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We believe arts and culture are a necessity, not an option

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Food For Thought

In this groundbreaking series, we journey through four compelling episodes, exploring the most pressing issues of our time. Delve into thought-provoking discussions, powerful narratives, and innovative solutions as we serve up a feast of ideas and perspectives, inviting you to savor the complexities of our world. Join us on this intellectual culinary adventure, where every episode offers a fresh course of insight, understanding, and inspiration. Prepare to be intellectually nourished in this immersive exploration of the human experience  while breaking bread with community members who seek a better world for all.

Given what is happening in the world and the dire humanitarian crisis we find ourselves in, we would like to produce a much needed conversation into our humanity, where we are now and how we see ourselves in the future. It is with a heavy heart that we are obligated as humans to be in service of our beloved global community and who are gravely affected by the violence in Gaza.  We look to bring awareness on this issue and hear from the voices of those in the middle of the conflict. 

This event aims to honor Human Rights Day by focusing attention on the urgent need for a ceasefire and an end to the violence in Gaza. It provides a platform for dialogue, education, and advocacy, mobilizing us to take concrete actions towards peace and justice in the region.

Please join us as we call for a permanent ceasefire and for a better solution that is both fostered in justice, truth, and humanity for all people.

Food For Thought: Ceasefire for Humanity: A Call to End Violence in Gaza on Human Rights Day
Sunday, December 10, 2023 from 4:00 - 6:30 PM.

First come first serve and only limited space. Register below!

We are excited for our headlining artist who will serenade us with beautiful sounds Miriam Elhalji. Please Click below to listen to her music and learn more.

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Please join us...

In partnership with...​

Event: Food For Thought
Date: Sunday, December 10, 2023
Time: 4:00 - 6:30 PM
Location: Havenly, 25 Temple St, New Haven

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Special Guests

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Nieda Abbas

Co-Founder and Co-Executive Director, Operations, Havenly

Nieda is from Iraq, Baghdad, and an entrepreneur by nature. In Baghdad, she owned three restaurants with a degree in business management. In 2005, Nieda was displaced to Syria, then to Turkey, and then resettled to New Haven in 2014. She is a chef with a passion to share culture, health, and love through food. Nieda was an entrepreneur fellow with Collab.

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Salwa Abdussabur

Artist, Arts Advocate, and Arts Administrator

Salwa Abdussabur is an accomplished artist, arts advocate, and arts administrator with a passion for using art and storytelling to make a positive impact in communities. With over 8 years of experience in the non-profit sector, Salwa has successfully leveraged the power of the arts to bring people together, inspire change, and create lasting social impact. Salwa has also dedicated herself to advocating for the arts as an essential community development and social change tool. Through her work as an arts administrator, Salwa has successfully launched and managed various initiatives that have brought the arts to underserved communities, fostered youth development, and created opportunities for emerging artists. Salwa is the founder and creative director of Black Haven, a platform in response to art justice centering Black artist equity and inclusion, where she put on New Haven's Connecticut first of its kind black short film festival. In the past year, She served on the Cultural Equity Team to bring the first in-state Cultural Equity Plan for the City of New Haven. With a deep commitment to using the power of storytelling to effect positive change, Salwa has become known for her ability to create engaging, meaningful experiences that inspire and educate audiences of all ages. Salwa is a trained community organizer and Anti-Racism facilitator, working with various organizations and Academic Institutions around topics including Youth Advocacy, Youth Empowerment through the arts, as well as Arts Equity and Inclusion. Whether through her art, advocacy, or administration, Salwa is driven by a singular vision: to make the world a better place through the transformative power of the arts. She hopes that being a part of these transformative nonprofit spaces that combine artistry & activism will inspire youth creatives to be global change makers, movers, and shakers.

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Miriam Elhajli 

Folk singer, Composer-improviser, and Folklorist

Miriam Elhajli is a folk singer, composer-improviser and folklorist from Cambridge, Massachusetts of Venezuelan and Moroccan heritage. Currently in New York City, she performs & works as a researcher at The Association for Cultural Equity founded by Alan Lomax. Moving in the intersection of the vibrant avant-garde and the folkloric communities of Brooklyn, she has collaborated with musicians such as Jen Shyu, Shahzad Ismaily, Adam O’Farrill, and Jason Lindner. Elhajli released their debut LP “Observations” (2020) and sophomore “The Uncertainty of Signs” (2022) last year on Numina Records, a label they founded to aid in the documentation of traditional womens music in the Maghreb and beyond. Numina is set to release Elhajli’s third LP as well as Moroccan chaabi ensemble, Bnat El Houariyat’s record next year.

Performances By

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Ro Godwynn

Singer-songwriter and Producer

Ro Godwynn is a singer-songwriter and producer based in New Haven, CT who combines ambient sounds with meditative, ethereal melodies to create moments of deep catharsis and healing. Ro's music draws on their religious background, incorporating familiar vocal and melodic techniques to create a potent and emotional response to the dissolution of their faith and ever-changing self-identity. Ro uses art to interact with the intrapersonal, even contending with themself in their 2022 single, "FORM," alchemizing emotion into introspection and growth. Ro Godwynn's music fosters a community of listeners on a journey of self-discovery and acceptance, challenging societal norms and encouraging newer, gentler ways of relating to culture, community, and self.

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Brian Jarawa Gray

Music educator, Writer Composer, and Cultural Promoter

Brian Jarawa Gray born in New Haven, CT, Jarawa began his music career in his teen years as a percussionist for the renown jazz band Deja Vu Noir under the mentorship of band leader, the reverend Dr. Dwight Andrews. In Deja vu noir, Jarawa performed alongside the now world renown music artists Pheroan Aklaff, Jay Hoggard, Nat Adderley Jr., Gerri Allen, and a host of others. Jarawa also played Conga, light percussion, before his study and playing of Marimbas, African Djembe and Dun Dun Drums. Jarawa was also a member of the Chuck Davis Dance Company, Kufain Keneke led by Tatchol Camara, drummer for the African Drum and Dance (Nzinga) at Yale University, Music Director and drummer for Konjo African Drum and Dance out of Yale University, Founder, Drummer and Music Director of Kika Ese African Drum and Dance Company. Co-Founder of The Healing Drum Society, Founder Dancer and Drummer for the Total Movement Society, Founder, Band Leader, Music Director of the Vision Contemporary and Jazz music Band, and Musical Director of Artsucation Academy Network’s Keepers of the Culture Performing Arts Company (KCPAC). Jarawa played in many venues across the country including Lincoln Center, 7th Avenue Theater, Woolsey Hall, University of Michigan, and Harvard University. Jarawa taught and instructed drumming at Wesleyan University, Yale University, and Amistad Academy. Jarawa has developed and taught the curriculum he named, Natural Centric Drumming and World Music, which combines African, Afro-Brazilian, Afro-Cuban, Puerto-Rican Bomba, and Native American styles. You may access, hear, and see Jarawa’s work on YouTube, Facebook, United Masters, iTunes, and SoundCloud as Blackfist Productions.

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Our launch event on Friday, July 21 was a huge success. Thank you for showing up!

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Thank You to Our Sponsors and Partners

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Westville Village Renaissance Alliance (WVRA)

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City of New Haven Department of Arts & Culture - Support provided by the Mayor's Neighborhood Cultural Vitality Grant.

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NXTHVN |

New Haven, CT

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Havenly |

New Haven, CT

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