Our Story

DORILL is NOT just a middle name.
DORILL are values that shaped our founder as a human being and artist.


As a young boy growing up in the Lower East Side, Tareake was always aware of the beauty and history of his neighborhood, but most importantly cognizant of the challenges his community and peers faced on the daily. The famous line in that neighborhood for the people growing up in it is, “I hope I can make it out.”

It’s because of the support from his family, teachers, friends and programs like Rosie’s Theater Kids and Dancing Classrooms that Tareake feels he was able to make it out. These programs provided him with a platform to strengthen his talents and develop his voice. At a very young age, Tareake’s parents instilled in him the importance of giving back and always looking out for the well being of others.

In 2010 at 14 years old, Tareake directed and choreographed a show called, Take a Stand Against Diabetes, to raise money and bring awareness to diabetes. In 2012, he produced a show called, One Voice / One World, to raise money and bring awareness to the affects of Hurricane Sandy in the Lower East Side. Both showcases raised money and proceeds went to the American Diabetes Association and the American Red Cross.

“Stories shape us just as much as we shape the stories we create. We need to value our individual story, listen to our neighbor’s story, and open our hearts and minds to the multiple stories waiting to be heard around the world.” – Tareake Dorill Ramos, Founder

DIVERSITY has always existed in the human race and it’s crucial that our youth learn how to celebrate our differences. Differences are what makes us special and its what puts art, action and life in our society.

With a country divided in so many ways we at Dorill Initiative chose a path committed to providing our youth with an OPPORTUNITY to tell their stories through art and heal our communities in transformative ways.

We train our youth to develop a unique voice through literary, visual and performing arts education while cultivating the skills to RESPECT other viewpoints and to think critically of the world around them.

INCLUSION to us means we are focused on the ‘whole’ citizen artist and making sure our youth, families, and community feel included into our family. We are here to serve you and while many of our students may not want to grow up to be a professional artist it’s our responsibility that our youth be reinforced with the idea of their limitless potential.

Our youth will be the LEADERS of tomorrow and it is through the power of artistic expression that they will create a ripple effect of positive change in the communities in which we serve.

Join us in mobilizing our city’s youth in transforming social narratives through art, exploring new perspectives through engagement with the broader community, and starting and ending this entire process with LOVE.

Here at Dorill Initiative our motto is #LOVETHROUGHART
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Socksntops

My inspiration to start a custom decorated apparel shop came from me wanting to be an entrepreneur and working in the fashion world. I felt decorating apparel was a good way to show my creativity and have a chance to interact with the public. The best feeling is when a person has an idea but does not know how to create it, and I find a way to bring it to life.

Imani Schectman

As an artist, educator, and healer I use my work to capture the essence of Black and Brown people. My work is rooted in transforming and rewriting the commercial and systematic narratives of Black and Brown people. I have always been fascinated by race and beauty however as I examined contemporary art and print magazines, I couldn’t find myself the veil of whiteness. Mediums like photography became my vehicle to confront the projected images of whiteness, beauty, fashion, oppression, and cultural exclusion. My work is both a critical response and archival footage. My work is visual documentation that has the power to transform the ways we embrace our uniqueness, culture, fashion, body, and skin. As I curate my photographs; I create an environment that is pure, pure love, pure exploration, pure acceptance, and pure celebration. These experiences have proven to be therapeutic and my ultimate goal is to use my work to dignify my subjects but also our ancestors and future generations. I believe my art empowers and gives full permission of expression; humanity.

About Hawk Newsome

Hawk Newsome is an activist at the forefront of the New Civil Rights Movement. He has dedicated his adult life to the betterment of his community & our nation as a whole. The Bronx native was raised in a devout Christian household. As a youth, Hawk succumbed to the temptations of his environment and dropped out of high school. With the love and support of his family, mentors and athletic ability he was able to push forward and obtain a GED, Bachelors of Science, and law degree.

After graduating from Concordia College, Hawk worked for the Honorable Robert T. Johnson at the Bronx County Office of the District Attorney, as a paralegal, then as Special Projects Coordinator. As the DA’s liaison to the community, he worked with N.Y.C.H.A tenants’ associations and social service organizations throughout the Bronx. In his spare time, he organized drives to send medical supplies to Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

Hawk joined Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker LLP as a project manager overseeing efforts in the law firm’s 22 national and international offices. During this period, Hawk founded the Bronx Sharks, an athletic club that has sent numerous at risk youths to college on scholarship. Hawk went on to follow his childhood dream of attending law school. Hawk attended the prestigious Howard University Law School in Washington, DC. and completed his Juris Doctorate at Touro Law School in Long Island, NY. After which he ran for City Council for the Bronx district where he grew up.

Throughout his life Hawk has engaged in protests and activities to combat injustice. Over the past few years, he has worked tirelessly leading protests and seeking justice for the families of those slain by overzealous police officers. Hawk a founding BLMgreaterNY. The organization is one of the most disruptive groups in the country and are continuously fighting against anti-blackness. Not only has he helped victims of police brutality, he works with members of LGBT community, victims of the human trafficking, the mental health community, founded Black Lives Caucus. The Caucus was the first group in NYC to endorse Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Hawk has been quoted in the NYTimes, The Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, and has appeared on CNN, BBC, Power 105.1’s The Breakfast Club and various new stations locally and internationally. He is currently a feature cast member on BET’s CopWatch America.

Hawk’s parents actually met at a civil rights rally in the 1960’s, so you can say that he was born into this fight. Hawk has a 16 year old autistic son and newborn daughter. Hawk loves his family, he loves his people, and he has pledged his life to bringing justice to this unjust system.

About Pierre Dulaine

Pierre Dulaine was born in Jaffa, Palestine, but his family fled in 1948 at the creation of the State of Israel when he was four – It was in Birmingham, England at the age of 14, that Pierre began to dance, By 1972, Pierre ended up in New York City and together with Yvonne Marceau, won the British Exhibition / World

Showdance four times. In 1989 they performed in Tommy Tune’s “Grand Hotel, the musical” on Broadway for 2½ years, and were awarded the “Fred Astaire Award for Best Dancing On Broadway”. The New York Times dubbed Pierre a “Dancer and Teacher Extraordinaire.” 

 

Pierre founded Dancing Classrooms in 1994 to build social awareness, confidence, and self-esteem in children through the practice of social dance, and to date over 500,000 children worldwide have participated in the program.

In 2005 Mad Hot Ballroom, the hit documentary based on Pierre’s work with the New York City Public Schools children through Dancing Classrooms was released and in 2006, Pierre’s life was the focus of a major motion picture called Take the Lead, with Antonio Banderas portraying Pierre Dulaine and his

work with children.

 

Pierre’s latest project took him back to his place of birth…Jaffa…the documentary Dancing in Jaffa was released by the autumn of 2013; it followed his efforts to use dance in helping Israeli-Palestinian and Israeli-Jewish children – and their families – to peacefully coexist.

 

Numerous awards have been bestowed on Pierre. The Americans for the Arts Award for Arts and Education and the prestigious Ellis Island Medal of Honor in homage to the outstanding qualities he brings to America while preserving the richness of his own heritage…to name just two of the many.

About Carlina Rivera

Carlina Rivera represents the 2nd Council District which includes the diverse neighborhoods of the East Village, Flatiron, Gramercy Park, Rose Hill, Kips Bay, Murray Hill, and the Lower East Side. Since taking office in 2017, Carlina has fought for the affordability and livability of New York City by championing issues around affordable housing, small business survival, equitable healthcare, transportation, and quality of life issues. In addition to tackling these tough legislative issues, she has taken a stand for gender equity as the Co-Chair of the Women’s Caucus by sponsoring legislation on sexual harassment and the gender wage gap.

Born and raised in the Lower East Side by a single mother who emigrated from Puerto Rico, Carlina understands the unique challenges District 2 constituents face. Beginning her career as a community organizer supporting seniors and homeless people in the Lower East Side, Carlina is a staunch advocate for safe and affordable housing for all New Yorkers. It was with New York City’s housing crisis in mind that Carlina introduced and passed legislation that provides critical oversight to the short-term rental industry which has impacted the availability of housing.

Carlina is making sure that the small business owners who serve our communities are able to thrive. She has passed legislation that requires the city to provide additional resources to small business owners and to keep track of storefront vacancies. Additionally, she has partnered with community organizations to create a special low interest loan program to help revitalize struggling businesses.

Understanding that safe and effective transportation is crucial to the lives of so many New Yorkers, Carlina has also introduced and passed legislation supporting public transportation, cyclists, and pedestrians, making the city safer for all. Carlina passed Intro 1163, which requires construction sites that block bike lanes provide adequate alternative lanes for cyclists. Protecting bike lanes is one of the many ways Carlina strives to make New York a greener city.

As Chair of the Council’s Committee on Hospitals Carlina has fought tirelessly for access to better healthcare for all New Yorkers. She has prioritized reproductive justice by creating the nation’s first Abortion Access Fund, ensuring anyone who comes to New York can receive abortion care regardless of ability to pay. Carlina has also fought to ensure that no New Yorker feels alone in the overwhelming and bureaucratic health care system by introducing legislation that proposes the creation of an Office of the Patient Advocate.

In addition to tackling these major issues that impact all New Yorkers, Carlina has worked to address many of the common complaints New Yorkers face, including the noise that keeps so many of us up at night. In 2019 Carlina introduced legislation that will require the Department of Buildings to cap the amount of After Hours Variance permits it issues to construction projects. Since taking office, Carlina has received calls every day from residents who have been woken up by construction, making it difficult to enjoy their homes.

Carlina was inspired to run for office when the Lower East Side was devastated by Hurricane Sandy in 2012, and she organized volunteers to provide food, water, and emergency services to communities abandoned by the federal government. She has since secured millions of dollars for her district to improve services, programs, schools, and cultural institutions.

Carlina lives with her husband, pug, and turtle. She graduated from Marist College with a B.A. in Journalism after attending local schools her entire life.

E. Puckett Art

Erica Puckett is a self-taught artist who shares her creative visions under the moniker E. Puckett Art. Soon after picking up her paint brush for its stress relieving qualities, she noticed she was drawn to painting a recurring theme: women with afros & full lips adorned in vibrant colors. Who were these women? After connecting the dots, she realized they each represented who she wished society made it easier to be. She finds there is a lack of appreciation for the existence & experiences of women of color throughout the African Diaspora. Their images & voices are policed and stifled by Eurocentric ideas of beauty & respectability; with her art, Erica sets out to dismantle that.

Ebony Sojourner

Born and raised in Queens, N.Y., Ebony Sojourner has always had a love and a passion for storytelling and films. She has written, directed and produced several short films. After graduating from UNCSA Ebony moved back to New York to work in the film/tv industry. She landed a job on a new CBS tv show while also working on her own projects that continue to challenge her and bring her joy. Always enthusiastic about working with the youth Ebony began working for a nonprofit in the LES of Manhattan called Dorill established by an UNCSA alumni.

Fitgi Saint-Louis

Fitgi Saint-Louis is a multi-disciplinary artist who celebrates her Haitian culture through vibrant and dynamic work. A graduate of the School of Visual arts, Fitgi works in digital, textile and paper mediums. Using color and form her work tells the story of the strength of women throughout time. With each piece she invites the audience into the lives of prideful women.

Jade

I am a NYC based artist with Afro-Caribbean roots. I was born in the Dominican Republic to a Haitian father and a Dominican Mother. I graduated Highschool here and sought to pursue a career in teaching at Lehman College where I first majored in English Literature. On my very last year, I felt compelled to change my area of study, start over again and pursue my first love-Art. There, I found a passion for painting. At 25 now, I taught High School for 5 years while showcasing my work at Hunter College, Wallworks and The Lehman College Gallery. This year, I had the honor of performing At The Apollo’s Ameteour Night.

Veronica Gonmiah

Veronica is a Newark NJ native, Liberian-American artist. Veronica is a freelance photographer and visual artist, as well as an independent professional flyer and logo creator. Her art can be seen featured in short films, published works, and alongside many other art forms, such as music and theater. Along with performing as a singer and in musical theatre, Veronica also works on the production side of things, taking on such roles as production manager, stage manager, production designer, and set/costume design for many film and theatrical pieces.

Joa

I was born and raised in the Lower East Side. My art embodies the LES that I’ve always known and loved but see disappearing. In the struggle to be seen, this has taken my art to a new level. I hope others can appreciate it but I don’t make art for them. I make it to survive. So that we survive. Enjoy.

Juice

Growing up in New York has undoubtedly given me the opportunity to experience many walks of life and has also motivated me to want to experience so much more. As an introvert, at times it can be difficult to connect with the world around you. Photography has allowed me to connect in such a special way without the use of words. Being able to travel the world has been such a gift but there was always one place that I had always dreamed of being and it was Cali. In 2018 I finally booked this dream trip, a one way ticket. the energy experienced each day was immeasurable. The sunsets, the Uber rides, the food, the impromptu conversations with total strangers, everything was filled with a love that could only be felt on the West side.

ICU Glam

Canada born Nigerian with a passion for all things glam. My life’s mission has always been to encourage all women to express their true beauty through inner and outer glam. I’ve found a way to combine both my heart’s love for beauty and my love for science into one huge passion project – ICU Glam. Outside of ICU Glam, I love flowers, beautiful homes, and big dreams. I truly believe that there is nothing in this world we cannot achieve without hardwork, motivation and God. The deadliest combo.

Dee White

Dee White is an artist and educator that fell in love with the power of dance because of its incomparable role in helping her feel empowered. Battling with depression and anxiety has opened her eyes to the power of emotional expression through movement, ultimately leading her to pursue a Masters Degree at Pratt Institute’s Dance Movement Therapy Program. Combining her love for dance and psychology has continued to fuel her passion for empowering others. In 2017, she completed her Master of Science in Education at Touro College and is currently a full time Middle School Dance Teacher in the Bronx. Dee has been working with young people for more than 7 years and hopes to continue creating safe spaces for Black people to heal and connect through movement. She also continues to pursue her own passion for dance through performances and workshops in NYC!

Oñi Ocan

Liethis Hechavarria: Principal Dancer, instructor and choreographer. Originally from Santiago De Cuba, Ms. Hechavarria received her early training as a dancer from her parents, dancers Danys “La Mora” Perez Prades and Sergio Hechavarria Gallardo. Later and Chuck Davis at Alvin Ailey American dance center. At a age 6, she was a member of Adiro Omode (Corazon de Niño) in Santiago de Cuba. She also attended Escuela Nacional de Danza Moderna de Santiago de Cuba. Ms. Hechavarria didn’t miss a step when she arrived in New York as a teenager. She took Afro-Cuban diasporic classes at Djoniba Dance and Drum Center, Ailey School and Balmir Dance Company Center. Ms. Hechavarria is a founding company member and principal dancer of Oyu Oro Afro-Cuban Experimental Dance Ensemble in New York City. She has performed at Jacob’s Pillow dance festival, BAM’s DanceAfrica, Latino Cultural Festival, La Tea Theatre, Heritage Sunday at Lincoln Center Outdoors, La Mama Annex stage, WOFABE African Dance and Music Festival, Los Angeles Center outdoor Dance Festival, and Minnesota’s International dance festival. Ms. Hechavarria’s teaching venues include: Alvin Ailey, New York University Faculty of Art and Science Music Department, Cumbe, Mark Morris Dance center, Present Peridance and more.

AfroDance New York

Angel Kaba, International Creative & Artistic Director, has been collaborating with artists such as Coolio, Orishas, Kaye Styles, Rihanna, Kayne West, Taye Diggs and others. Further notable experiences involved stage/television/commercial performances and dancing for world renowned brands like Coca Cola, Levi’s, Fructis by Garnier, Nutella, Universal, RocNation, MTV, NBC, and SNAPCHAT. Kaba began her artistic career with ballet at the tender age of 6, which she pursued for more than 15 years. She also studied music theory and theater at the Music Academy of Brussels in Belgium. Beside her artistic path, she graduated with honors in Marketing from a business school in 2005. In 2006, she started working on her first musical entitled “Elya’s Dream”. By then, she had already founded her own performance company, Contre-Tendance. Her primary goal is to train artists and to create opportunities for them to express themselves on stage. “Believe in your dreams and try hard to reach them” is the leitmotif she keeps repeating to her company’s artists. Angel Kaba developed her own dance technique “Ka’frican” combining a Hip Hop foundation with Afro Urban dance styles. The foundation of urban street dance styles is incorporated as backdrop to the heavily African influenced technique. The social and pleasant side of this discipline creates an environment where students dance, have fun and feel free. She performs and teaches hip-hop & Afro’Dance master classes all over the world, including Belgium, Germany, Poland, France, Congo DRC, Martinique, Cuba and more.

Briana Young

Briana Young is a talented mezzo-soprano from Bronx, New York, who grew up with music embedded in her DNA. From the age of one, before properly speaking, she had the God- given ability to sing full lines of records her father would play at home. From her living room to the church, she humbly began her musical journey. It was during her teens that she began to train her voice and gain exposure as a vocalist through school and community choirs and ensembles such as Vy Higginsen Gospel For Teens Program. After graduating from the Professional Performing Arts high school in N.Y.C, she studied music recording and production at the University of New Haven where she obtained a Bachelor’s of Arts degree. Her high school and college studies and experience helped her develop the necessary tools and knowledge of the industry that she now applies as a professional vocalist. Throughout her career, she has performed in venues such as Avery Fischer Hall, Carnegie Hall, and the Apollo Theatre, just to name a few. In 2017, Briana was afforded the opportunity to sing abroad with Reverend Gregory M. Kelly and the Best of Harlem Gospel Ensemble throughout Germany. Ms. Young recently began her journey as recording artist, “Briana” after releasing her first single entitled, “I Need You,” available on all digital platforms. The sky’s the limit for this rising star, as she believes that with God, all things are possible.

Lissa D

Lissa D is a Florida native that moved to NY after receiving her BA in theatre from FAMU. Her passion for singing has driven her to write as well. Her first EP, “Journey” was released in 2018 on all platforms and she continues to grow as a singer songwriter by attending open mics, performing in shows and writing new music.

Diverse legends

Diverse Legends is a teen Dance company that is based in Queens, New York and was established in 2018 by artistic director Dale Nathaniel. This phenomenal company have performed for various parades and carnivals across the tri state, along with performing for Soca artist. Diverse Legends is made up of students of different backgrounds along with different backgrounds of dance. Although Diverse Legends dance style is Afrocentric based, other dance styles are often fused in their work.

DJ Mohogany

DJ Mohogany has quite an impressive and diverse portfolio domestically and internationally having taking stages at music festivals, fashion shows, club events, corporate events, parades, radio etc. Being born in Brooklyn, New York and raised in a traditional Liberian home, she’s no stranger to diversity and culture. She obtained a B.A. in Political Science from Howard University and M.A. in Educational Leadership, Politics and Advocacy from New York University. However, she has always had a passion for music and her most filling moments in life is when she’s on stage getting the opportunity to push her African culture through Afrobeats.

Black On Black

Black On Black™ is beautifully designed clothing & accessories that are both clothing line AND protest sign. Black On Black™ is a social protest on clothing that De:Constructs the Construct. Black On Black™ starts the discussion by addressing many issues. All the ‘isms and ‘phobias. “Intersectionality” is the word. I am Rodney White, a Brooklyn based Artist/Art Director/Designer and the creator of Black On Black™. Black On Black™ was born out of the social climate we have to exist in. Both past and present. Where blackness in the mainstream, is more often than not portrayed as a subconscious indelible mark. One that is “almost” acceptable. Never quite getting there. As an Award Winning Art Director, I had first-hand experience with the “mainstream” not accurately depicting US. Not deliberately speaking to US. Not specifically acknowledging US. Having daughters who are Black AND Mexican, I thought it was important for her to see the full spectrum of “blackness” being celebrated. Hers, Mine – OURS. In Color Psychology, “Black implies self-control and discipline, independence and a strong will, and giving an impression of authority and power. Black absorbs negative energy. It is useful to carry something black with you to protect you from harm and negativity when traveling or when going about your usual daily activities outside your home.”

Inspiration III.XXXI

I am a 48 year old AfroLatina from the Lower Eastside, I have always wanted to be an entrepreneur. My mom encouraged me to give it a try and as I am still in the beginning stages of my business, she is my #1 cheerleader and my inspiration – hence my company name Inspiration III.XXXI – her birth month and day!

About Regine Bellinger

Régine Bellinger is an International Dancer, Choreographer, Actress and Curator. Born and raised in New York City is where she technically trained in Traditional West African, Jazz, Ballet and Modern. She later advanced and took a love for other world dances such as: Samba, Afrobeats and more. Bellinger saw herself being typed casted more compared to her colleagues and was encouraged to create an outlet for herself and many others alike struggling in the Industry. In 2015, she founded Conkrete Jungle Productions Incorporated and has since then kept the tradition of an annual Choreographers Showcase, showcasing emerging artists within the Tri-state area. Régine has also found hidden talent within Film. She is a Host of Hot Topics Live with Regine and currently features in Television programs and commercials. Régine has lived in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil where she not only trained Passista Style Samba and paraded in Carnival 2019, but she became a dance member of two notable samba schools in Brazil: Unidos de Padre Miguel and G.R.E.S Acadêmicos do Salgueiro where she annually participates in the Rio de Janeiro Carnaval. Bellinger is consistently striving to make more opportunities for herself— creating a legacy. 

 

Conkrete Jungle Productions Incorporated was founded in 2015 by dancer, Régine Bellinger. Bellinger felt that New York City needed a platform for emerging choreographers to showcase work or works in progress. In an industry that is extremely cut throat and type-castes regularly, she felt this space was needed. Since 2015 she has successfully provided a platform called “Conkrete Jungle Choreographer Showcase” for emerging artists at The Dixon Place theater in the Lower Eastside with sold-out audiences.