Community Salon Series

Poetry, Power & Play 

Wednesday, October 13 - 6-7:15pm

Poetry - in myriad forms - has the power to inspire, elevate and transform. As Emily Dickenson wrote, it allows us to, "Tell all the truth, but tell it slant". While poetry can be free-standing, it is often embedded in the most powerful orations, speeches, plays and songs. Bring your own reflections on your favorite poetic work (whatever its form) and join us in conversation with Dereke Clements (Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion), Marvin K. White (Minister of Glide, poet, activist) and Victoria Evans Erville (theater maker, playwright). All community members are welcome to this free event. On Zoom.

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  • Victoria Evans Erville (Playwright, Theater Artist)
  • Marvin K. White (Minister of Glide Memorial Church; Poet & Arts Organizer)
  • Dereke Clements (Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion; Artist & Scholar)
Detailed bios
Victoria Evans ErvillePlaywright, Theater Artist
Victoria Evans Erville has held a range of roles as an artist and arts leader in the Bay Area. She has served as the Arts Education Outreach Director for the San Francisco Shakespeare Festival and for the Marin Theatre Company, as well as Artistic Director of the African-American Shakespeare Company and of Women’s Will Theater Company. Currently focused on her creative work as a playwright, Ms. Evans Erville is a member of the Dramatists Guild. In the Bay Area, she is in the Writers Pool for Playground and was a 2019-2020 Brady Fellow with 3girlsTheatre, with Music of Mothers winning further development at the company for 2022.  A reading of her short play Teen Profit will be produced at Dragon’s Egg Productions in December 2021 and she has been commissioned to develop a play for the Juneteenth Project that will be performed  on June 19, 2022.
Marvin K. WhiteMinister of Glide Memorial Church; Poet & Arts Organizer
Marvin K. White is Glide Memorial Church’s Minister of Celebration, as well as  a Poet, Writer, Public Theologian, Visual Artist and Arts Organizer. Marvin is a graduate of the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley CA, and was the inaugural "First Church Berkeley 2017-2018 Public Theologian in Residence." He is an ordained deacon at City of Refuge UCC, and has worked as a co-facilitator of the "Faith Leaders Round Table" at The Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society. He was also a YBCA fellow in the “What Does Equity Look Like?”program that brought together creative citizens from across the Bay Area to engage in a yearlong process of inquiry, dialogue, and project generation. He is the author of four collections of poetry and co-editor of If We Have to Take Tomorrow: HIV, Black Men & Same Sex Desire an anthology by black writers on black love, black resistance and black joy.
Dereke ClementsDirector of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion; Artist & Scholar

The French American and International’s Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion,  Dereke Clements holds over a decade of experience within the cultural sector as an arts administrator, grant writer, and researcher driving access, equity, and inclusion in the arts and education, and has taught in the U.S., France, and Ireland.

His studies, training, and research have been funded by the U.S. Department of State, The French Embassy, and have taken him to the University of North Carolina Greensboro, The Martha Graham Center for Contemporary Dance, l’Université d’Angers, Ballet Preljocaj, and l’Université Aix-Marseille III. In 2020, he was a Visiting Research Fellow at Georgia State University in the Department of World Languages and Cultures. In 2015 Dereke was a California Art Leaders Investment Grant recipient with the California Center for Cultural Innovation. His overseas work included serving as a project manager in Paris for historic preservation efforts at James Baldwin’s former villa in Saint-Paul de Vence.