“If you look at my immigration papers, my official status is ‘alien of extraordinary ability.’ I’m not shitting you; that’s really what it’s called,” Saudi-born pop star Rotana told the crowd at the first Activist Mornings in New York City on September 28. “And I think that’s so incredible, cause I think it’s accurate. I’m like a bougie immigrant. I was not displaced by war or greed, I am here by choice. So, I really, really have to acknowledge that. I am in a place of privilege to be speaking about immigration with such lightness. And I don’t take that lightly.”
Last Friday, A Beautiful Perspective kicked off our first Activist Mornings at NYU’s Skirball Center for the Performing Arts. Coordinated with ABP’s magazine theme, Activist Mornings is a speaker and concert series that dives into a current social issue through stories, songs and conversations. We hope to educate and inspire an audience who—armed with new information, relationships and coffee—will head into work or the weekend ready to make an immediate and lasting impact.
The theme of our first Activist Mornings was Immigrants: Searching for Home, explored through the powerful voices and enlightening performances of spoken-word artist Suhaiymah, journalist/genealogist Jennifer Mendelsohn, singer Rotana and award-winning musician and refugee M.I.A.
Thanks to everyone who braved the early wakeup call—and the pouring rain—to join us last week. Check out a glimpse of Activist Mornings below, and stay tuned for details on our next event, returning to wake you up with purpose soon!
“True activism means you go against the grain at that moment when the status quo is going against you.”
“Home. I wish I could say I knew what that was for me by now or even come up with a string of words to describe that feeling or really what it is. But I don’t have that yet. I’m still very much in the thick of finding out what home is to me.” -Rotana