Our youth are in the newspaper. Check it out!
About two weeks ago I received an email from a friend and activist in Nyala Darfur. He works with a group of youth who are trying hard to preserve and nurture Darfur’s musical and cultural heritage. The youth write and perform their own songs and develop theater pieces based on issues their communities care about the most. Some of the pieces are nostalgic and speak of life before armed militias violently displaced them, others are purely entertaining while others are calls for justice, freedom and peace. For war affected youth and their audiences this group is a great forum for expression, community building and healing. My friend asked us to help them start a mini orchestra. They are now trying to for 10 mini pianos, 3 violins, 1 drum set, 3 daraboukas (traditional drums), 3 flutes and 1 saxophone. Our youth at Long Island City High School decided to support their effort and packed their school’s auditorium last Thursday for a Talent Show fundraiser. From Hip Hop dance performances to an impersonation of Lady Gaga, they put together a 30 act show that raised over $800. Along with generous donations from my colleagues, who decided to forfeit a big portion of their Secret Santa money for groups in Darfur, the money our youth raised is currently on its way over to Nyala. The Queens Gazette wrote up the story.