OrigiNation Cultural Arts Center

Empowering Youth Through Arts Engagement: A Social Issue Talk


Via Zoom

Join us for OrigiNation Cultural Arts Center’s virtual Social Issue Talk “Empowering Youth Through Arts Engagement”, on Thursday, March 25th from 11:00 am to 12:00 pm over Zoom. Founding Artistic Director, Shaumba-Yandje Dibinga and Vice President of Emerson College and Executive Director of ArtsEmerson, David C. Howse will discuss the importance of arts involvement and the efforts to support dance education in youth from diverse backgrounds. OrigiNation seizes every chance to provide the most innovative and dynamic performing arts program to youth in Boston’s underserved neighborhoods, Dorchester, Roxbury & Mattapan. 


David Howse Headshot
David C. Howse, Vice President, Emerson College, and Executive Director, ArtsEmerson

David C. Howse is a recognized speaker and commentator on the arts and social integration, and for over a decade has been a leader in the arts and culture sector. In his role as Vice President of Emerson College and Executive Director of ArtsEmerson, David co-leads Emerson College's multi-faceted Office of the Arts.  David is fiscally and administratively responsible for multiple cultural venues in Downtown Boston.

David previously served as the Executive Director of the award-winning Boston Children’s Chorus (BCC), an organization that brings youth from the ages of 7 to 18 from the Greater Boston area to create harmony both musically and socially through a shared love of music. The singers’ powerful voices and rich diversity have inspired audiences in Boston and throughout the world. As a founding staff member, David was instrumental in helping grow BCC from a pilot project serving 20 kids in 2003 to a vibrant organization educating over 500 singers in 12 choirs in 5 locations. BCC was selected as a 2004 Social Innovator by the Social Innovation Forum. 

David holds degrees from Bradley University and New England Conservatory of Music and is a graduate of The Partnership, Inc.'s Next Generation Executive Leadership Program at Harvard University. He remains active with the National Arts Strategies Chief Executive Program, a consortium of 100 of the world's top cultural leaders, which addresses the critical issues that face the arts and cultural sector worldwide. As a faculty member of the Institute for Nonprofit Practice, David teaches a 22-week leadership and management seminar to nonprofit managers and executives.

David has received numerous awards and recognitions for his innovative leadership and civic contributions, including being named in 2018 as one of the GK100: Boston's Most Influential People of Color and being recognized in 2010 as one of Boston Business Journal's “40 under 40.” David serves on the Board of Corporators for Eastern Bank, as a Trustee of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, as well as on the boards of Exponential Creativity Ventures, Social Innovation Forum, and Philanthropy Massachusetts.

He lives outside of Boston with his wife, two young boys, and their dog Pluto.



Shaumba Dibinga Headshot
Shaumba-Yandje Dibinga, Founding Artistic Director, OrigiNation Cultural Arts Center                                                                                                                                                        

Shaumba-Yandje Dibinga is a Congolese American born to Rev. Dr. Dibinga wa Said and Dr. Ngolela Dibinga, refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo. She is the Founding Artistic Director of the OrigiNation Cultural Arts Center. OrigiNation was founded in 1994 and is a nonprofit performing arts organization that utilizes dance as a tool to empower young people, one dancer at a time. She is also the founder of ShapeUp with Shaumba, Inc. - a non-profit organization whose mission is to utilize dance, fitness, nutrition spoken word, and writing to heal communities.

Having studied at the Boston Conservatory and received her BA from Umass Boston, Ms. Dibinga is well versed in the Arts and African Studies. She is a trustee at the Boston Renaissance Charter Public School, a member of the Board Of Trustees and Family Council at Boston Arts Academy, the Barr Foundation Alumni Advisory Cohort, Boston Arts Leader Cohort, Co-lead of the Linde Foundation DEI Learning Group, a member of the Barr Fellows Class of 2011, and has received numerous awards for her work with OrigiNation and in Massachusetts school systems, including the Boston NAACP Image Award,  The Philanthropic Initiative's Boston Fellows Award, the Portraits of Courage Upstander's Award, the Berklee College of Music Urban Service Award, the Community Catalyst Award, the Next Steps Award and the Brother Thomas Fellowship. She continues to work with Mayor Walsh and the City of Boston, Governor Baker and the State, various school systems, institutions, and organizations.  Ms. Dibinga has created several partnerships with local organizations to continue to uplift Arts and Culture. She utilizes her experience in performing, teaching, and the arts to assist young people in overcoming any and all challenges they face in order to help them break through and become better versions of themselves.

Through her work with OrigiNation, she has traveled overseas, with teenage dancers from OrigiNation, to perform, teach free classes, create and lead service projects, donate school supplies, clothing, and hygiene items, and has built bridges between young people in places such as Jamaica, Senegal, Ghana, London, Trinidad, New Orleans, South Africa and other areas in the United States. Ms. Dibinga is also the author of the children's poetry book Pride in My Stride.

2020 Social InnovatorOrigiNation Cultural Arts Center

OrigiNation Logo
Founded in 1994, OrigiNation’s mission is to utilize innovative dance instruction, performance opportunities, and other effective development strategies to promote self-esteem, leadership development, physical fitness, and self-sufficiency among youth ages 2-18. While their programs are open to all youth who meet their age requirements, they primarily serve African American and Latino children from low-income families.



 Track Partner

JAKET Foundation


Social Issue Talk events are intended for funders and community leaders to hear from leading experts about the latest trends, best practices, and exciting innovations across a variety of fields.