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Igniting Passion for Social Justice!

  • September 18, 2017


The Anti-Defamation League Mountain States Region is delighted to announce the entertainers that will be performing at the Torch of Liberty Dinner Ignite! to be held on Wednesday, November 29th, at 6:00 pm in the Seawell Ballroom located at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. The event will honor Andrew Feinstein and Elaine Gantz Berman and Dr. Stephen Berman. Performances that evening will highlight the role of performing arts in social justice movements.

Guests at Ignite! will be the first public audience to enjoy select pieces from the opera “Steal a Pencil for Me,” which will be have its world premiere in January by Opera Colorado. This intimate opera tells the true story of a group of Dutch Jews deported to Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in the last year of World War II, and the love of one couple that helped to sustain them through the challenges of living in a concentration camp.

“We perform to transform ourselves and others – giving a voice to the voiceless,” says Cleo Parker Robinson, whose dance ensemble will perform excerpts from “FREE?” This piece utilizes the vernacular of “House” dance to recall significant events in American history, such as the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the assassination of Malcolm X, the murder of three civil rights workers, the registration of black voters in Mississippi, “Bloody Sunday,” the United Farm Workers Grape Boycott, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and the Watts rebellion.

Toluwanimi Oluwafunmilayo Obiwole is a Nigerian-born, Colorado-raised poet, educator, and organizer. For 2015-2016 she was Denver's first Youth Poet Laureate.

Toluwanimi Oluwafunmilayo Obiwole is a Nigerian-born, Colorado-raised poet, educator, and organizer. For 2015-2016 she was Denver’s first Youth Poet Laureate.

Two spoken-word artists will also participate in the evening’s festivities. Toluwanimi Oluwafunmilayo Obiwole is a Nigerian-born, Colorado-raised poet, educator and organizer. Through her writing, she hopes to cultivate her own “black girl magic” while creating space and a platform for people who have yet to realize that their voices are necessary. Bobby LeFebre is also an award-winning writer, performer, and cultural worker from Denver. He is co-founder of an award-winning nonprofit organization, Cafe Cultura, which is dedicated to utilizing poetry as a tool for youth literacy and educational and cultural development.

Denver School of the Arts Jazz Band and the East High School Angelaires will also be on hand to deliver spectacular performances. Following the example of many social justice movements, the Angelaires will perform popular protest songs. DSA’s jazz band will wow the crowd during the cocktail reception at the beginning of the evening with traditional jazz tunes.

We hope you will join us for this inspiring, fun evening supporting ADL’s mission “to stop the defamation of the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment to all.” For sponsorship information and to reserve tickets, visit or contact Asha Holsopple at 720-799-9678 or