A Toast to Activism Row!



AFROPUNK has come and gone leaving shards of cowry shells and trampled kente cloth blowing in the breeze around Commodore Barry Park. Now that we’ve put away our gold and washed off our blue lipstick, we here at Progressive Pupil can’t thank you all enough for your support on the success of Activism Row.


What does Activism do?


Happy Black August!

AFROPUNK and Progressive Pupil are co-curating Activism Row: an interactive, inspirational and informative experience to be featured at AFROPUNK Fest 2014 (August 23 and 24 at Commodore Barry Park, Brooklyn). Activism Row’s goals are to facilitate voter registration, inform youth about civic participation opportunities and to encourage the festival’s multicultural audience to envision themselves making a difference. Highlighting social justice as a work of art, Activism Row shows activism lives today in communities of color.

Today, Activism Row launched an Indigegogo campaign to raise funds for the costs associated with producing the festival, which include staff, signage and programs.  You can support this effort by making a tax-deductible contribution and sharing the link (http://igg.me/at/AFROPUNKActivismRow14) with your friends, family and colleagues. Rock star perks are available for your generosity including VIP passes to the festival, which features D’Angelo and Meshell Ndegeocello, a chance to get on stage and more.

Activism Row features local non-profits that advance racial equality by solving urgent community problems such as violence, mass incarceration and HIV/AIDS. In addition, voter registration will be available. On-line and in person, Activism Row will provide AFROPUNK’s audience—who are predominately youth—the empowering opportunity to see themselves as agents of social change. By showing #ActivismLives, this exciting exhibition reveals that the best time for social change is NOW!

I hope to see you later this month at AFROPUNK FEST.  If you have suggestions for organizations that should participate in Activism Row, please share at facebook.com/ProgressivePupil.

In solidarity,







Robin J. Hayes, PhD

Principal Organizer

Instagram @robinjhayes




Highlights from AfroPunk 2013

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Thanks to everybody who made it out to the 9th Annual AfroPunk Festival! We’re already looking forward to next year’s festivities!

On August 24th and August 25th, an estimated 30,000 people from all walks of life united at Commodore Barry Park in Brooklyn to celebrate “the other black experience.”

Progressive Pupil tabled on Activism Row during both days. We made new friends while discussing Black studies with festival-goers, sold Progressive Pupil tees, tanks and totes and promoted our film Black and Cuba. Many people also took advantage of our invitation to ask Principal Organizer Dr. Robin Hayes any Black studies question!

According to Joselyn Cooper, festival organizer, “We describe AfroPunk as a free space for African Americans — and anyone else who wants to come onto that space — to just be who they are, and not being defined by monolithic definition of what, sort of, the outside culture puts on us as African American people.”

So, what does AfroPunk mean to you?

By Claudie Mabry

Photographs by Dr. Robin Hayes and Alexis Handcock

What We Did on Summer Vacation

Principal Organizer Robin Hayes and Community Outreach Intern Shannon Shird at BedStuy Pride. Image Courtesy of

Principal Organizer Robin Hayes and Community Outreach Intern Shannon Shird at Bed-Stuy Pride. Image Courtesy of Laurabeth Lima

Thanks to your support and participation we had a great summer here at Progressive Pupil! If you were in New York, you may have seen us at the Brooklyn Artistry and Company Bazaar, Audre Lorde Project’s Bed-Stuy Pride or AfroPunk 2013. We always enjoy partnering with community-based organizations that celebrate artists of color and the diversity of the Black community. Although we recognize the significance and necessity of our social media work, nothing beats having the opportunity to meet you and chat about our work face to face. At these kinds of events, we also learn so much about inspiring grassroots organizations working to address racism.

To everyone who signed up for our mailing list, picked up a Progressive Pupil tote, t-shirt or tank top and generously gave us a donation, thank you!   We will be expanding our face-to-face outreach and look forward to meeting you outside of New York. If you know of an event in your area we don’t want to miss, let us know in the comments of this post, Facebook or outreach@progressivepupil.org. See you before next September.