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Free Forum on Community, Culture & Race Artists Speak: Water is Life

posted on: Jun 28, 2016

6:30-8:30 p.m. Thursday, July 14, 2016

24th Concert of Colors

Forum on Community, Culture & Race

Artists Speak: Water is Life

Arab American National Museum: The Annex @ AANM

13624 Michigan Ave.

Dearborn, MI, 48126

FREE admission; RSVP required at

Doors 6 p.m.

This year’s Forum creates an interactive setting for attendees to dialogue on arts activism in metro Detroit as it relates to water as a basic need and human right. This event will highlight the grassroots efforts that are being forged by community activists using art in innovative ways to share their stories of how water has impacted communities locally, nationally and internationally.  Performances and presentations are included; complimentary light refreshments will be available.


Antonio Rafael-Xicano is an Afro-Boricua entrepreneur, farmer, artist and community organizer/activist from Southwest Detroit. He cofounded the Raiz Up art collective in 2012 and fights against water shutoffs/austerity with the People’s Water Board and Detroiters Resisting Emergency Management. More than just resisting the abuse of land, water and people, Rafael-Xicano organizes in his neighborhood. Combining his love for culture, art and growing food, he started #SWGrows urban farming and ecological design cooperative in 2014.

Nada Odeh is a Syrian visual artist, activist and humanitarian who was born and raised in Damascus, Syria, came to the U.S. in 2013 and now works and lives in metro Detroit. Odeh earned her BFA from Damascus University. Her medium is acrylics on canvas; Arabic miniatures and Middle Eastern colors influence her art. The key theme in her work is Syrian refugees in camps and Syrian people. Odeh has exhibited in Damascus, Dubai, New York City, Detroit and Toledo. She also helps Syrian refugees to resettle in Michigan.

Kim Redigan of Flowtown Revue is a human-rights activist and nonviolence trainer whose work against militarism and oppression has taken her to Palestine and sites around the U.S. A member of the People’s Water Board, Redigan walked from Detroit to Flint last summer to highlight the need for clean, affordable water and is one of the Homrich 9 who blocked trucks from shutting off water. Redogan blogs and writes political parodies for the Flowtown Revue and other justice groups.

Naim Edwards of Flowtown Revue enjoys challenging systems and people by testing boundaries and asking questions. He is a garden designer, organizer and artist. Edwards is a Morehouse Man and holds a graduate degree from the University of Michigan. He strives to make life better for others through activism and improving the environment.

Sacramento Knoxx is an international artist based in music, film, design and community organizing. He performs around the world, facilitating entertaining, educational workshops and interactive performances that are raw, innovative, eclectic styles of creative expression and critical thought. Knoxx delivers a participatory educational environment with film, hip hop and culture, while addressing and confronting issues of environmental and social justice. He explores cultural identities with dynamic storytelling experiences.

Moderated by journalist Martina Guzmán, an award-winning reporter and nationally recognized journalist who writes about marginalized communities through the lens of race, poverty and culture. She is the proud daughter of Mexican immigrants and a graduate of Journalism School at Columbia University in New York City.