D. Ruff is a spoken word poet, author of “Staying on 94: Tales from a Misguided Soul”, Creative Director of Boston Pulse Poetry program and has been the co-host of the “if you can Feel It, you can Speak It” Open Mic movement, held at Bella Luna/ Milky Way in Jamaica Plain, for the last 10 years. He has been writing and performing for over 20 years. Most of his poems stem from personal experiences and his environments and therefore range in topics from black love and heartbreak to inequality and black culture. D. Ruff performs with inspiring passion in hopes that any black body, will also want to find a way to express themselves, find that “tribe” and achieve their greatness, with the intention of leaving the cycle of hurt, pain, and negativity, right where it was showcased.”
Founded in 1994 by Artistic Director Shaumba-Yandje Dibinga, OrigiNation, Incorporated is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that produces innovative and dynamic performing arts programs that motivate, challenge, and inspire youth to be the best they can be. They offer quality dance, theater arts, and African history education. Special emphasis is placed on teaching young people between the ages of 2 through 18 the importance of self-respect, health, nutrition, education, self-esteem, and the extent of African influences on various contemporary art forms. Every year they serve close to 150 young people through their on-site programs and an additional 1,500 youth through our off-site programs. They provide youth of all levels with training in multiple dance forms, public speaking, and martial arts. OrigiNation also implements special initiatives to raise their students’ awareness about pertinent social issues and to facilitate their development into well-rounded, productive citizens within their families and communities. While their programs are open to all youth, they focus their efforts on providing services to young people from Boston’s underserved neighborhoods, which include Dorchester, Roxbury, and Mattapan.