Dr. Derrick León Washington, PhD

Dr. Derrick León Washington is a cultural anthropologist, curator, dancer, and Senior/Regional United Nations Human Rights Fellow at UN Headquarters specializing in dance, experiential education, and expressive arts of the Americas. His curatorial and dance related work have been reviewed positively by media outlets such as the New York Times, British Broadcasting Company (BBC), New York Post, UN Web TV, El Especialito, Huffington Post, and National Broadcasting Company (NBC). He first began to train in dance as a sophomore in high school. He learned the fundamentals of curating music & dance professionally at the Smithsonian Center of Folklore and Cultural Heritage. Mr. Washington curated the ground-breaking exhibition and program series, Rhythm & Power: Salsa in New York, at the Museum of the City of New York. He was able to create interactive programs where thousands of people could enjoy live music and dance with musicians such as Joe Bataan and Andy Montañez. He’s the co-editor of the book, Rhythm & Power: Performing Salsa in Puerto Rican and Latino Communities (Centro Publications). Later, Mr. Washington led an evening-length lecture/performance about the connections between mambo, jazz dances, and lindy hop at New York University and Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. He also helped create the arts-education organization, Urban Stomp-From Swing to Mambo. Upcoming collaborative work includes an evening length performance at Apollo Theater in Harlem. He has inserted his dance/cultural expertise in several curated UN projects, including a multi-national webinar series, the final long plenary of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) 10th Anniversary Youth Forum 2021, United Nations International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples (2021), the United Nations International Day for People of African Descent (2021), a dynamic multi-agency United Nations Art Collection project at UN Headquarters, and a short film about the ‘I Still Believe in Our City’ campaign sponsored by UN Human Rights (OHCHR) and the NYC Commission on Human Rights.