Walter Anderson Award (Breaking Ethnic Barriers)

CHAS BENNETT BRACK '83 BIO

Chas. Bennett Brack studied documentary arts at Antioch College, graduating with a degree in cultural and interdisciplinary arts. Upon his arrival in New York City, Brack became involved in Men of All Colors Together, NY – an anti-racism organization. At various time he was the co-chair, national representative and Political Action Committee co-chair. Brack took a position at the New York City Commission on Human Rights in the Lesbian and Gay Discrimination Documentation Project/AIDS Discrimination Unit as Associate Video Producer. During his tenure at the commission, he co-founded and performed with Lavender Light Gospel Choir for over 15 years. As a result of his work with Lavender Light and the Black LGBT sacred community, he became a charter member of, and ordained as, a deacon in Unity Fellowship Church, NY. Brack’s professional career continued at The Gay Men’s Health Crisis as producer of their weekly AIDS information television magazine, Living With AIDS. Brack now works at Third World Newsreel, while distributing his highly acclaimed directorial debut, Dreams Deferred: The Sakia Gunn Film Project.
 
The film won Best at NewFest 2008. He is the recipient of the 2012 Black Gay Research Group Founder’s Spirit and Soul Awards for Outstanding Contributions in Service to the Black Gay Community. 

PREVIOUS RECIPIENTS

2010                                

Edythe Bagley ’47
Edythe was one of Antioch’s first African-American students in modern times to be integrated fully into the curriculum. She taught high school English, later earning her master’s degree in English from Columbia University, then taught and directed plays at Elizabeth State College, North Carolina A&T University, and Norfolk State University. She later earned a Masters in Fine Arts, a terminal degree in Theater, from Boston University, becoming, in 1965, the first African-American woman to do so. She was a key facilitator in the Civil Rights Movement that began to transform the South.

William David Chappelle III ’80
Bill worked in the Cooperative Education and Dean of Students departments starting in 1973, and taught as an adjunct instructor of singing. He helped organize H.U.M.A.N. (Help Us Make A Nation) in the 1970s with his close friend, social activist Jim Dunn, to advocate community empowerment and social activism.  He helped found the African American Cross-Cultural Works (AACW).

Jim Dunn
Jim  came to Antioch to teach in the Social Work Department, emphasizing experiential learning and community organizing. His gift of empowerment brought people together through workshops and conferences, such as “Students of the ‘60s meet with Students of the ‘70s to discuss the ‘80s,” where key individuals of the Civil Rights Movement attended and participated. He founded, with Bill Chappelle, H.U.M.A.N. (Help Us Make A Nation ) an organization which evolved into The People’s Institute, the foremost anti-racism training and organizing institution in the nation.

2011

Sylvia Cheryl Jones Turner ’67
Santa Ana College Dean of Fine and Performing Arts, award-winning choreographer and educator active in concert dance, professional theater, and arts organizations.

2012

Victor Garcia 
Victor is president of the Board of Del Pueblo in Southwest Ohio, a nonprofit social service organization dedicated to community building and advocacy for Spanish speakers in the region. Victor is Antioch College professor emeritus of foreign civilizations and languages, and taught Spanish and Latin American literature and history for 25 years.

2013

David C. Farrar ’66
 In David Farrar's career as an opera stage director, he has broken many barriers. He is not only the first African-American to direct the New York City Opera, the San Francisco Opera, the Royal Opera, Covant Garden, the Opera del Teatro Municipal, Santiago, Chile, and the Opera Theatre at Oberlin, but  was the first African-American to stage Gershwin's complete Porgy and Bess in the United States. He was honored at the National Opera Association conference in Boston for his historic role as an African-American opera stage director and received the 1995 Distinguished Director Award.