In partnership with Rattlestick Playwrights Theater
*Now from 7PM-8:15PM EST We send our hearts and prayers to the families in Atlanta and to those globally who have been affected by the rise in Anti-Asian crime. There were 3,795 incidents received by the Stop AAPI Hate reporting center from March 19, 2020 to February 28, 2021.* As an Asian in America, did you feel unsafe when Covid-19 was first addressed as the ‘Chinese Virus’? As a Muslim in this country, did you feel like you walked around with a target on your back during the so-called Muslim-ban? As a college student, who is also a DREAMer did you feel the imminent threat of being deported? America is a country that has afforded us, immigrants, many opportunities. As immigrant artists, we want a future in this place we choose to call home. But what do we do when our physical, psychological, and emotional safety are at stake? When our negative portrayals far outweigh the contributions we are making. Join hosts Jody Doo and Salma S. Zohdi as they chat with Founder of Malikah Rana Abdelhamid, Multimedia Journalist and Film Director Sophia Li, and Executive Director of Asian American Federation Jo-Ann Yoo. PANELISTS
Rana Abdelhamid is an internationally acclaimed community organizer, first-degree black belt, public speaker and social entrepreneur focused on mass mobilization, international solidarity and the empowerment of marginalized communities.
Rana Abdelhamid is committed to organizing communities around migrant, gender and racial justice. For ten years, Abdelhamid has served as the Executive Director of Malikah, a global grassroots movement committed to building safety and power for all women through self-defense, healing justice, community organizing and financial literacy. She founded Malikah at the age of 16 after being attacked by a stranger, who tried to remove the hijab from her head. Today, Abdelhamid and her volunteer team of women conduct healing spaces and have trained more than 7,000 women in 18 cities across the globe. For the past three years, Malikah has held the National Muslim Women's Summit at Harvard University, training 50 Muslim American women in leadership and community organizing.
Abdelhamid's organizing work has always been rooted in building solidarity across communities domestically and abroad. During the Arab Spring, Abdelhamid was involved in mobilizing diaspora communities in solidarity with grassroots activists in Egypt. After the "Muslim ban" was passed, she helped organize thousands of people across Boston for the 20,000-person Copley Square protest and spoke alongside Senator Elizabeth Warren, among others. After the murder of Nabra Hassanen, Abdelhamid and her team worked to mobilize tens of thousands of people across ten cities in under 24 hours for prayers and vigils in her remembrance.
In 2013, Abdelhamid started Hijabis of NY, an online platform that highlights the stories of hijabi women. In 2017, she also coedited and published Muslim Women's Stories, a collection of narratives from young Muslim women across the US. She is highly committed to the global human rights movement and is one of youngest serving board members of Amnesty International USA. Abdelhamid has a BA from Middlebury in International Politics and Economics and a master's degree in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School, where her research was focused on policy interventions to mitigate the prevalence of domestic violence in Queens, NY and on refugee integration policy in the US.
In 2017, Abdelhamid was named one of the 17 women who "Rocked the Resistance" in 2017 and is frequently called "the Muslim Black Belt." She has been named a Truman Scholar, a Running Start Rising Political Star and has received both a NYC Council Proclamation and an International Youth Advocate award by the UNAUSA Foundation.
Sophia Li, is a Chinese American multimedia journalist and film director. Her mission is to humanize issues such as the climate crisis and social justice into digestible and accessible news— redefining how information is communicated in the 21st century while cutting through the content pollution. TeenVogue, Refinery29 and more have named Sophia as a leader in the sustainability movement from her work as a director of a short documentary on the biggest landfill in the US to interviewing climate scientist Carlos Nobre: Nobel Peace Prize recipient to deconstructing greenwashing myths in the fashion industry. She is a board member of environmental nonprofit The Slow Factory and serves on the council of Intersectional Environmentalist. She is the former Entertainment Media Editor at American Vogue.
JO-ANN YOO Jo-Ann Yoo is the executive director of the Asian American Federation (AAF), a membership organization that works with the nearly seventy nonprofits that represent and support the pan-Asian community. Established in 1989 under the mission to raise the influence and well-being of the pan-Asian American community through research, policy advocacy, public awareness and organizational development, AAF is a pan-Asian non-profit organization representing a network of community service agencies in the Northeast. These agencies work in the fields of health & human services, education, economic development, civic participation, and social justice. Jo-Ann’s professional experiences include program management and operations, fundraising, and advocacy in the fields of community development and immigrant rights. Jo-Ann currently serves on the boards of Nonprofit New York and the Advocacy Institute. Jo-Ann is particularly proud of her immigrant heritage and loves to hear immigration stories.