Closer to Our Dream Performance Gala

On April 17, 2016 , Mama Joy’s Pride and Friends of 227 Abolitionist Place will present Closer To Our Dream Performance Gala, raising funds to revive Mama Joy’s Chatel’s vision of turning her historic home into a museum and heritage center. Proceeds from the event will go towards legal expenses and developing plans of 227 Abolitionist Place Museum and Heritage Center. The gala is hosted by Gha’il Rhodes Benjamin with performances by Resura ArkestraKakande, Mama Joy’s Pride and AbunDancers of AbunDance Academy of the Arts.

Where and When

Sunday, April 17
Doors open at 3:30 pm. Show starts at 4 pm. Event ends at 8 pm.
Roulette, 509 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11217
Dress: #CultureGlam
Social Media: #CloserToOurDream & #227AbolitionistPlace


2016 Community Conductor Award

Image of Laurie Cumbo

Laurie Cumbo
Laurie A. Cumbo is a member of the New York City Council representing the 35th District in Brooklyn, which includes the neighborhoods of Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, Crown Heights, Prospect Heights, and Bedford Stuyvesant. Ms. Cumbo currently serves as Chair of the Women’s Issues Committee and has been an aggressive champion of women’s workforce equality including gender pay equity, parental rights and reproductive rights.

2016 Harriet Tubman Joy Chatel Award
Image of Dr. Cheryl LaRocheDr. Cheryl LaRoche
For more than a decade, archaeologist Dr. Cheryl LaRoche has been researching and physically exploring the landscapes of 18th and 19th century free Black communities, their churches, cemeteries and institutions, and their relationship to the Underground Railroad.
She is a historical and archaeological consultant who combines law, history, oral history, archaeology, geography, and material culture to define nineteenth century African American cultural landscapes and its relationship to escape from slavery. She often works at the sometimes contentious interface between the public and scholars, professionals and municipalities.

Host Committee

Zaire Baptiste, Tech and Media Coordinator

Tiffany Clark, Event Design Coordinator

Kathleen Etienne, Ticket Sales Coordinator

Sakeenah Kinard, Co-Coordinator (Assisting with Auction and Event Design)

Patricia Peticolas, Volunteer Coordinator
A New York City-based Artist and Photographer with exhibits in New York, France and Chile. She is currently working on street art involving virtual presence, dreams and guerilla gardening.
Learn more at | |

Chef Elle Simone, Food and Drinks Coordinator
Founder of, a nonprofit organization mentoring young women from urban settings within the culinary arts.

Sanura Weathers, Event Planner
Food Writer at, and Parade Magazine’s Online Community Table; and Graphic Designer at CAMBA in Brooklyn, NY

Marilyn Worrell, Individual Donations & Sponsors

We are currently searching for volunteer coordinators to join our host committee for the following areas. Please email to join our host committee.

  • Sponsor Coordinator: Livestream
  • Sponsor Coordinator: NYC Businesses

Tickets & Sponsorship Information


Freedom Seeker
Advance Tickets Sale: $35 + Fees
$40 at the Door
1 General Admission ticket

Abolitionist’s Place
Early Bird Special (ends March 31, 2016): $150

1 VIP Ticket

Volunteer Opportunities Available: Free
Volunteer Opportunities available in the following areas: coat check, lobby sales, VIP check-in & ticket sales, assistance to performers & honorees, managing VIP section, help with setting up prior to event, clean up after the event and back up.

To Purchase a Sponsorship Package

Conductor Sponsorship: $1,200

  • Includes 3 VIP Tickets, swag bag, an ad in the digital journal and more

Station Agent Sponsorship: $600

  • Includes 2 VIP Tickets, swag bag, name or organization mentioned in the digital journal

Media Sponsorship

  • Includes 1 VIP Ticket, swag bag, name or organization mentioned in the digital journal
  • Request a promotional social media plan for promotion before and during the event. Will provide special code for your audience to use when purchasing tickets.
  • An online and/or print story raising awareness about 227 Abolitionist Place’s history and the gala
  • Online banner ads placed above the fold linking to ticket purchases or print ads prominently placed in publication (please provide ad specs and deadlines).

Please note: Customized sponsorship packages are available. Please email for more information.

Click Here to buy tickets and sponsorship packages.

Unable to Attend the Event?

Livestream Available During the Gala
Can’t make it or live outside of New York City? Show your support by digitally joining the celebration from anywhere in the world!

For a donation of $25, be a part of this historical event. Return to this site on January 17, 2016 at 4 pm Eastern Standard Time, and follow the directions for payment and viewing.

Visit our GoFundMe Page to make a donation.

Interested in Donating a Product or Service to the Silent Auction or VIP Swag Bag?

Please email Shawne Lee at

NOTE: 227 Abolitionist Place is in the process of obtaining its tax-exempt 501(c) non profit organization to develop an independent museum/cultural center for the celebration of American history and Brooklyn’s resistance to slavery.