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Cliff Frazier
Profile of the Executive Director

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CLIFF FRAZIER:
Profile of the Executive Director

 

Cliff Frazier is a Renaissance Man - a successful humanitarian, executive, educator, lecturer, writer, television & motion picture producer, director, actor, and social activist. His impact is felt locally, nationally and internationally.

 

Frazier, an Emmy Award Winner, is Executive Director of the New York Metropolitan Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolence (NYMLK) and founder and President of the International Communications Association (ICA).

He co-founded, and serves as chair, of the Harriet Tubman Charter School, which was the first charter awarded by the NYS Board of Regents. He is the founder and chair of the International Center for World Harmony. Frazier is also Chair of Woodie King, Jr.’s New Federal Theatre. 

Earlier in his life, as an actor, he appeared in numerous theatrical and television productions. His legendary performance in “Krapp’s Last Tape” was reviewed by renowned critic and Broadway director, Harold Clurman with the following comment: “Frazier’s performance was masterful. He is one of the finest actors in the United States.” 

In 1968 after Dr. King was assassinated, Frazier left his acting career and dedicated himself to the fulfillment of Dr. King’s vision of a “Beloved Community” free of the evils of racism, poverty and violence. He created programs and activities specifically aimed at fulfilling this vision.

Cliff Frazier and Ossie Davis were good friends and worked very closely together over the years. Back in 1970, they testified before the New York City – Task Force on CATV and Telecommunications objecting to a fee that would be charged to the public for use of the public access channels that had been set aside, arguing that such a fee would be discriminatory to minorities who would be unable to pay such a cost. As a result, the charge was rescinded, which opened the opportunity for thousands of users. They also worked together to form the International Artists for Peace & World Harmony initiative. Because of his long and close association with Ossie Davis, the family requested that Cliff Frazier speak at Mr. Davis’ funeral held at Riverside Church. 

Frazier has produced or executive produced over 40 films or television productions. He won an Emmy as producer, writer director for his ABC-TV special,”To Be A Man.” 

He created the television series “A Nation In View” for WPIX-TV and the award winning productions “Turkey Treasure” and “Movie Magic in New York City.” He was an Administrator for Third World Cinema Productions, the company that produced the feature films “Claudine”, starring Diahann Carroll and James Earl Jones and “Greased Lightning”, starring Richard Pryor and the award winning documentary, “Bearden Plays Bearden. 

All of these productions represented positive images and provided employment opportunities for minorities and women.

As past President, Executive Director and/or Administrator of three highly successful training institutions, Institute of New Cinema Artists, Third World Cinema Productions & Community Film Workshop Council, from 1968 – 1986, Frazier created media training and employment programs for minorities, women and disadvantaged whites. 

Over 2,500 individuals found employment in the motion picture, television, recording and other media industries. 

He also founded community media centers throughout the United States and Puerto Rico, which provided local television programming and built bridges of understanding between alienated and hostile groups. 

Past students who obtained employment have included: Jeff Burns, Senior VP Ebony Magazine, Rod Daniels, Sr. Anchor WBAL-TV, Baltimore; Stanley Nelson, Television Producer/Director, recipient of the MacArthur Genius Award; Warrington Hudlin, Motion Picture Producer/Director; Lynn Brown, retired Anchor, WNYW-TV; Robin Verges, Senior VP, Rubenstein Associates; Leon Collins, Gen. Mgr., WPFW-FM; Vincent Davis, President, Vintertainment Records; Cliff Jacobs, Deputy Executive Director, Queens Public TV; Donna Williams, Senior Publicist, Thirteen/WNET; Wayne Gilman, News Director, WBLS FM; Rafee Kamal, Motion Picture & TV Producer in partnership with Kareem Abdul Jabaar, Marion Boykins, Supervisor, Program Operations, Manhattan Cable-TV, Walter Roundtree, City-Wide Coordinator, NYC Comptroller’s Office, James McIver, Engineer, ABC-TV, E’Lois Hibbert, Mgr. Adv/Sales, USA Cable Network Linda Yearwood, Writer, Fox Television, Saundra Lloyd, New Jersey Bureau Manager, WABC-TV, Eyewitness News, Joyce Stroud, Sr. Account Executive, 98.7 KISS FM, etc. 

Frazier raised over $8 million from government and the private sector to fund these programs. Former students, interns and workshop participants have paid over $75 million in taxes, a return of 9 to 1 on the original investment.

He created the Annual Minority Careers Workshop for the prestigious International Radio and TV Society, which resulted in approximately 1,200 minority college juniors and seniors throughout the United States having the opportunity to interact with media executives, department heads and personnel directors, resulting in employment, approximately 800 found jobs, and/or clearly defined career paths.

Appointed by Governor Mario Cuomo as a Member of the New York State Department of Labor’s Apprenticeship and Training Council in 1985, Frazier introduced, and was able to get adopted, a breakthrough resolution requiring that all unions proposing New York State certification for new trades include a detailed affirmative action program for the recruitment of minorities and women apprentices. He served as an Advisor to the NYC Mayor’s Office of Film, TV & Theatre and developed initiatives aimed at increasing apprenticeships and training opportunities for minorities and women in the motion picture, television and advertising industries. 

As President of the International Communications Association, Frazier has co-developed the Dwyer Warehouse as an 80,000 sq. ft. market rate housing, cultural industry and retail space facility in Central Harlem.

Appointed Executive Director of NYMLK in 1995, he established the Annual King Holiday Observance titled: Inter-religious Silent Prayer March & Celebration for Peace, Religious & Racial Harmony, which brings together, Christians, Jews and Muslims. Over 1,200 attend annually. To help legal immigrants become U.S. citizens and resolve problems regarding their legal status, Frazier established NYMLK’s Immigration/U.S. Citizenship Program. Over 1,000 were processed for citizenship. He also created the Ella Baker/Cleveland Robinson Youth Leadership & Nonviolence Academy and the Multicultural Enrichment and Outreach Program, which celebrate the diversity of various ethnic cultures in the United States. 

These successes resulted in the State University of New York (SUNY) requesting that NYMLK partner with SUNY’s Advanced Technology Training and Information Networking (ATTAIN) in establishing a $500,000 high tech computer laboratory to provide digital parity for communities in the South Bronx that have had limited access to computer technology. Through ATTAIN, Microsoft has designated NYMLK as an Authorized Microsoft Testing Center. This will enable those enrolled at the center to be trained and, if they pass the test, receive certification, making them better qualified for possible employment.

Through its status as a non government organization (ngo) with the United Nations, NYMLK, in collaboration with ICA, is establishing an International Artists for Peace and World Harmony initiative which will include renowned performing artists from various countries that have been at war with each other performing together. There will also be the exhibition of works of art which stress harmony and nonviolence as a theme. Seminars, forums and workshops will also be conducted throughout New York, the U.S. and abroad.

As a lecturer, Frazier has spoken at Columbia University, Hunter College, Syracuse University, Adelphi University, College of New Rochelle, Howard University, Lincoln Center Film Festival, Kansas Arts Conference, Radio & TV News Director Conference, Associated Council on the Arts, Brooklyn Children’s Museum, etc. Special Awards include Manhattan Borough President Proclamation naming August 25, 1976, “Cliff Frazier Day”, NYS Assembly Special Citation, NYC Comptroller Commendation, American Film Institute Distinguished Service Award, “Who’s Who Among Black Americans”, International Radio & TV Society Outstanding Services Award, AUDELCO Board of Directors Award, etc. Board Memberships include:, Chair, New Federal Theatre; Member, Mayor’s Task Force on Diversity in Film, TV and Commercial Facilities, Past Memberships have included: International Radio & TV Society, Habitat For Humanity, Black Leadership Commission On AIDS, Institutional Review Board of Bronx Community College and African American Legal Defense & Education Fund, Hunter College Brookdale Center for the Aging, Manhattan Neighborhood Network, Harlem Hospital Pediatric Department.

As a writer, Frazier has been a book critic for the Catholic Reporter. He also co-wrote the text book Discovery in Drama for Paulist Press, Arts, Education and the Urban Sub-Culture for the U.S. Office of Health, Education and Welfare and was a writing consultant for 20th Century Fox.. His articles have appeared in Sightlines, Educational Film Library Association, Filmmaker’s Newsletter, Amsterdam News, New York Beacon New York Carib News and the Daily Challenge.

Frazier attended Wayne State University and is a graduate of Will-O-Way School of Theatre in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.

      
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