Concert of Colors Forum on Community, Culture & Race – Until Everybody’s Free: Artists for Liberation

6-8:30 p.m. ET Thursday, July 18, 2024
Concert of Colors Forum on Community, Culture & Race – Until Everybody’s Free: Artists for Liberation

In-person at The Annex @ AANM or Online via Livestream

Register for in-person attendance | Register for 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.

Concert of Colors, Detroit’s annual diversity festival, will be happening July 16-21! More info + full concert lineup

Meet the Keynote Speaker

Jenan A. Matari is a first-generation-born and raised, 2x award-winning Palestinian storyteller and graduate of Rutgers University, earning a B.A. in Journalism & Media Studies. To bring more diversity to the public relations and media industry, she has been recognized for her unique and thoughtfully inclusive media campaigns and was honored with the PR NEWS 2021 Asian Pioneer Award for her diversity, equity and inclusion efforts. Jenan has written content on the topic of diversity and cultural experience for outlets such as The New York Times, Mondoweiss, Elite Daily, and has been featured in mainstream media platforms such as Cosmopolitan, Allure, Buzzfeed, Huffington Post, CNN, etc. In 2017, Jenan received the Shirley Chisholm Award in the category of Journalism for outstanding representation of Muslim and minority women in the media and for being a “catalyst for change.” Today, she centers her work around content creation focused on educating an audience of millions on the lived Palestinian experience and interconnectedness of her ancestral lands and her life in the diaspora, and teaches media literacy to counteract the harm done to minority and marginalized communities by mainstream media.

Meet the Panelists

Halima Afi Cassells is an award-winning interdisciplinary community-engaged artist, facilitator, mom of three, avid gardener, with deep roots in Waawiiyaataanong/ Detroit, Mich. She credits gardening as inspiring her move away from painting to a practice where she aspires to use natural and upcycled materials and processes that lend to the thriving of all (human and non-human) communities. Halima continues to explore relationship-building, and the notions of freedom and work, value and disposability in a participatory context through her work. As an advocate for artists and cultural practitioners, she has spearheaded many community processes that uplift cultural capital from often-exploited communities and creates in a collaborative context. Named as a 2023 Kresge Arts in Detroit Fellow for Interdisciplinary Arts, she has also been awarded grants from: Panta Rhea Foundation, BulkSpace, Art Matters, Culture Source, Knight Foundation Arts Challenge, Artplace America and Seed+Bloom Detroit. In addition to exhibiting at the Virgil Carr Center, Charles Wright Museum, MOCAD and public spaces in Detroit, her work has also  been featured in gallery spaces in New York, Oakland, Calif., Oaxaca, Berlin, Copenhagen, Bogota and Harare.

Born and raised in Seattle, Nathan Nzanga is a rising star in the world of hip-hop known for his captivating lyrics, infectious beats and undeniable charisma. Drawing inspiration from his personal experiences, as well as the struggles and triumphs of those around him, Nathan’s music serves as a powerful reflection of the human experience. With a unique blend of introspection and raw energy, Nathan’s music resonates deeply with listeners, touching on themes of love, self-discovery and social justice. His thought-provoking lyrics challenge societal norms and shed light on the issues that matter most to him, making him a voice for the voiceless. In addition to his musical prowess, Nathan is also a dynamic performer, known for his electrifying stage presence and infectious energy. His live shows are a testament to his ability to connect with his audience, creating an unforgettable experience that leaves a lasting impact.

Hind Shoufani is a multidisciplinary Palestinian filmmaker & writer, who grew up in the Leftist communities in the liberation movement. Hind once lived all across the Arab world and is now exploring Brooklyn, again. Her film work has garnered a BAFTA win and an Oscar nomination for the film The Present and her latest documentary, Heavy Metal, premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2023. Her award-winning first feature film Trip Along Exodus has screened in over 30 countries. Hind has published creative essays, prose and poetry in international journals, magazines and anthologies, and has been a director, producer and editor of documentaries for over 25 years, globally. She is currently attempting a Coming-Of-Middle-Age hybrid-genre lust and politics memoir, her second feature film, and some semblance of purpose and meaning in the zeitgeist.

Annie Wenstrup is a Dena’ina poet from Anchorage, Alaska, living in Fairbanks, Alaska. Her debut book of poetry, The Museum of Unnatural Histories, is forthcoming from Wesleyan University Press (March 2025). Her poems have been published in Alaska Quarterly ReviewNew England ReviewPoetry and elsewhere. In 2023, she received The Alaska Literary Award and support from The Rasmuson Foundation. She held a Museum Sovereignty Fellowship with the Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center (Alaska office) supported through a Journey to What Matters grant from The CIRI Foundation, and was an Indigenous Nations Poets Fellow in 2022 and 2023. She is currently the Alumni and Donor Relations Coordinator at Indigenous Nations Poets.

Meet the Moderator

Khadega Mohammed is a 24-year-old Muslim Sudanese American spoken word artist. Born in Sudan and raised in Saudi Arabia, her experiences have inspired her to explore themes of spirituality, identity, belonging and home in the form of poetry. Khadega has been performing around the country for a decade and her work has been featured in various publications nationally and internationally, such as NPR, The Detroit News, AJ+ & AJ+Arabia. She has also taught spoken word workshops, most notably at Harvard University. Khadega is featured in two incredible documentaries, An Act of Worship directed by Nausheen Dadabhoy and Revolution from Afar directed by Bentley Brown. She currently resides in Michigan, where she leads community engagement work at the Arab American National Museum in Dearborn, Mich.

In partnership with

Made possible in part by





  • July 18, 2024 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm
  • 6:00 pm

The Annex

The Annex @ AANM, a symbol of the Museum’s growing engagement with the community, opened in 2015. This space can accommodate large community groups, gatherings, events, performances and art displays.

Learn more