On June 23, 2009, people across the country tuned in to New Muslim Cool when it made its broadcast premiere on PBS’s P.O.V. This powerful new documentary by filmmaker Jennifer Taylor tells the story of Hamza Pérez, a young Puerto Rican hip hop artist who converted to Islam at age 21, pulling himself off the streets to become a community activist and rising star. As compelling as it is complex, Hamza’s is a surprising journey of redemption, friendship, family, and hope.
To maximize the power of this story, Active Voice and the makers of New Muslim Cool are spearheading a tour designed to spark critical conversations among diverse groups around America. Supported by national and grassroots partners from across sectors and faiths, this initiative will begin a dialogue that will continue to unfold before, during and long after the broadcast premiere.
OPPORTUNITIES AND OBJECTIVES
Tapping into the leadership and energy of youth and interfaith networks, the New Muslim Cool Campaign will:
• Open conversations about faith, race, class and culture;
• Raise awareness of the diversity of American Muslim communities and enrich interfaith, cross-cultural understanding;
• Inspire new community and civic engagement;
• Help to strengthen coalitions across identity lines.
• Sneak preview screenings. We’ll provide support and guidance for strategic sneak preview events, working with event hosts to encourage meaningful participation by diverse coalitions.
• Night-of-broadcast and post-broadcast events in campuses and community settings. We’ll be encouraging night-of-broadcast watch parties in June. Check back soon for a toolkit that will include tips for planning successful interfaith events.
• Networking and national partnerships. Strategic partnerships with national and local organizations will engage youth, communities of color, people of faith, civic leaders, and others. Partners will help get the word out to their members, friends and networks.
• Tools and activities to encourage youth engagement. We’ll encourage youth to come together through their music, faith, and a shared interest in social change through the NMC Facebook page, viral video campaign, and web and mobile media project. Other possibilities include collaborations with poetry workshops and a multi-faith concert tour.