FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
This Week on ‘Lunch With Loree’: Art, Culture & Social Justice
Featured Guest: Ina Norris, Founder of the New York Kwanzaa Film Festival
NYC Mayoral Candidate Loree Sutton & Social Justice Advocate Monica Haris Host Weekly Facebook Live Program
Examining Issues & Policy Through the Lens of Mental & Public Health
NEW YORK CITY (Dec. 22, 2020)—Ina Norris, founder and director of the New York Kwanzaa Film Festival, will be the featured guest on the Dec. 23 segment of “Lunch With Loree,” the new Facebook Live series launched by New York City mayoral candidate Brigadier Gen. Loree, Sutton, MD.
The segments are streamed via Facebook Live every Wednesday at 12 Noon at https://www.facebook.com/LoreeSuttonNYC/.
Lunch With Loree examines the urgent issues facing the city through the lens of public and mental health, and offers New Yorkers the opportunity to ask Loree questions directly. Each segment will examine the physical and psychological impacts of the major crises facing New York City, explore services and solutions, and may include expert guests from the fields of public health, medicine, health care, mental health and wellness.
Joining Loree in these important conversations is co-host Monica Haris, an advocate with Sanctuary For Families Survivor Leadership Coalition and creator of Self Love Empowerment Coaching Sustainability.
In this week’s segment, Wednesday, Dec. 23, 12 Noon, Loree and co-host Monica Haris will be joined by Ina Morris for a discussion on the historic and on-going role of art and culture in the fight for social justice and in elevating the voices of marginalized communities. Ina will also offer an overview of this year’s Kwanzaa film festival and preview a clip of her film, “First Fruit.”
As a physician and psychiatrist who served as the U.S. Army’s top-ranked psychiatrist, Loree Sutton can offer unique insight into the public and mental health dimensions of the city’s current crises and how government policy interacts with mental and public health, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
ABOUT INA NORRIS & THE NEW YORK KWANZAA FILM FESTIVAL
Ina Norris is the founder and director of the New York Kwanzaa Film Festival and the creator of A Woman Productions. She is an award-winning playwright, poet and producer and the New York Foundation Fellow Playwright since 2002. As an educator, mentor and community organizer, Ina has served as the Director for the Performing Arts at the Learning Tree Preparatory School in the Bronx and is the founder of the New York City Young Producers Project.
Ina’s writing has earned awards such as the Poetry Society’s Editor’s Choice Award for poetry and the Gregory Millard New York Foundation of the Arts Fellowship. Her plays have been produced and performed at the Henry Street Settlement Playhouse, the Black National Theater and the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. She has collaborated with esteemed artists such as Barbara Ann Teer, Dame Grease and Danny Simmons of Def Poetry Jam.
The 4th Annual Kwanzaa International Film Festival is a community-based festival out of Harlem, with a mission to create space for emerging filmmakers to engage in conversation in and around the Diaspora.
Founded on the principles of the Black & Pan-African holiday of Kwanzaa, KFF is committed to creating a space centered on unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and faith.
Since 2016, the festival has partnered with numerous community organizations and BIPOC businesses. It has featured the work of over 20 students from universities in the tri-state area. This year will feature industry workshops on production, scoring, distribution, and talkbacks with this year’s filmmakers. KFF will have one-on-one conversations with critics, thinkers, actors and producers, sharing their insider’s knowledge of the industry. Due to COVID-19, the festival will be conducted entirely online via Festivee.com.
Films from the festival will be selected to be part of the Four Seasons of Kwanzaa Film Festival Tour. The winning selections will have the opportunity to be reviewed by Digital Media Rights for a distribution offer.
ABOUT LOREE SUTTON
Loree Sutton, MD is a lifelong public servant and retired Brigadier General who, as the Army’s highest-ranking psychiatrist and Commissioner of New York City’s Department of Veterans’ Services, has devoted 35 years of service to the nation and New York.
Loree’s decorated Army career includes earning a Bronze Star for her actions in combat while deployed to Operation Desert Storm. Selected as a White House Fellow, the nation’s premier leadership program, Sutton also commanded the Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center at Fort Hood, TX during the height of Operation Iraqi Freedom hostilities. Serving as the Founding Director of the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury, Loree’s visionary leadership yielded transformational change for generations to come.
In New York City, Loree served as the Founding Commissioner for New York City’s Department of Veterans’ Services (DVS.) Under Sutton’s leadership, DVS, the nation’s first municipal agency devoted solely to improving the lives of veterans and their families, pioneered numerous groundbreaking policy and innovative program successes. Select DVS actions include achieving a 90 percent decrease in veteran homelessness; establishing veterans as a protected class in NYC human rights law; and pioneering the city’s first social impact bond for veteran employment (a full report on DVS achievements can be found here.)
Loree’s campaign for Mayor launched in November of 2019, fueled by her conviction that New York City faces challenges which exceed the capacity of ‘politics as usual’ to lift up all New Yorkers and lead our city forward. She passionately believes there’s nothing wrong with New York that cannot be fixed with what’s right with New York — and that’s all of us, working together, now.
Married to Laurie Leitch, Loree is stepmother to Laurie’s two children, Chris and Lindsay, and cherishes their two grandsons. They share their home with beloved pup Moxie and are forever proud New Yorkers.
ABOUT MONICA HARIS
Monica Haris is an advocate with Sanctuary For Families Survivor Leadership Coalition and was recognized as the Advocate of New York 2019 for her work around gender based and domestic violence. She is the creator of Self Love Empowerment Coaching Sustainability, a 12-16-week program that provides a process for recycling healing into creativity and manageable tools. The program can serve individuals, groups and couples and can be tailored for the appropriate audience. A sought-after public speaker, Monica provides workshops, coaching and training, and has trained doctors, social workers, correction officers, educators, superintendents, and new employees on the signs and impact of domestic and gender-based violence. Last year, Monica co facilitated a support group with a police officer last year for victims and survivors of domestic violence. A native New Yorker, she began her advocacy after experiencing both domestic violence and police brutality.
Monica’s more than 20 years as a community and political organizer extends to education, where she has worked as a shadow teacher in private elementary schools and collaborated with the Mt. Hope Community based organization to grant financial scholarships to help elementary school students establish college funds. As a public-school parent, Monica served as PTA president, sat on the Chancellor’s Advisory Board, and chaired the Women Presidents Council and the District Leadership Team. She is a founding member of the District One Parent Coalition.
Monica is a published poet in an “Anthology of Poems,” written with internationally acclaimed author Hettie Jones, and is currently writing several women-empowerment and healing books.
FOLLOW THE CAMPAIGN:
You Tube: Sutton for the City
CONTACT THE CAMPAIGN: