Levantine Public Diplomacy had an amazing time in Dakar, running the Next Level Senegal program!
LPD partners with the University of North Carolina’s Department of Music to implement the U.S. Department of State’s new hip hop diplomacy program Next Level.
The Next Level Senegal program brought together a veteran team of hip hop artist-educators, including Toni Blackman, DJ Chela, Junious Brickhouse and Dr. Eliott Gann. The NL Senegal program ran a hip hop academy that brought together the whole Dakar hip hop scene, including participants from Medina, Guediwaye, Pikine, and Rufisque.
The NL Senegal team enjoyed wonderful collaboration jam sessions under the baobab tree with cora, djembe and bellafon players from the National Symphony.
The NL Senegal program ended with a final performance in Dakar at the Sorano National Theater.
As Next Level Site Manager, LPD’s Quixote-in-Chief works with the NL artist-educators, and serves as a liaison to the U.S. Embassy and local partners, to run the NL program in-country.
A Princeton PhD, was a US diplomat for over 20 years, mostly in Eastern Europe, and was promoted to the Senior Foreign Service in 1997. For the Open World Leadership Center, he speaks with
its delegates from Europe/Eurasia on the topic, "E Pluribus Unum? What Keeps the United States United." Affiliated with Georgetown University for over ten years, he shares ideas with students about public diplomacy.
The papers of his deceased father -- poet and diplomat John L. Brown -- are stored at Georgetown University Special Collections at the Lauinger Library. They are manuscript materials valuable to scholars interested in post-WWII U.S.-European cultural relations.
This blog is dedicated to him, Dr. John L. Brown, a remarkable linguist/humanist who wrote in the Foreign Service Journal (1964) -- years before "soft power" was ever coined -- that "The CAO [Cultural Affairs Officer] soon comes to realize that his job is really a form of love-making and that making love is never really successful unless both partners are participating."