The Club as a Classroom: Conversation with Jewel Thais-Williams and DJ Lynnee Denise
Part of The WIlliam Grant Still Arts Center’s exhibition, “A Woman’s Place…”
Saturday October 21, 2-4 pm
Using the club as the classroom, Jewel Thais Williams created a community center at the corner of Pico and Crenshaw that offered a space for queer communities of color to learn from one another and support one another while simultaneously offering a welcoming space to build awareness relating to health both through the Minority AIDS Project and Village Health Foundation offering accessible alternative medicine to all in the community.
At the age of fifty-six, with an overwhelming need to make a difference, Jewel registered with Samra University, to study Traditional Chinese Medicine. In 1999, four and one-half years later, she graduated with a Master of Science degree in Oriental Medicine. She went on to pass the state and national boards, and is currently a Licensed Acupuncturist and Herbalist, in her own clinic, The Village Health Foundation.
Founder and Executive Director of the Village Health Foundation, a non-profit organization consisting of a complementary medical clinic based upon traditional Chinese medicine, herbal treatments and other methodologies of healing. Subsequently she opened and operated the Vegan Village Internet Café which was an organic and strictly vegetarian restaurant.
Jewel is also a certified NADA Practitioner, which is an ear acupuncture treatment for addictions and post-traumatic stress syndrome. She has 29 years of A.A. recovery.
DJ Lynnée Denise is an artist and scholar who incorporates self-directed project based research into interactive workshops, music events and public lectures that explore topics related to the cultural history of marginalized communities. She creates multi- dimensional and multi-sensory experiences that require audiences to apply critical thinking to how the arts can hold viable solutions to social inequality. Her work is inspired by underground cultural movements, the 1980s, migration studies, theories of escape, and electronic music of the African Diaspora. She’s the product of the Historically Black Fisk University with a MA from the historically radical San Francisco State University Ethnic Studies Department. DJ Lynnée Denise is a Visiting Artist at California State University’s Pan African Studies Department and its Chicano Studies Department.