Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Friday 6/12: New Muslim Cool Preview @ Stephen's Church

“While the film transcends race, ethnicity, class and religion, the setting, scenes and scope all reaffirm the universality of one humanity. New Muslim Cool, like hip-hop culture, is all about irrepressible social transformation and empowerment.”
-Dr. Ben Chavis, CEO and Co-Chairman, The Hip-Hop Summit Action Network

(FREE to all teach-in registrants $10 to general public)

Registrants of the 2nd Annual Remixing the Art of Social Change and members of the larger DC metro area community will come together for an exclusive sneak preview screening of the new documentary New Muslim Cool, thanks to Words Beats & Life which will host an evening screening at the St Stephens Church 1525 Newton St NW Washington DC 20010 on June 12th, at 9pm. This is one of several New Muslim Cool premiere screenings that are taking place in communities around the country.

New Muslim Cool tells the true-life story of Hamza Pérez, a Puerto Rican-American hip-hop artist who converted to Islam at age 21, pulling himself off the streets to become a community activist and rising star. Forging unlikely friendships with a Jewish poet, a prison chaplain, and many others along his surprising spiritual journey, Hamza faces challenges with a message of hope, finding his balance in a world that never stops changing. New Muslim Cool was directed by celebrated filmmaker Jennifer Maytorena Taylor, whose previous credits include the documentaries Paulina (Sundance Channel), Special Circumstances (PBS), and Ramadan Primetime (Link TV).

The screening is part of a nationwide community-engagement campaign spearheaded by the makers of New Muslim Cool, nonprofit media strategy company Active Voice, and P.O.V. The New Muslim Cool team is encouraging and supporting community screenings of the film, hosted by local cultural institutions, faith-based and interfaith groups, community-based organizations, film festivals, public television stations, student groups, and other groups nationwide. Events are aimed at promoting dialogue and discussion among diverse groups around America and are the first step in a broader initiative that will continue after the film’s national broadcast.

National partners in the campaign include Specific Pictures, P.O.V., The Center for Asian-American Media, The Hip-Hop Summit Action Network, The Inner-City Muslim Action Network, The Interfaith Youth Core, Latino Public Broadcasting, The National Coalition-Building Institute, The Pluralism Project at Harvard University, Voto Latino, and Words, Beats & Life.

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