On April 30, longtime community activist Bernice Johnson Reagon, a composer, singer and academic, will make a presentation at the True Reformer Building in Northwest to show her support for the Highlander Research and Education Center.
Reagon’s relationship with Highlander — an organization that supports grassroots initiatives to promote social change in the Black community— began when she was a college student.
“I liked being introduced to Highlander in the South where it wasn’t a place, and then I liked coming to the place and finding the home of the core of that dispersal,” Reagon said in a 2007 interview at Highlander’s 75th anniversary.
The vocalist hails from Albany, Ga., and has been a standout champion of social equality through her music and lectures. Her outspoken condemnation of racism and other social ills began at Albany State College, where she was expelled after participating in a demonstration.
Reagon was a member of the original Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee Freedom Singers and a founding member of the famed Harambee Singers.
The community-focused activist continued her work in the arts, and was later vocal director o the D.C. Black Repertory Theater and creator of the internationally celebrated a cappella ensemble Sweet Honey in the Rock. Reagon led the popular group until her retirement in 2004
The True Reformer Building is located at 1200 U St., N.W., D.C. The program begins at 7 p.m. and is preceded by a 6 p.m. reception. Tickets are $100 and can be purchased at highlandercenter.org.