The Time is Now

The Time is Now

We have one week left for you to support the healing and transformational work that telling our stories can accomplish.

The Muslim Women’s Story Lab is working to keep all of us human and to have our humanity recognized through storytelling, community engagement, and the arts.

As media personalities and political candidates spread divisive messages of fear and misinformation, this is an important time to reflect on how we choose to recognize and uphold the humanity within ourselves and each other.

With one week left in our fundraising campaign we need you more than ever.

The Force is With You

The Force is With You

In today's climate, story and art are more necessary than ever. We need these important tools. The Muslim Women's Story Lab is a unique and hopeful approach to mobilizing Muslim women around issues that they face using storytelling, theater and art-making.

I’m asking if you will direct some of your power to back this project which has brought tremendous hope and light to me in these troubled times.

It is winter for the forces of oppression … the spring belongs to us!

Join me to sow seeds of peace, unity, women’s power, and creativity!

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/muslim-women-s-story-lab#/

Muslim Women's Story Lab Info Session

StoryLabLogo_A.jpg

 

You are invited to a community info session to launch
the Muslim Women's Story Lab!

 

September 19, 2015
4-6 pm
The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
515 Malcolm X Boulevard @135th Street
https://www.facebook.com/events/460897877422031/
muslimwomestorylab@gmail.com


The Story Lab is a collaborative project using narrative tools and the arts for Muslim women's self-exploration and community engagement. The Lab will build participants' capacity to lead culturally resonant community engagement projects using strategies that harness and reclaim Islam's empowerment of women. More information here!

We hope you will join us and help us spread the word about this exciting new project.

Story Circle March 2014, Women in Islam Event photo: Argenis Apolonario

Story Circle March 2014, Women in Islam Event
photo: Argenis Apolonario


In this day and age, the words "story", "community", and "movement" have become buzzwords being used to sell products and to give a sheen of do-good-iness (like Colbert's "truthiness") to all kinds of things.  I'm writing more about how to create and build story and art-baseed projects for social justice and what that really looks like from conception to execution, (my book has great examples) but ultimately it has to involve bringing human beings closer together, into close, connected relationships, to build their own power. Art and story can do that extremely well if the project is well thought of and the strategy is clear.

Speaking of everything old becoming new again, my father came over today and brought two large folders stuffed with memories and writings and poems from my childhood. Among them, two items stood out:

1. A certificate for Storytelling from 1987!

2. A certificate for participating in the racial & ethnic harmony poetry contest. It isn't dated but I'm sure it's from the 80s as well. 

So there you have it folks, I am a natural born ARTIVIST and have the papers to prove I've been doing this work for almost 30 years! I'd love to hear your thinking on making story and art-based interventions meaningful, concrete, and in the service of human-kind.

 

Certificates from elementary school showing my trailblazing artivism!

Certificates from elementary school showing my trailblazing artivism!





Launching the Muslim Women's Story Lab

Launching the Muslim Women's Story Lab

I am so pleased to announce the launch of the The Muslim Women’s Story LabThe Lab builds women’s capacity to lead creative, culturally resonant community engagement projects within the Muslim community using strategies that harness and reclaim Islam's empowerment of women.

Making It

Hello Everyone:
3 exciting things below! My writing, an event at the NYC Municipal Archives, and the Muslim Women's Story Lab moves forward!

A short piece I wrote on making art, diversity, and compromise, was just published in Montrealserai -- a lovely online webzine focused on arts, culture and politics! 

Here's a little excerpt to get you interested:

"So I look down at my feet. My sandals are touching ground where Diego Rivera once stood, or sat, or walked by. I’m pulled into a world which, when he was creating it, was all but banned subject matter. Poor people’s lives, indigenous lives, didn’t matter. He made space, literally, by painting giant public murals that projected the sound and color, history and memory of poor and working class people in Mexico. And he showed not only what he knew to be true, and beautiful, but what he knew had power to change the world."     Read on ...
 

And here in New York, I'm making the final preparations for a discussion at the NYC Municipal Archives on the history of sterilization abuse in NYC and the struggle for change.
Thursday, July 9, 2015
5:30 pm - 7:30 pm

Please RSVP to: visitorcenter@records.nyc.gov
31 Chambers Street, New York, NY 10007

We have a terrific panel and will be displaying archival materials from the women's own collections.  Here is one example of what you'll see:
 

Courtesy of the Puerto Rican Socialist Party Archives.

Courtesy of the Puerto Rican Socialist Party Archives.

 

Last but not least, I got great news that the Muslim Women's Story Lab is going to move forward this fall! Stay tuned for updates.

Have a wonderful Independence Day. It's time to get free!

 

 

Tuesday, September 16 – Words Without Borders

Tuesday, September 16 – Words Without Borders

I am pleased to be featured in a reading this Tuesday, September 16th - a Bookend event in the Brooklyn Book Festival.  Hosted by Words Without Borders an organization dedicated to publishing, and promoting works in translation to English readers, I’ll be reading a beautiful short story translated to English taken from their September issue.

History as Territory

History as Territory

I went to a wonderful talk last night organized by the Grassroots Global Justice Alliance on reclaiming feminisms at the grassroots.  The inspirational speaker, Sandra Moran, spoke about planting.  The first part of creating something new is developing an idea, planting a seed.  To do that, you must reclaim what is yours and decide that territory will be where something new can grow.