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Muslim's for Progressive Values Hosts 3RD Annual Celebration of Life Fundraiser
Organization will honor human rights defenders throughout the world, with help from celebrity guests
Muslims for Progressive Values is a U.S based human rights and non-profit organization founded in 2007. Its mission is to advocate for social justice, women's rights, LGBTQI inclusion, freedom of expression and freedom of and from religious beliefs.
The fundraising event, hosted by comedian Tamer Kattan, will begin at 4:00pm and take place at MPR9, located in the CBS Studios lot (4024 Radford Ave., Los Angeles). The event will include celebrity award presentations, personal tributes, poetry readings, and live music. MPV will laud the tireless efforts of Muslim human rights defenders who have fought against human rights abuses and sought to affirm the equal worth of all human beings.
Actors Jaylen Moore (Six), Amin El Gamal (Prison Break), and Kevin Jennings, co-chair of MPV's Board will each recite a compelling narrative (in the first person) of the life of an advocate who has suffered persecution because of their struggle for freedom of expression and for basic human rights. Other celebrity/high profile participants will be announced closer to the event date. By celebrating and honoring these heroic defenders of truth and humanity, MPV affirms that we all can inspire others to do the same.
Kevin Jennings will be honored with the Badshah Khan Beacon of Truth award for the many decades of work he has committed toward progressive change in America, creating and leading organizations such as the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network and the Safe & Supportive Schools grant program.
"Progressive Muslims are everywhere but unfortunately we don't hear about them, says MPV founder, Ani Zonneveld. "Too often we hear about Muslims for some terror attack, and it is this one-sided reporting that fuels anti-Islam sentiments. By celebrating these human rights defenders and free thinkers at Celebration of Life we highlight their life and our organization's work in promoting progressive values."
Guests include a range of established and up-and-coming celebrities invited because they embody the mission of MPV and echo the necessity of its existence today. Attendees include Joey Luthman (Modern Family, The Long Road Home), Iris Almario (Nobodies, Jane the Virgin), James Calvo (The Affair, Raising Hope), Whitney Bowers (Various Broadway musicals), Newton Mayenge (Pro basketball player), and many more to be named. Hasan Piker of The Young Turks will participate in a celebrity date auction.
Ani Zonneveld is founder and President of Muslims for Progressive Values (MPV). Since its inception, Ani has presided over MPV's expansion to include chapters and affiliates in 12 countries and 19 cities. She has organized numerous interfaith arts and music festivals, and is a strong supporter of freedom of expression and of conscience, women's rights and as an ally, LGBTQ rights. She is the co-editor of MPV's first book, an anthology titled "Progressive Muslim Identities – Personal Stories from the U.S. and Canada"; executive producer of a video series "LGBTQI Rights in Islam"; has contributed to many forewords and numerous anthologies too many to list and is a contributor for HuffingtonPost, OpenDemocracy and al-Jazeera.
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