Humanitea Time Combines Art and Activism

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Humanitea Time, an event that blends socially-conscious performances inspired by Islam with a marketplace of community organizations where attendees can get involved, returns on November 9, 2014, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Chicago Cultural Center.

Humanitea Time, an event that blends socially-conscious performances inspired by Islam with a marketplace of community organizations where attendees can get involved, returns on November 9, 2014, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Chicago Cultural Center.

Featured Guests: Imam Suhaib Webb, Dawud Wharnsby Ali, Chicago Dramatists, Mustafa the Poet, slam poet Amal Kassir, Abdi Phenomenal, and Kuumba Lynx Performance Ensemble.

Humanitea Time 2013 filled to capacity early and similar turnout is expected for Sunday.

Humanitea Time is a dynamic platform for inspiring action around social causes inspired by Islamic tradition. In an informal ambiance, through riveting performances and narratives that illuminate an array of causes, Humanitea Time moves its audience to discover their change-making potential around issues of violence and social justice.

Humanitea Time is sponsored by Zakat Foundation of America (ZF), a Bridgeview-based 501(c)3 international charity that helps generous and caring people reach out to those in need. The goal of ZF is to address immediate needs and ensure the self-reliance of the poorest people around the world using the charitable dollars of privileged Muslims and the support of kind-hearted donors of many faiths.

MEET THE ARTISTS:
AMAL KASSIR is one of the strongest, and perhaps youngest, voices speaking about the Syrian crisis. Described by fans as a "force of nature", her rhymes and delivery are so powerful they often have her audience in a breathless silence. She led her Denver slam team to win 1st place championship in the 2012 Annual Brave New Voices Grand Slam Final against 500 poets from around the Unites States. Amal's rising fame and her flair for freedom has gained international distinction. She has been featured on PBS, the Denver Post, Oakland North, Patheos.com, Westword, 303 Magazine, and others news outlets. She describes her poetry as a prayer of justice. Whether for the Syrian, the south side Chicagoan, or the Ugandan, it is oppression that fuels her pen. Of her purpose, Amal says "people think the world’s problems are not their responsibility. I want people to know that activism is the price you pay for living on this planet."

DAWUD WHARNSBY ALI is a Canadian-born poet and songwriter. His career as a troubadour has yielded fifteen solo albums, five poetry anthologies, numerous sound-track credits, performances in some of the world’s most prestigious theatres and collaborations with several of the world’s most celebrated artists (including Irshad Khan, Danny Thompson, Stephen Fearing, Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens, Hadiqa Kiani and Zain Bhikha). In true folk-music tradition, Dawud’s songs have spread around the world - ringing out in primary schools, universities, places of worship, rallies and conventions - with words that have found their way into listener’s hearts, regardless of age. His work and reputation as one of the most prominent spiritually and socially conscious writers of our time have been referenced in publications affiliated with both Harvard University in the USA and Cambridge University Press in the United Kingdom. The Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre (Jordan) has included Dawud on their list of the 500 Most Influential Muslims each year since 2009 for his international artistic efforts.

ABDI PHENOMENAL hails from the land of poets, reviving the great poetic tradition of his Somali forefathers. He is a spoken word artist, teaching artist, actor and community activist. At the age of three, Abdi fled Somalia to the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya - currently the largest refugee camp in the world, home to over 450,000 Somali refugees. Abdi Produced the “Voices of Dadaab” Documentary, in which gives a voice to refugees' by sharing their stories with the world. The documentary features vulnerable, yet happy, people who have lost all they have loved on the road to survival. As an activist, he builds youth leadership and literacy through the art of spoken word. He has been featured in AL-Jazeera English and the Star Tribune, New York Times and has led art workshops for the Nobel Peace Prize Forum. Abdi’s performances have reached multiple leaders across the globe including President Obama and Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud.

KUUMBA LYNX (KL) is an arts education and youth development organization founded in 1996 by three women who were frustrated with the cuts to public schools arts funding and the increased implementation of a harsher criminal justice system. KL utilizes urban arts pedagogy with a social justice framework. They engage youth in a variety of art making and art learning experiences, while working to nurture their literacy, social consciousness, and emotional development. KL uses Hip Hop in its historically original form - as a vehicle for expressing identity, culture and community experiences as well as a resistant force against all forms of injustice. The Kuumba Lynx Performance Ensemble will be performing at Humanitea Time to spotlight issues around police aggression and school push-out rates impacting people of color in the U.S.

MUSTAFA THE POET (Mustafa Ahmed) is a 17-year-old spoken word artist, actor and emcee based in the city of Toronto whose art touches hearts, minds and inspires younger generations to be more active in the world. Writing from the young age of 10, Mustafa uses the tool of words to express challenges, changes and the gentrification that he witnesses in his Regent Park neighborhood - North America's first and largest existing housing project. It was after a feature in 2009 in the Toronto Star that he exploded onto the arts scene. Mustafa has opened up for artists such as Jhene Aiko and Pharaohe Monch and has performed alongside Margaret Atwood and Samantha Nuitt. He has also worked with Nelly Furtado, Broken Social Scene, and poet George Elliot-Clarke. Mustafa has been featured in CBC’s Metro Morning, JAZZ FM live, Global’s 16x9, Globals Walk the Walk, Childrens' Aid Society, Stand Up Young Men’s Conference, Stem Cell Foundation, CAMH’s Cafe Scientifique, People for Education Official Gala, Salon Camden’s Why Am I So Poor, Pathways to Education Gala, Manifesto Festival of Community and Culture, the Mayor’s Art Ball, Metro Hall for the Forgiveness Project, Aveda, Martin Luther King Memorial day at the Roy Thompson Hall, NYC’s Nuyorican café, RBC presents The Walrus Talks on Philanthropy, TEDxToronto, The Sony Center for Performing Arts and more.

Mustafa is a Free the Children youth scholar, performing internationally and for annual youth summits.. He recently completed his debut poetry EP.

MS. DIJA (Sadia Nawab) is passionate about DJing since music transcends borders, generations and skin color. The very reason Sadia became a DJ was to create inspirational and uplifting environments. She does this by choosing positive lyrics and beats that make people feel good while promoting dignity and values instead of materialistic obsessions. She uses music therapy as an ancillary component to spirituality and overall health. Ms. DiJa's signature style is to blend tracks from totally different genres, regions around the world and time periods.

CHICAGO DRAMATISTS & PLAYWRIGHT ROHINA MALIK
Since 1979, the Iconic Chicago Dramatists has been shining the spotlight on playwrights and world premiere productions of selected works. In March 2015, Chicago Dramatists will be producing the critically acclaimed playwright Rohina Malik's new play "The Mecca Tales" directed by Rachel Edward Harvith. Mecca Tales is an impassioned, provocative play that take the audience on an unforgettable ride of risk and reclamation capturing the voices of many Muslim Americans whose lives have been shaped and plagued by sociopolitical agendas beyond their control. Rohina is a resident playwright at Chicago Dramatists, and an artistic associate at the 16th Street Theater. Her work has been produced or developed at The Goodman Theatre, Victory Gardens Theater, 16th Street Theater, Brava Theater, Crossroads Theater, Chicago Dramatists, and Theater Project Baltimore. A powerful excerpt from Mecca Tales will be featured at Humanitea Time.

ACTION BAZAAR:
Zakat Foundation of America (ZF)
The ZF booth at the Humanitea Time Action Bazaar will be launching its #GivingTuesday campaign for which participants may package and donate winter kits to keep low income families in Chicago warm.

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Feras Abdelrhaman
Zakat Foundation of America
+1 (708) 233-0555 Ext: 12
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