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January 18, 2012

Baobab Cultural Center Lecture Series Features Northeastern Seminary Scholars

ROCHESTER – Ajilon Ferdinand, doctor of ministry candidate at Northeastern Seminary in Rochester, N.Y. and pastor at New Testament Church of God in Mile End, St. Ann, Jamaica, will give a lecture at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 21, titled “Dancehall Clash: A Powerful Subculture of Dancehall Music and its Impact on Youth in Rural Jamaica” at the Baobab Cultural Center, 728 University Ave., Rochester, N.Y.

This lecture investigates the effects of violence in dancehalls on youth in Jamaican communities. Rev. Ferdinand will also discuss his role as pastor, cultural mentor, and alternative role model in the lives of these youth, as well as his use of sports in response to the negative behavior.

This lecture is sponsored by the Rochester Jamaican Association.

Also featured is J. Richard Middleton, professor of biblical worldview and exegesis at Northeastern Seminary. His presentation, at 6 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 3, is titled “The Subversive Spirituality of Reggae: ‘Resisting against the System’ in the Music of Bob Marley and the Wailers,” and is also at the Baobab Cultural Center, 728 University Ave., Rochester, N.Y.

Using lyrics from several songs performed and recorded by Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, and Bunny Livingstone, Dr. Middleton will uncover strategies used in reggae music to resist the status quo and foster alternative identities rooted in a spiritual vision of creation.

This lecture is co-sponsored by the Rochester Jamaican Organization, The Program of Black Church Studies at Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School, and the Frederick Douglass Institute at the University of Rochester.

The Baobab Cultural Center offers community dialogue series with a goal of blurring lines between institutions and the public, offering awareness of present-day concerns to the Rochester community. Both lectures are contributions in celebration of the 50th anniversary of Jamaican Independence sponsored by the Rochester Jamaican Organization Inc.

Since opening its doors in 1998, Northeastern Seminary on the campus of Roberts Wesleyan College has continued to grow in prominence as a significant resource for the church community in upstate New York. Northeastern Seminary is an independent, multi-denominational seminary in its approach to theological education leading to an academically and professionally accredited Master of Divinity, Master of Arts in Theological Studies, or Doctor of Ministry degree.  The student body is comprised of more than 30 different Christian faith traditions represented among 150 students and 300 graduates ministering around the nation and world.  For more information visit or call 1-800-777-4792.