Last night I attended the launch event for the new One Chicago, One Nation Initiative, at the Chicago Cultural Center and had an incredible time. The initiative, a collaboration between the Interfaith Youth Core, IMAN (Inner-City Muslim Action Network), Link TV, the Chicago Community Trust, and One Nation, was formally launched with a program that featured a diverse lineup of inspiring speakers including IFYC founder Eboo Patel, IMAN founder Rami Nashashibi, Chaplain Dr. Javier Orozco of DePaul University, Link TV Vice President Wendy Hanamura, United Congress Convener Rev. Patricia Watkins, Journalist Bill Kurtis, and others, including youth from Imagine Englewood If and the Jewish Council on Urban Affairs, who shared testimonials of the incredible interfaith work they are doing. The evening also featured entertaining performances by slam poet Kevin Coval (a talented writer and excellent performer), comedian Azhar Usman, Seneke Ensemble, local breakdancers, DJ David Chavez, the Duzan Ensemble and, most impressively, two young women who perform rap and singing under the moniker Indigo. Across the board, I was engaged, entertained and inspired. The New York Times ran a good piece on the event today.
The film contest runs until Friday, April 23, 2010. Accepted videos are up to 5:00 (five minutes) in length (except for “Under 60 seconds” category). Film categories include: comedy, drama, documentary, under 60 seconds, music video/spoken word/animation, and mobile digital media (phones, mp3s/iPods, Flip cameras). The grand prize winner receives $20,000 and each category winner receives $5,000. There are many ways to get involved in this initiative; please spread the word! To learn more, visit their website.