Who says education and entertainment need to be mutually exclusive? Doing Something About It Inc. (DSAI) presented a dance party and informational extravaganza, with a purpose, on Saturday, Feb. 18, …
Who says education and entertainment need to be mutually exclusive? Doing Something About It Inc. (DSAI) presented a dance party and informational extravaganza, with a purpose, on Saturday, Feb. 18, at the Boys & Girls Club, located at 471 Atlantic Avenue in Bellport.
The fifth annual Cultural Empowerment Event was a celebration of diversity, culture, mentorship, and camaraderie. At least 150 area residents, from toddlers to seniors, and everyone in between, enjoyed this year’s lineup of performances, along with a wealth of information.
One of the highlights of the unique event was a visceral and vibrant performance by the Shinnecock Indian Nation, of Southampton. Their tribal and cultural dances were accompanied by compelling storytelling—illustrating the origin of each dance—and incorporating key aspects of their history and worldview through the universal language of music.
DSAI believes in fostering proactive and tangible change in the community—starting on a grassroots level—and reaching for the stars. Their vision is to elevate the socioeconomic status of those it serves by facilitating self-sufficiency, accomplishment, and unity. Partnering with the Boys & Girls Club in this endeavor is a natural extension of its aim to collaborate with the area’s influential organizations who share in a similar mission.
Knowledge is power, and in keeping with the goal of aiding all members of the community to succeed—while fulfilling their dreams and supporting themselves and their families—those in attendance were fortunate to receive the potentially life-changing information imparted by Neil Korenbaum, business instructor at Eastern Suffolk BOCES (ESBOCES) in his presentation, “How do I start a business?”
Founder and executive director of DSAI, Baron A. Permenter, was on hand to engage with the community and to take part in the spectacular event, which began at 4 p.m. “It’s a great turnout and energy, with a concert vibe,” he said over the upbeat music, as the DJ encouraged those in attendance to get up and dance, despite it still being the afternoon. Many in the effervescent audience were more than happy to oblige.
Legis. Dominick Thorne (7th Legislative District) was in attendance, joined by Bishop Edward Robinson, of the Long Island Breakthrough Center. Robinson is the chair of the 7th Legislative District’s Clergy Council, of which Thorne is an active part.
“Pastors and faith leadership tell what’s going on in the neighborhood. I think it’s the first of its kind. Ask one person in one political party what’s going on, and you’ll get a different answer from each, but if you ask faith leaders, they’ll tell you what’s really going on,” said Thorne, who has been vocal about his intention for increasing unity and reaching across party lines. “It’s important for clergy to be able to talk directly to me.”
Robinson echoed a similar sentiment at the event.
“Programs like this bring the community together, to the same table, to celebrate gifts, talents, and to discover a love that really overrides the temptation to be divided and angry. You have so many talents from so many different aspects of the community,” the affable pastor said, marveling at the array of cultures and offerings displayed during the wholesome festivities. “So, when we’re able to come together, share food, and see that there are more reasons to celebrate than to hate—then that’s power.”
For more information go to DSAI.us.
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