Dr. Nnenna Ogwo (pianist) and Erika Banks-Alvarez (soprano) presented a workshop for the 2021 Center for Equity and Cultural Wealth (CECW) Institute: “The Urgency of Now: Transformative Resistance in Higher Education” on June 3, 2021. The workshop was titled: Musical Programming as Transformative Resistance. It was a performance lecture that shared how being a classically trained artist of color is in and of itself, an act of resistance. Creating an organization dedicated to illuminating the vast repertoire of composers of the African Diaspora, even more so. Nnenna Ogwo’s work of the past 6 years especially has been shaped by a desire to give voice to the great Black composers of our collective past as well as introduce audiences to the work being created right now.

This workshop took the form of a small recital and asked the question of the nature of transformative resistance as an act of being and creation for the black artist in higher education institutions and into the concert world beyond. Nnenna and Erika also offered resources to participants to help them find the music that speaks more directly to their cultural experience in the framework of Classical music.