Theater and Education for Student Social Change

This presentation features a collaborative effort between the Wilmette Institute and North Carolina Central University (NCCU), a historically Black university in Durham, North Carolina. These two institutions utilized the power of theater and education to put on a thought-provoking play, The Bus Stop, highlighting how the mass incarceration of Black men affects Black women, their families, and the community. The panel will include professors from NCCU, students, a formerly justice-involved activist and explore Bahá’í perspectives that question the underlying assumptions of society, the root causes of issues such as mass incarceration of people of color and the role of community building.

  • Chitra Golestani

    Chitra Golestani, Ph.D. is currently the Associate Director of the Wilmette Institute and an Adjunct Faculty at the Institute for Humane Education. She also works as a guest lecturer, qualitative researcher, and co-founder of the Paulo Freire Institute (PFI) at UCLA. Her local efforts include community-building activities and a race unity initiative with the Culver City Local Spiritual Assembly, Human Relations Committee and high school teachers.

  • Penny Carroll

    Penny Carroll's qualified achievements in social work practice, public health, and community collaboratives span over 20 years. As a lecturer at NC Central University, Department of Social Work, she empowers undergraduate and graduate students to reach their highest academic potential far beyond the classroom walls.

  • Nora Dicker

    Nora Dicker is a social worker, passionate about working alongside those with mental health conditions and justice involved individuals. She is a current MSW member student at NCCU, looking forward to graduating in May of 2023. Nora worked at a transitional house for men released from prison, and now is currently a Student Coordinator at Boomerang Youth, Inc., an alternative to suspension program Her research areas are mass incarceration and the school-to-prison pipeline.

  • Tyrone Lamont Baker

    Born and raised in Durham, North Carolina, Tyrone Lamont Baker made a series of decisions as a teenager that resulted in a 22-year prison sentence. While incarcerated, Mr. Baker completed dozens of classes, acquired numerous trades, and read over 500 books about topics ranging from hedge fund management to race relations. He also authored multiple articles for academic journals before authoring the critical, pseudo-academic text, A Convict’s Perspective: Critiquing Penology and Inmate Rehabilitation.

  • Kyla Brown

    Kyla Brown, born and raised in Greensboro North Carolina, is a rising junior attending NCCU as a theatre major. Her first few years of theatre focused more on the technical aspects rather than performance. As her debut to the front of the stage she preformed as Mahogany, a main character in the stage production of The Bus Stop. In playing Mahogany she was able to let others inside her reality while playing a character with a similar story. She is excited that thanks to the message behind the play she can reach out to others with a similar story and/or struggles.

  • Harvey McMurray

    Dr. McMurray is Professor of Criminal Justice at North Carolina Central University (NCCU). A former Washington, D.C. police officer in the early 1970s, Dr. McMurray arrived at NCCU in August, 1987. His research areas include community policing, homeland security concerns, comparative criminal justice, and community change. He served as a senior consultant for the United Nations African Institute for the Prevention of Crime and Treatment of Offenders (UNAFRI).


47th Annual Conference


The views expressed in this recording are those of the presenters and do not necessarily represent the views of the Association for Bahá’í Studies, nor the authoritative explications of Bahá’í writings.