Session Type(s): Panel
Starts: Thursday, Jul. 16 9:00 AM
Ends: Thursday, Jul. 16 10:15 AM
Room: 221 C
Shifting hearts and minds is one of the core principles of community organizing. But how do you do it well? Art and storytelling can be fantastic tools for culture shifting and moving the political paradigm, especially in communities of color. This panel will look at a radical walking tour, essays at the intersection of race and love, photo series, visual art at protests and sci fi POC stories that can all create an empowering political space.
Tanzila “Taz” Ahmed is an activist, storyteller, and politico based in Los Angeles. An electoral organizer by trade, she’s mobilized thousands of Asian American & Pacific Islanders to the polls in over seventeen different languages in the past fifteen years at various non-profit organizations, starting with founding South Asian American Voting Youth in 2004. She currently is a Campaign Strategist at the Asian American new media organizing group 18MillionRising.
In 2016, Taz was honored as a White House Champion of Change for Asian American and Pacific Islander Art and Storytelling and in 2017 as UCLA Luskin Alumni of the Year. She is cohost of The #GoodMuslimBadMuslim Podcast that has been featured in Oprah Magazine, Wired, and Buzzfeed as well as live shows recorded at South by Southwest and the White House.
An avid essayist, she had a monthly column called Radical Love and has written for Sepia Mutiny, Truthout, The Aerogram, The Nation, Left Turn Magazine, and more. She is published in the anthologies Modern Loss (2018), Six Words Fresh Off the Boat (2017), Good Girls Marry Doctors (2016), Love, Inshallah (2012) and poetry collection Coiled Serpent (2016). Her third poetry chapbook Emdash and Ellipses was published in early 2016. Taz curates Desi music at Mishthi Music where she co-produced Voices of Our Vote: My #AAPIVote Album (2016) and Beats for Bangladesh (2013). Her artwork was featured in Sharia Revoiced (2015), in Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center’s “H-1B” (2015), and Rebel Legacy: Activist Art from South Asian California (2015). She also makes disruptive art annually with #MuslimVDay Cards.
Sabiha Basrai is co-owner of Design Action Collective in Oakland, CA — a graphic design and web development shop dedicated to serving social justice movements with strategic media tools. She is a graduate of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo’s Art and Design program and has been working as a graphic designer for nonprofits and activist organizations for the last 10 years. She is also a coordinator for the Alliance of South Asians Taking Action — a San Francisco Bay Area all-volunteer group working to educate, organize, and empower Bay Area South Asian communities to end violence, oppression, racism and exploitation within and against our diverse communities.
Strategist, politico and coalition builder Gregory Cendana is the first openly gay and youngest-ever Executive Director of the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance and Institute for Asian Pacific American Leadership & Advancement. He also serves as the Chair of National Council of Asian Pacific Americans, as Treasurer for the Labor Coalition for Community Action and is the youngest General Board member of the AFL-CIO. Gregory has been named one of Washington DC’s most influential 40-and-under young leaders, one of the 30 Most Influential Asian Americans Under 30 & the “Future of DC Politics”. Previously, he served as President of the United States Student Association (USSA), where he played an integral role in the passage of the Student Aid & Fiscal Responsibility Act and Healthcare & Education Reconciliation Act. In his spare time, Gregory enjoys singing karaoke, choreographing dances and trying to cook. Be a part of his journey by following him on twitter at @GregoryCendana.