A Celebration of Life at CBS Studios, Los Angeles

On 1/24/2016, MPV will be hosting an event entitled,"Celebration of Life," at CBS Studios in Los Angeles. That night we will be honoring the lives of nine human rights defenders who have been imprisoned and/or died fighting for #FreedomOfConscience.
 
 
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LOS ANGELES - Jan. 13, 2016 - PRLog -- *** MEDIA ADVISORY ***

CONTACT: Crystal Keshawarz 323.543.5649 or CrystalK@mpvusa.org

EVENT: Muslims for Progressive Values (MPV) presents CELEBRATION OF LIFE

WHAT: A celebratory event in Los Angeles, California, to highlight the achievements of human rights defenders globally throughout the Muslim world. MPV’s “Celebration of Life” will present a novel interactive approach to raising awareness about human rights heroes, with celebrity guests delivering a monologue as the activists they are honoring.

An evening of music, poetry, and appearances by prominent human rights advocates, their families, and their celebrity supporters, to draw attention to pervasive threats to human rights. Threats which can be thwarted only with education and the freedom to think critically. The event can be followed on social media through the #FreedomOfConscience hashtag.

WHEN: Sunday, January 24, 2016

5:30pm – 6:00pm – Photos with Artists, Activists, VIPs

6pm – 7pm – Dinner with Artists, Activists, VIPs

7pm – 8:30pm – Presentation and Performances

WHERE: CBS Studios Center, Carla’s Cafe

         4024 Radford Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 91604

MORE INFORMATION:

RSVP here:https://celebrationoflifempv.eventbrite.com/

Sponsorship and event program “Solidarity Ad” purchase information:http://buff.ly/1jElTlY

WHO:

Ensaf Haider (http://www.raifbadawifoundation.org/) – Author, wife of jailed Saudi blogger Raif Badawi

Reza Aslan (http://rezaaslan.com/) - Author, Commentator, and Professor

Ani Zonneveld (http://www.mpvusa.org/ani-zonneveld) – Singer/Songwriter, Activist, and Founder/President of MPV

Maz Jobrani (http://www.mazjobrani.com/) – Comedian and Actor

Karima Bennoune (http://www.karimabennoune.com/) – Author, Law Professor, UN Special Rapporteur in the Field of Cultural Rights

David Kaye (http://www.law.uci.edu/faculty/full-time/kaye/) – Professor, UN Special Rapporteur (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UN_Special_Rapporteur) for Freedom of Expression

Tony Haynes (http://www.tonyhaynes.webs.com/) - Songwriter, Poet, Music Producer, and Author

Aron Kader (http://www.aronkader.com/) – Comedian

Tom Earl (http://www.tomearl.com/) – Poet, Musician, and Leadership Consultant

Hazzan Mike Stein (http://templealiyah.org/temple-aliyah/clergy/hazzan-stein/) - Cantor, Temple Beth Aliyah

Kel Mockingbird (http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/mockingmusic3) - Native American Flutist and Musician

Julien Bommeleyn (https://www.facebook.com/bommeleyn) – French Guitarist and Musician

Shiva Ware (http://www.shivawarefreestyle.com)– Dancer, Choreographer, Performance Coach

HONOREES:

Raif Badawi - Imprisoned for 10 years and sentenced to 1000 lashes for critically analyzing the oppressive theocracy and archaic status quo in Saudi Arabia.

Waleed Abu Al-Khair - Raif's lawyer, sentenced to 15 years for defending Badawi’s right to free speech.

Farkhunda Malikzada- A 27-year-old theology teacher who publicly opposed a prominent mullah who sold charms and took advantage of the poor; was lynched by a mob of over 50 men in Afghanistan.

Samira al-Nuaimy - Tortured and murdered at the hands of Daesh in Iraq after criticizing its barbarism and destruction of Islamic heritage sites.

Salwa Bugaighis - Lawyer, political and human rights activist who was murdered in Libya for fostering egalitarian governance.

Sabeen Mahmud - Human rights activist and NGO worker, assassinated for shedding light on the atrocities faced by minorities in Pakistan.

Saado Ali Warsame - A Somali parliamentarian and singer of socially relevant songs who was gunned down by Al Shabaab in 2014.

Nisha Ayub - Arrested, fined, and sexually assaulted while imprisoned, simply for being transgendered in Malaysia.

Islam Behery - A progressive Islamic scholar jailed for challenging Al-Azhar University’s religious ideology in Egypt.

WHY:

Right now, we are at a crossroads in our great nation. The road ahead is diverged and offers two options: discord or unity. Those who seek that discord are utilizing people’s fears and ignorance to assert a narrative on Islam that is singular and narrow. This predominant rhetoric is not only divisive, but it is dangerous and irresponsible. Meanwhile, the media asks, “Where are the progressive Muslims? Why don’t they speak up?” In truth, Celebration of Life is about lifting up the voices of people who embody the very counter narrative that the media is seeking. Their lives have been sacrificed and their voices silenced for the very ideals of freedom, justice, liberty, and equality that we as Americans hold dear. Patrick Henry famously stated, “Give me liberty, or give me death!” And that is precisely the virtue by which these brave souls have lived and died. They shall not go down in the annals of history unnoticed. They raised their voices, and Celebration of Life will amplify their sound. The path of unity is clearly here, will you walk on it with us?

About Muslims for Progressive Values (MPV):

Established in 2007, Muslims for Progressive Values, is a grassroots, faith-based human rights organization with Consultative Status at the United Nations, working to counter radical fundamentalist narratives on the ground and at the policy level, and ensuring that human rights are upheld and not denied on the basis of culture, theology or theocracy.

MPV is the only American institution that established egalitarian expressions of Islam for women, minorities, and for LGBTQI rights. MPV does this by creating inclusive spaces for religious discourse through the arts, education and social activism, as well as community events.

For more information, visit www.mpvusa.org or follow us on Facebook and Twitter (@mpvusa).

Contact
Crystal Keshawarz
Development Manager, MPV
***@mpvusa.org
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