TV: Dehkontee Artists’ peace lectures start next month

Dr. Gbaba (right) having a tete-a-tete in studio with some PhillyCAM staff

The Dehkontee Artists Theatre, Inc. (DATI) “Kukatonon Peace Project” debuts on local TV channels in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (USA) and on other worldwide cyber and social media channels on Monday, May 4 from 3-4 p.m. U.S. Eastern Standard Time.

The “Kukatonon Peace Project” is a cultural, historical, and educational lecture series that focuses on the peacebuilding initiative of DATI in Philadelphia and Liberia, respectively.

The project is a collaborative venture between DATI and the Philadelphia Community Access Media (PhillyCAM) and the lecture series is delivered by DATI’s Executive Director, Liberian American playwright, theatre director and actor, Dr. Joe Gbaba.

The television broadcast will air for a year every Monday from 3-4 p.m., beginning May 4. It ends on May 4 next year.

The lecture series consists of twelve episodes. Each episode will be aired repeatedly for one month before a new episode is introduced.

For instance, Episode One titled “Promoting Peace and Reconciliation and Gun Violence Prevention” will air every Monday in the month of May: May 4, 11, 18, 25; and then Episode Two (“Foundations of Society”) will air June 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, and so forth.

Local Philadelphia residents can watch DATI “Kukatonon Peace Project” on the following local cable channels: Xfinity Channel 66;  Xfinity Channel 966 HD; and Fios Channels 29 & 30. 

Viewers around the world can watch the telecast on the following worldwide channels: PhillyCAM. org/watch; Roku; and Apple TV.

The lectures will also be accessed on Dehkontee’s website, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and on Vimeo as well.

Dr. Gbaba provides a sixty-minute lecture on various topics related to peacebuilding in Philadelphia and the Republic of Liberia where the organization is carrying out a peacebuilding project in collaboration with Liberian college youths.

The DATI “Kukatonon Peace Project” television series touches on various aspects of peacebuilding, provides basic historical and cultural facts that reveal the root causes of the Liberian Genocide, and appeals to Liberians and all peace-loving people to demand social justice for victims and survivors of the Liberian Genocide.

The lecture series also focuses on the foundations of the Liberian society and those of the United States to enlighten its audience to promote peace and nonviolence in society.

The lecture series also focuses on Liberian-U.S. relations and how citizens from both nations can work together to create more cordial bilateral relations between both nations.

The DATI Kukatonon Peace Project and the DATI Montserrado (Dougbor) Chapter were officially launched in Liberia on November 16, 2019 at the Providence Baptist Church Shrine in Monrovia.

Nineteen college youths successfully completed their training and received their certificates in peace education, conflict mediation and techniques in creating cultural awareness.

The Maryland Genelue Chapter of Dehkontee Artists Theatre staged a dramatic launch attended by hundreds of guests including the youths and elders in Harper City and adjacent cities and villages in Maryland County, eastern Liberia.

DATI Montserrado Dougbor Chapter graduates and Guest Speaker, Hon. Charles Boimah Blake, Sr.

Twenty-five college youths that attend or graduated from Tubman University in Harper successfully completed their course and received certificates as well.

In early 2020, a third DATI chapter called the DATI Lofa Wologizi Chapter was established in Northern Liberia.

Members of the Wologizi Chapter have begun their first cohort training while both the Montserrado and Maryland Chapters have recruited more than seventy college students and have begun cohort II training in both counties.

To date, the estimated membership of the DATI Kukatonon Peace Project in Liberia is 135 college youths who are survivors and victims of the Liberian Genocide.

There are even more Liberian youths who have expressed their ardent desire to join DATI’s peacebuilding campaign and establish additional DATI chapters throughout Liberia but that is being put on hold for now due to lack of funding, logistical supports and operational budget to successfully implement the DATI Kukatonon Peace Project in Liberia.

However, interestingly, lack of funding has not deterred Liberian college youths from supporting DATI’s peace initiatives.

The youths themselves have made enormous financial and material sacrifices to keep the project up and running as DATI’s administration pursues various avenues to raise and solicit much needed funds to implement a worthwhile national and humanitarian project to relieve Liberians of being held hostage by Liberian warlords and economic criminals.

Similarly, a group of patriotic Liberian citizens in Liberia and abroad have also identified with and continue to support the Kukatonon Peace Project in Liberia under the umbrella of the Kukatonon Peace and Reconciliation Initiative, Inc. (KPRI) and the DATI-Liberia and DATI-U.S.A. Boards of Directors.

Some members of DATI-Liberia Board of Directors & DATI executives

Current DATI Board members in the United States of America are Mrs. Felicia Gaye-Wright, Mrs. Julia Cooper-Grear, Mrs. Juliana Koffa-Dixon, Mrs. Ariminta H. Gbaba, Timothy Gardiner, Harrison Jiedueh, Josephus Cassell, Dr. William Deiyan Towah and Dr. Joe Gbaba.

DATI-Liberia Board members include D. Sheba Brown, Dr. Benetta Collins-Andrews, Samuel Thompson, Counselor Emmanuel Armah Tulay, Christopher Wreh Brapoh, Charles Boimah Blake, Dr. Joe Gbaba and DATI’s Chief Sponsor, Honorable Herbie Teconbla McCauley.

As a renowned African cultural and educational organization DATI promotes peace and reconciliation and gun violence prevention through the performing and visual arts and Afrocentric literacy.

The management of Dehkontee Artists Theatre would like to thank the management of PhillyCAM for their ardent support and collaboration in promoting peace and reconciliation and gun violence prevention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.A., and in the Republic of Liberia, respectively.

DATI Public Relations Section