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Bayard Rustin:  The Man Behind the Dream

Composed by Steve Milloy


A combined mass choir of 160 singers from the Miami Valley and Greater Cincinnati areas has been rehearsing all summer and will come together with instrumentalists and soloists for four performances of Bayard Rustin: The Man Behind the Dream by Cincinnati Composer and Conductor Steve Milloy.


Bayard Rustin (1912-1987) was a leading strategist of the American Civil Rights Movement. Rustin organized the famous 1963 March on Washington and it was Rustin’s understanding and teaching of non-violence that had a major influence on the tactics and strategy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.   Rustin's life as a gay, Black activist, a Quaker and a singer will be told and celebrated through the Ohio premiere of this powerful choral work.


Guest soloists will be La’Shelle Allen, mezzo soprano and Keith Dean, bass-baritone. The three Dayton area performances will be conducted by Jeremy Winston of Central State University and the final concert in Cincinnati will be conducted by Chris Miller, Minister of Music at Mt. Auburn Presbyterian Church.


In addition to the four performances of the Oratorio, there will be a multi-event symposium in numerous area venues that will explore aspects of Bayard Rustin life and his relevance to today’s world. Cincinnati Black Pride would like to highlight a few of the many events.


  • Bayard Rustin Dr. King Official FB




Celebrating Our Leaders in Greater Cincinnati


About Steve Milloy


Currently Steve is Artistic Director of the Cincinnati Men’s Chorus and Music Director at St. John’s United Church of Christ in Bellevue, KY.  He has also served as the music director of the Martin Luther King Coalition Chorale and artistic director of the Diverse City Youth Chorus. Steve has been commissioned to compose or arrange pieces for dozens of church & community choruses in the US and UK and received a BA in Music from Miami University and a MM in conducting from the University of Cincinnati/College-Conservatory of Music.

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About Pastor Lesley Jones


Trailblazer, Founder, Minister, Bridgebuilder, Public Theologian, Radio Show Host, Social Justice Warrior is a native of Jones County, North Carolina.  She lives in Cincinnati where she founded and now co-pastors Truth & Destiny Fellowship UCC, a progressive,multi-faith, affirming ministry, with her spouse.  Considered to be “one to watch” in Cincinnati politics, she finished 12th in 2017 with a field of 27 candidates in her first bid for City Council. Including LGBT folks, women and people of faith in her  work she has taken a lead in organizing to increase progressive, African-American political power, influence and impact. Blending her life experiences, professional background and justice journey she will bring a unique perspective and deep insight to the conversation.


About Tim’m West


Tim'm T. West is a native of Cincinnati, Ohio and raised in both Little Rock and Taylor, Arkansas. He is an educator, poet, youth advocate, and Hip Hop artist who has, for decades, traveled the nation speaking about issues at the intersection of race, gender, sexuality, and social justice. A graduate of Duke University (BA), The New School for Social Research (MA), and Stanford University (MA), he is author of several books, Hip-Hop projects, and is widely anthologized.

In 2004 Tim’m started the Front Porch: a performance art series that has mobilized hundreds of artists for more than a decade. He has also appeared in multiple documentaries at the intersection of Hip Hop and black masculinity, among them Alex Hinton’s Pick Up the Mic, Byron Hurt’s Hip Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes, and Mario Van Peebles’ Bring Your ‘A’ Game. In October 2016, Tim’m released his 6th solo Hip-Hop/Soul project, ICONography, incidentally in the same month he was named 2015 LGBT History Month Icon. Tim’m has since 2014 led Teach For America’s national LGBTQ+ Community Initiative, advancing safer and braver classrooms for LGBTQ students pre K-12 and their educators. In 2017, wanting to better capture his holistic experiences as a celebrated Renaissance Man, Tim’m migrated the virtual home for his life’s work from  to a broader portal mobilizing his leadership and innovation in educational, creative, and social justice spheres. In 2017 Tim'm moved back to his native Cincinnati where he is on the Board for Wordplay Cincy, sits on the LSDMC for Chase Elementary, and has helped relaunch Cincinnati Black Pride, alongside other various leadership and creative engagements. In October 2018, he will release Prodigal Son Anthology, capturing the best of his career as a Hip Hop artist over two decades in addition to a few new tracks.

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