FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information, contact:
Roy Harris at (305) 609-2849
MUSICIAN/FILMMAKER DR. LEO CASINO RETURNS TO PITTSBURGH TO TALK TO INCARCERATED YOUTH AT THE ALLEGHENY COUNTY JAIL
August 13, 2008 (PITTSBURGH, PA) – Grammy Award-nominated saxophonist Dr. Leo Casino will return home to Pittsburgh to perform for, and talk to, youth incarcerated at Pittsburgh’s Allegheny County Jail on Wednesday, August 20th, 2008. Accompanying Dr. Casino will be Debra Germany, Executive Director of Divine Intervention Ministries, a faith-based organization dedicated to restoring the lives of incarcerated adults and at-risk youth. The two hope to inspire and inform some of the many incarcerated black youth at the county’s prison. The day’s events will be featured in a documentary film, A Better Way, directed by Casino. His previous film, Return to the Hill, was shown in theaters and festivals worldwide.
The event is being made possible by Warden Ramon Rustin (“the best in the country,” according to Casino), and Jack Pischke, the Inmate Program Administrator for the Allegheny County Jail. In attendance will be a representative from the Mayor’s office, presenting Casino with a proclamation from the City for his work in helping to slow the epidemic of Pittsburgh’s black-on-black violence.
Today, Casino is a successful musician, bandleader, actor, filmmaker and activist living in Miami—but his life could have easily turned out much differently. Growing up in Pittsburgh’s Hill District, he was born to a mother who was a prostitute, and he never met his father. His sister was kept in captivity by a pimp, forced into prostitution, and eventually killed. However, he was fortunate to be adopted by a loving family and turned his life around. He finished school, and became one of the world’s first Jazz Studies Majors at Howard University, studying under Quincy Jones. Later, he moved to Miami, and established a successful 30-year film and music career—including being inducted into the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame at the Kodak Theater, Los Angeles, in 1998, meeting three U.S. Presidents, producing TV for Geraldo Rivera, and more.
Mrs. Debra Germany is the Executive Director of Divine Intervention Ministries (www.divineinterventionministries.org). Her life changed on July 9, 2001, when her only child, Raymond, was murdered; shot seven times in the Hill District. Through the death of her son, Mrs. Germany says, Divine Intervention Ministries was birthed. With God as her guide, and her son’s memory providing continual inspiration, Mrs. Germany is determined to reach out and help as many people as she can to know that with Christ all things are possible. Today, Mrs. Germany is a much-sought after popular speaker: she travels across Pennsylvania to speak to at-risk youth and incarcerated adults in prisons and boot camps, churches and public schools. Always, her goal is to bring the message of hope in Christ, speaking life into the places regarded as “dead” by much of society. Mrs. Germany was named as The Pennsylvania Prison Society 2008 Official Visitor of the Year Award recipient.
All media and local community leaders are invited out to what will be a motivating, powerful day of inspiring thoughts and music.
For more information contact Roy Harris at (305) 609-2849.