Teaches these classes at Traditions Weeks

Lea Gilmore has been said to command a "rich and passionate voice in all ways... a gift from her soul to our ears and our heart." The jazz, blues, folk and gospel vocalist has lent her voice, literally and figuratively, to advocacy for the under-served around the globe and in her own backyard.

Named by Essence Magazine as one of "25 Women Shaping the World," Lea is a past winner of the Blues Foundation's "Keeping the Blues Alive" award (the “Grammys of the Blues”) for her historical work on women's contributions to the Blues. Lea is the recipient of the 2016 Golden Formstone Award from Baltimore's Creative Alliance for her efforts with community arts and commitment to social justice. She was also recently hailed by the Jazz Journalists Association as the 2018 Baltimore Jazz Hero for her work in music and social justice. For the Father Damien Foundation, headquartered in Brussels, Belgium, Lea lead Gospel concerts across Belgium with Belgian youth, church, classical and community choirs, all performing African American Gospel music to sold out audiences at cathedrals, arenas and cultural centers. She recorded three Gospel CDs and filmed a documentary in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, raising funds for the Foundation providing healing and resources for those with leprosy and tuberculosis in Africa, Asia and The Americas. 

She has received other recognitions for her dedication to equality and justice, including being named one of the first recipients of the James Baldwin Medal for Civil Rights for her work championing LGBTQ equality. In addition: Lea served four terms on the Maryland Advisory Board for the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, has worked diligently for reproductive justice for Native American women (indeed, all women), and is a staunch and vocal supporter for justice for all. Lea co-authored and coordinated the publication “Reproductive Justice in Communities of Color” for the National Abortion Federation. She has served as the Deputy Director of the ACLU of Maryland; Policy Director and Director of Community Outreach for Equality Maryland, where she directed the Maryland Black Family Alliance (MBFA) and Pride in Faith. She directed and managed the African-American Philanthropy Initiative while Program Director for the Association of Baltimore Area Grantmakers (ABAG). Lea currently serves as the Minister for Racial Justice and Multicultural Engagement and First Service Music Director for Govans Presbyterian Church in Baltimore, Maryland.

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