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Jasmine Guy  

Actress of Stage & Screen

Jasmine Guy is where art and beauty come together. Combined with wit and intelligence, she touches all artistic genres: actor, dancer, choreographer, singer and writer. Jasmine’s creativity continues to grow, develop and expand from developing Whitley Gilbert into the centerpiece of A Different World, to starring on Broadway as Velma Kelly in Chicago, to writing the life struggles of Afeni Shakur, the mother of Tupac Skakur in “Evolution of a Revolutionary.” In every way, she bespeaks excellence.

Born in Boston, Massachusetts on March 10th, Jasmine’s family lived in Westchester County, New York and later moved to Atlanta, Georgia. It was there that Jasmine studied dance at Spelman College Dance School until age 12. She continued her studies with Atlanta Ballet and danced for the Atlanta Ballet Company. At age 17, Jasmine was awarded a scholarship to the prestigious Alvin Ailey American Dance Center. In 1982, Jasmine left the Ailey Dance Company to perform in Fame, the television series.

In 1987 she joined the cast of the Cosby Show spin-off A Different World, set on the campus of a fictitious African-American college. Jasmine’s creation of Whitley Gilbert, the snobby southern belle, earned her six consecutive NAACP Image Awards. In addition, she appeared in Queen, the NBC miniseries and danced solo for the 62nd Annual Academy Awards show. Jasmine’s television credits also include episodic shows such as NYPD Blue, The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Melrose Place, Living Single, Touched by an Angel and That’s So Raven. Most recently Jasmine has played the role of Roxy, the no-holds-barred meter maid, on the hit Showtime program, Dead Like Me.

Jasmine’s career is highlighted with Broadway musicals, The Wiz (revival); Grease (revival); Leader of the Pack; Beehive (at the Village Gate) and her critically acclaimed portrayal of Velma Kelly in the long running hit musical Chicago.

Jasmine is also very proud of Raisin’ Cane, a one-woman tour-de-force performance about the Harlem Renaissance that reviewers dubbed “A wonderful night of EDUTAINMENT!”

Jasmine’s movie credits include Spike Lee’s School Daze, Harlem Nights with Eddie Murphy, America’s Dream with Wesley Snipes – a story about a boy who painted Jesus Christ black, Boy Meets Girl directed by Kevin Sullivan, and Stompin’ at the Savoy, directed by Debbie Allen.

In the independent film genre, she can be seen in: Kla$h, alongside Giancarlo Esposito, in the role of Blossom – a dancehall girl desperate to leave Jamaica; Guinevere, with Sarah Polly, Steven Rhea and Sandra Oh; and Diamond Men, with Donnie Wahlberg and Robert Forster.

Musically, 1992 saw the debut of Jasmine Guy’s self-titled album with Warner Brothers, and she was also featured on soundtracks for School Daze, Beehive, Leader of the Pack and Kla$h.

Jasmine lives in Los Angeles with her husband and daughter. Currently Jasmine is a moving force for the Movement of Agape Dance Ministry and, she works closely with several other organizations including: Women at Risk, for women living with HIV; Beautiful Gate – A Wilmington, Delaware HIV awareness and prevention center focusing on African-American women; Fragile X, which provides research and resources for families living with children; the Jackie Robinson Foundation, which provides full college scholarships and mentorship programs; and, the Jenessee House, a shelter for abused women and their children.

She also serves as a surrogate speaker for the Obama for America campaign. She continues to motivate and inspire audiences with her honesty and unwavering faith in the human spirit.

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Making Your Own Different World

What is your own different world? Speaker Jasmine Guy explains that it is the sphere of influence you create around yourself that provides the gateways to all the opportunities of your life. In order to create such a rich world, you must surround yourself with a diverse group of people. This diversity should not be limited to the racially diverse but should encompass the rich, poor, street-smart, book-smart, religious, rebellious, straight, gay, transgendered, male, female, elderly, young… basically, anyone you may run into on a daily basis. The more varied your friends and associates, the more enriched your life will be and the more you will be open to opportunities of every kind. Opportunity often knocks dressed up as something other than what you expect, so it is up to us to interpret what an opportunity is and what it is not.

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