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Civil Rights Icon Harry Belafonte Welcomed to Social Justice Hub Board of Directors

Progressive social justice retreat center, Bailey Farms, announces Harry Belafonte as latest board member


OSSINING, NEW YORK - In the past week, Harry Belafonte, renowned civil rights activist and legendary artist, was welcomed to the board of directors of Bailey Farms, a progressive retreat center hosted by the Center of Popular Democracy. Located in Ossining, New York, Bailey Farms is a space for social justice leaders, community organizers, and artists to reflect, plan, create and find sanctuary. 

The Center for Popular Democracy, a national network of more than 50 community organizations dedicated to achieving racial and economic justice, has successfully operated Bailey Farms since 2016 under the core belief that radical change and breakthroughs for justice are not accidental, but the result of innovative organizing and planning. The nearly $11 million renovation plan was designed to facilitate larger gatherings, creative programming, and overnight accommodation in a serene environment. The plan will provide creative visionaries with a performing arts space, installation areas and an artist in residency program.

In response to the invitation to join the board Mr. Belafonte expressed, “I’m much reminded in this moment of words by Paul Robeson that have guided much of my life: ‘artists are the gatekeepers of truth, they are civilization’s radical voice.’ I believe no movement can be advanced without a clear statement on the role of artists. We have an imperative to get as many artists on the same page to discuss what they are doing in their independent spaces. We also need their wisdom. Bailey Farms will give leaders, from the artist to the activist community, the forum to discuss, debate, and come to concrete actions that will direct national mobilization efforts.”

Tina Habib, managing director at Bailey Farms added, “the Bailey Farms board is privileged to work closely with an icon who will grant invaluable knowledge and decades of partnerships with esteemed social justice champions. Mr. Belafonte’s leadership and support will foster the vision of a collaboration hub that aims to challenge the frustrating political and economic climate rooted in intersecting systems of oppression in the United States. It is a great honor to work with Harry Belafonte, an American legend, in this capacity. His core values of gathering leaders across disciplines strikes the same cord of the popular democracy we understand is critical to build a country where every person has the freedom to live, stay, move, and thrive. We are excited for this new chapter for Bailey Farms that will embrace artists and community leaders to spark unique and impactful thinking.”