Maine Research Institute, which is leading the charge on climate change.

Rev. Jane Field is the Executive Director of the Maine Council of Churches. This is a statewide coalition of seven mainline Protestant denominations, two associate member churches, and one cooperating denomination who together represent over 400 congregations in Maine with nearly 55,000 parishioners in their care.

Antonio Rocha (pronounced haw-sha) is an award winning performer originally from Brazil.  His unique fusion of mime and storytelling has been performed in 44 US States, and in 20 countries across 6 continents.
For more information about this unique performer please visit www.storyinmotion.com

Our facilitator is Ronald Reid, who was born and raised in London England, and graduated with hon. from Sussex University UK with a degree in Social Anthropology (major), African and Asian studies (minor).  He moved to the States more than 20 years ago and has become a US citizen. In that time, he has worked with adjudicated kids both in New York and Arizona before moving to Maine.  He worked in a few Maine care systems before going to and graduating from the University of Maine Orono with his MSW. He continued working in the field, before starting his ‘Humanistic Practice,’ serving in the Greater Portland area, with a focus on a culturally diverse population. He also worked with Refugee Immigration Services (RIS), giving support to staff through group sessions. For the last two years he has worked as one of the counseling staff at Colby working with black and brown students on campus. His overall focus in practice is to transcend our differences to find our true authentic self.  

The event will be broadcast on TV Channels 2 and 5. We thank the Maine Humanities Council and Portland Media Center for their sponsorship.  For more information: www.titidebaccarat.com