Brimming with passion and potential to serve humanity, a diverse student audience of nearly 400 packed the historic International House Assembly Hall to capacity on January 13, 2013 for an innovative project called “Humanitea Time.” Humanitea Time is a dynamic platform for inspiring young activism around social causes, both local and global.
An initiative of the Zakat Foundation of America, and cosponsored by Amnesty International USA and the University of Chicago Global Voices Program, this warm café style event captivated students with a stage that casted a range of local and global causes through performing arts, dynamic presentations, and authentic narratives. Youth were inspired to discover their potential as change-makers, and were mobilized around pressing issues such as gun violence, food justice, global water scarcity, and human rights crises around the globe. Humanitea Time featured legendary Chicago activist Father Pfleger, star of “The Interrupters” Ameena Matthews, contemporary American Imam Suhaib Webb, riveting poets Tasleem Jamila Firdausee and Amal Kassir, and the Kuumba Lynx Performance Ensemble.
After the show, students visited the Action Stations where they signed up to get involved with existing programs around the cause of their choice. Whether it’s planting community gardens in food deserts, building water wells in the world’s thirstiest villages, or mentoring children in underprivileged communities, our youth headed off from Humanitea Time committed to tread new tracks in their world.
Humanitea Time is driven by the belief that individuals have vast capacity for spreading peace and affecting change where needed, and it hopes to trigger an opening of the flood gates for this vast yet largely untapped potential to gush forth. Humanitea Time is not intended to be a one-day activity, but a springboard for the continuing flow of youth activism. The event is part of Zakat Foundation of America’s larger campaign, Students for Humanitea.
Leading up to the event is the “Artists for Humanitea,” an online performing arts contest inviting budding artists to create poetry, song, theatre, or other performing arts that inspire awareness and action around social justice and humanitarian causes. The grand prize is a free student-service trip to Ghana in summer of 2013 with Zakat Foundation of America, the second prize is a $1000.00 scholarship, and 3rd prize is a $500.00 scholarship. The online contest was launched in December 2012 and runs until February 15, 2013.
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