Gina Belafonte ’83
Gina Belafonte ’83 is an award-winning producer, director, actress, educator, prison abolitionist, and freedom activist.
Co-founder of Sankofa.org, Belafonte has been using art as a tool for over 25 years to communicate messages of hope and civic engagement. Since its creation in 2013 Sankofa.org has been on the front lines and at the intersection of art and activism, organizing thousands to stand up for justice.
As one of the lead organizers, Belafonte helped create one of the largest marches in US history as a Women’s March Los Angeles co-chair, MC, and producer.
One of Gina’s favorite things is collaboration, and she has contributed to and partnered on many projects with artists such as Whoopi Goldberg, Alfre Woodard, Billy Porter, Laverne Cox, Jesse Williams, Douglas Miles, Shepard Farey, Ernesto Farrell, Hank Willis Thomas, and For Freedoms to name a few.
Her leadership at Sankofa.org has led to some of the largest voting campaigns in US history. “Art has a unique way of opening hearts and minds. Giving audiences an opportunity to see themselves reflected in the art itself. Art not only shows the world as it is but as it could be.”
As an artist, Belafonte has produced several international and critically acclaimed documentaries that have been seen on HBO, PBS, and Prime, some of which include Sing Your Song, A Survivor’s Guide To Prison, and The March.
Belafonte produced the awe-inspiring Many Rivers To Cross Music and Art Festival in Georgia just before the 2016 Vote in an effort to educate voters on the issues of voter suppression and mass incarceration. The headliners of that festival were Carlos Santana, Dave Mathews, Estelle, Maxwell, Common, Dianne Reeves, John Legend, TI, Macklamore,
Alyce Smith and so many more.
Instead of DJ sets between musical acts, we created space for national and local activists to speak to the thousands of guests who came to the festival, such as Stacy Abrams, Angela Davis, Rashad Robinson, Sonia Sanchez, and Brian Stevenson +. At that time, this festival was a venue for the largest voter registration in HeadCount history.