Speaker. Advocate.

It started for me in 2009...

 

I was invited to travel to Jordan, Lebanon and Syria with the New York based non-profit, Intersections International. Eight artists of different disciplines were invited to hear refugee stories and share them with American audiences through our respective art forms. I was commissioned to write a play. No Place Called Home was the result. My play premiered in NYC in 2010 in a successful Off-Broadway run. We were later invited to perform at The John F. Kennedy Center as part of "World Refugee Day" by UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) in June 2012. 

My life was forever changed after that trip. I sat with Iraqi after Iraqi, hearing their stories and drinking their tea. Their stories of death and dismemberment, kidnappings and chaos, torture and terror changed me. I needed to use my voice. I still do. 

 

My advocacy expanded with the Syrian civil war into wider refugee work. And I am currently working on a new project about the Rohingya refugees.

 

I am available to speak, teach and educate on this issue and my experience in it.

There are currently 65 million displaced people—each with their own story.

RECENT PANELS/KEYNOTES:

  • Speaker: Gail Borden Public Library, Elgin, IL, August 2019

  • Speaker: Illinois State University, Normal IL, April 2019

  • Speaker: Faith Over Fear Training, Mecca Mosque, Willowbrook, IL, February, 2019

  • Panelist: MedGlobal fundraiser with Rohingyan Scholar Azeem Ibrahim, Villa Park, IL, May 2018

  • Presenter: Chicago Theological Seminary Bi-Annual Conference: RIOTcon, Chicago, IL, May 2018

  • Keynote Speaker: Peace Lecture Series @ St. Mark's Episcopal, Palm Beach, Fl, March 2018

  • Keynote Speaker: Gustavus Adolphus College Staff Enhancement, St.Peter, MN, February 2018

  • Presenter/Panelist: Duke University Keenan Institute of Ethics, Raleigh-Durham, NC March 2014

  • Panelist: UNHCR World Refugee Day, Kennedy Center for the Arts, Washington D.C. June 2013

BYLINES PUBISHED AT:

CLASSES/WORKSHOPS OFFERED:

Classes/workshops, as well as lectures are available at a high school, college or professional level. Previous classes have been taught at Chicago Theological Seminary, University of Minnesota Morris, Winona State University, Duke University, Holy Cross College, Groton School and more!

 

Refugee Life

Through stories, slides and activities, students explore what it is like to live as refugee, gaining compassion, empathy and knowledge.

 

Arts as Activism

This workshop teaches the importance of singularizing stories as it shares my journey as an artist/advocate and helps students explore their own passions and means of acting on them as artists.

 

Narrative Storytelling

In this session,  we explore the skill of storytelling and how story can shift the narrative in the world.

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