6-8 p.m. ET Wednesday, July 19, 2023
Concert of Colors Forum on Community, Culture & Race – Air, Water, Land: Artists & Climate Change
In-person at The Annex @ AANM OR virtual via online livestream
The Concert of Colors Forum on Community, Culture & Race, one of the Arab American National Museum’s signature annual events, is a dynamic gathering of artists, activists and advocates who use art and dialogue as a tool for advocacy and community building. This year’s program will be presented both in person and virtually online. The panel features artists/culture workers Hadassah GreenSky, Amani Johnson, Cherise Morris and Annabel ‘Nibal’ Rabiyah, with moderator Hina Baloch.
Concert of Colors, Detroit’s annual diversity festival, will be happening July 19-23! More info + full concert lineup
Meet the Keynote Speaker
Michelle Martinez is the Inaugural Director of the Tishman Center for Social Justice and the Environment. Michelle has 15 years of experience practicing environmental justice in her hometown of Detroit. Most recently, she served as executive director of the Michigan Environmental Justice Coalition; she is a founding member of the Coalition and continues to serve on the board. Martinez also serves on the board of directors of We the People Michigan and is a contributing columnist to Planet Detroit, an online publication serving Detroit audiences with climate and environmental news.
Meet the Panelists
Hadassah GreenSky is a Waganakising Odawa (Little Traverse Bay Bands) from Detroit, Michigan. She is an activist, community organizer, curator, cultural worker, indigenous futurist working as a visual artist, jazz singer, musician, dancer, bead artist, seamstress, graphic designer, photographer, videographer and model. She was previously featured in Vogue for a photo taken of her and her relatives atop the base of the empty Columbus statue in Detroit. In Detroit, she co-founded a music festival called Vibes With The Tribes and a market called The Waawiyaatanong NDN Market. Since 2021, she’s been developing a documentary called The Red Ghetto project, a story about the Native neighborhood of Detroit (1940-1970s). She recently began a project expanding on the market called The Epangishmok Exchange, a Native artist exchange between The Great Lakes and Northern California. Currently she is collaborating under SNAG magazine as a field reporter and journalist. She splits her time between California and Michigan. She has written for The Nation, been featured in the MetroTimes, Riverwise Magazine, Planet Detroit, Record Eagle, and on CBS News. She is also a 2022 Kresge Fellow.
Hailing from Southfield, Michigan, Amani Johnson has always had a deep love for their community and a strong desire to protect its natural beauty. Amani currently serves as the Southeast Michigan Regional Coordinator for the Michigan League of Conservation Voters, an organization dedicated to safeguarding Michigan’s land, air, water and democracy. In 2020, Amani made waves by becoming the youngest elected official in Southfield’s history when he joined the Southfield Public Schools Board of Education as Treasurer. Amani has worked on behalf of influential figures like U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren and the Michigan House Democrats. Driven by a deep sense of social and environmental justice, Amani is dedicated to shaping a sustainable future for Michigan. A life-long Southfield resident, Amani is a proud graduate of Central Michigan University where he earned a degree in Public and Nonprofit Administration. In his spare time, you’ll find Amani cooking up delicious meals, traveling the world, spending time with loved ones and binging his most recent Netflix obsession.
Cherise Morris is an award-winning poet, multidisciplinary artist, ritualist and spiritual worker born and raised in rural Virginia and based in Detroit, Michigan. Her multidisciplinary performance work and writing has been supported by a host of regional and national organizations, including Allied Media Projects, Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, the Foundation for Contemporary Art, Poets & Writers and PEN America. Her essays have twice been recognized as notable works of literary nonfiction in The Best American Essays Series 2018 and 2019. She is a 2019 Kresge Fellow. Her performances have been featured at Brown University, the Allied Media Conference, Eastern Michigan University and elsewhere. Find more about her work at her website: www.cherisemorris.com
Annabel ‘Nibal’ Rabiyah is an urban farmer, seed keeper and culture worker based in Boston, on Massachusett land. In 2017, they founded Awafi Kitchen, a cultural initiative that uplifts Iraqi food and culture through pop-up food events, cooking demonstrations and presentations on Iraqi history. In 2020, they co-founded the Iraqi Seed Collective, a group of Iraqi heritage people and seed keepers devoted to preserving the cultural and genetic legacy of Iraqi heirloom crops at risk of extinction. The collective has bloomed into a network of growers across the U.S. saving seed for more than 15 heirloom crops, as well as partnerships with growers in Iraq.
Meet the Moderator
Hina Baloch serves as the Executive Director of Sustainability and Environment at General Motors. Before her current role, she held a variety of positions at GM and has previously worked in the bi-lateral Trade and Diplomacy field with a British Government Organization focusing on trade, education and diplomatic ties between the UK and Central and South Asian countries. Hina has also worked as a researcher in the International Development field with Brookings Institute and Results for Development in Washington D.C. focusing on social issues in the Middle East, Africa and Eastern Europe. In 2021, Hina was named in PR Week’s Dashboard 25 as one of the most influential people in communications data and technology. She is a recipient of UNESCO’s International Development Policy Fellowship (2014-2015) at University of Pennsylvania and Fulbright-Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship (2012-2013) at Penn State University. Hina served on the State of Michigan Governor’s STEM Advisory Board between 2017-2019 and serves on the advisory board of AI4All and Smithsonian Science Center and is part of the State of Michigan’s ESG Energy Council, Board Member at GRID Alternative and a Brain Trust Member at XPRIZE.
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