JCAL's Literary Series Resumes This Spring With Autobiographies of The Obamas

  • March 2, 2023

Through a generous grant from Humanities New York, JCAL Reads, in its fourth year as a literary program at Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning, will present The Obamas: Black Agency and Power in the 21st Century. 

Free and open to the public, JCAL Reads is devoted to reading and discussing socially relevant and thought-provoking literature in a group setting. This spring, meeting in person on Tuesdays, 7pm, from April 25 to May 23 at JCAL (161-04 Jamaica Avenue), JCAL Reads will examine former President Barack Obama’s autobiography A Promised Land, and former First Lady Michelle Obama’s memoir, The Light We Carry.  

Free copies of both books will be provided at the end of the program. Space is limited—to sign up, click here

The Obamas: Black Agency and Power in the 21st Century will investigate contemporary Blackness and consider the Obamas’ impact on how it is envisioned. Readings and conversations will be led and facilitated by Stephanie D. Delia, an immigration attorney with deep roots in Southeast Queens, and Aleeia Abraham, founder of BlaQue Resource Network, an organization created to elevate Black businesses and communities in Queens. 

Meetings will provide readers with an opportunity to better understand and to draw comfort from the changes produced by the legacy of the first Black president and First Lady. 

About the Facilitators 

Aleeia Abraham is a social organizer committed to elevating Black people in Queens, New York. Born and raised in Queens, Aleeia is best known for founding The BlaQue Resource Network, a community collective of 22,000 people dedicated to organizing Black business owners, consumers and community members in Queens. For her outstanding service and contributions, Aleeia has been honored by Congressman Gregory W. Meeks, NY State Senator Leroy Comrie, NY City Council Member Jimmy Van Bramers and Selvena Brooks-Powers, and Assembly Member Khaleel Anderson. In 2020, Queens Borough President Sharon Lee proclaimed August 10, 2020 as BlaQue Resource Network Day in Queens. Aleeia was named one of the 100 Most Influential People in Queens by City & State Magazine in 2021. Most recently, Aleeia is the proud recipient of a New York City Award by Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz, presented during their February 2022 Black History Month celebration. Aleeia’s commitment to creating a local community ecosystem of mentorship, support and partnership has been proven steadfast through her actions, initiatives and continuous service.  

Stephanie D. Delia is an accomplished immigration attorney with 10 years’ experience developing and implementing trauma-informed, linguistically and culturally responsive immigration legal service programs for low-income communities. She is the founder of The Haitian Legal Network and managing attorney at the law office of Stephanie D. Delia, as well as a legal consultant at several community-based organizations, where she partners to develop and implement small-scale immigration service models that meet the needs of their immigrant communities. Prior to starting her law firm and nonprofit organization, Stephanie worked in the nonprofit immigration law practice sector for nine years, where she started as a part-time staff attorney and later became managing attorney of a multimillion-dollar grant at that same organization. Stephanie is highly active in her community and chairs the immigration committee at the Haitian American Lawyers Association (HALA-NY). She is a member of the Queens Chamber of commerce, Queens County Bar Association (QCB), Queens County Women’s Bar Association (QCWB), American Immigration Lawyers’ Association (AILA), and a Board member of Queens Community Board 13 (QCB13). Stephanie received her BA from John Jay College of Criminal Justice, her Juris doctor from Western Michigan University, and she is admitted to practice law in the 2nd department, in New York State. 

About Humanities New York 

The mission of Humanities New York is to strengthen civil society and the bonds of community, using the humanities to foster engaged inquiry and dialogue around social and cultural concerns. 

 About JCAL 

Jamaica Center for Arts & Learning (JCAL), founded in 1972, is a multidisciplinary arts center based in the diverse community of Southeast Queens. Our mission is devoted to offering quality visual, performing, and literary arts, and to providing accessible education programs to encourage participation in the arts. JCAL is open Monday through Saturday from 10am to 6pm; closed Sundays and major holidays. For additional information, call JCAL at 718-658-7400 or visit JCAL.org. 

 Media Contact:  

Tyrel Hunt, Marketing Director 347-515-3652 or tyrelh@jcal.org