Stories of Justice and Hope
Our University of the Streets Café public conversations are much like any you’d have with friends or family around a dinner table, except with more people, more points of view, and slightly more structure. Conversations are hosted by a volunteer moderator who is there to welcome everyone and keep things on track. To get things started, there’s a guest, or sometimes two, who get the ball rolling by sharing their ideas, experiences and questions. After that, it's all up to the participants.
Gathering under a central theme of City Lights, this evening's conversation will strive to identify the radiance of the urban experience. Some will explore the rebirth that comes after a period of darkness; others will consider how we define hope in our own lives and how luminaries can inspire our local communities; still others will look at our relationship to technology and its sometimes brilliant and emancipatory potential. In our stories, how do contribute to the evolving narrative of the City Light?
Hamed Farmand is the founder of Children of Imprisoned Parents International (COIPI). He was born and raised in Iran, and moved to the U.S. in 2010. When Hamed was six years-old, his mother was arrested in Iran for political reasons. He wrote a book (in Farsi), titled “Missing Mum,” which is the story of this childhood experience. In addition to running COIPI, he works part-time in a restaurant.
Malek Yalaoui is a Montreal-based writer, advocate and public speaker who has been called many things but the most frequent of these is “force to be reckoned with.” Born in North Africa but bred in the American Midwest, Malek’s work is all about reconciling her multiple, intersecting identities as she moves towards wholeness. A queer femme of color and adult survivor of child abuse living with long-term depression, the sole purpose of Malek’s work is to heal herself and her community. Malek believes in the power of representation to lift up underserved communities and uses social and independent media to highlight both her own voice and the voices of other women of color.
Moderator: Afra Saskia Tucker
4001 Berri St. #201