Photo by Lia Cohen.
On Thursday, April 12, The Beautiful Mind Project (BMP) and Al-Talib presented Speak Your Truth, a night of art, music, and poetry performed by students in the Muslim Student Association (MSA) as part of the Art of Self-Care Week. Organized by Sunia Khan and Rachma Junaidean (BMP), as well as Neelum Sheikh and Sadira Matin (Al-Talib), the event took place in the Kerckhoff Art Gallery and provided a space for Muslim students to share their voices and, through this expression, practice self-care.
The evening began with an introduction by Junaidean and Matin, the emcees for the night, accompanied by delicious food for anyone who wanted it. Audience members were encouraged to stroll around the gallery and observe the student-made art on the walls, which included paintings and photographs made by students in the MSA prior to and throughout the Art of Self-Care Week.
Next came the performers. There was a beautiful violin cover of “Somewhere Over The Rainbow,” several spoken word poems, a performance of an original rap song and a solo guitar and voice piece. There was also an open-mic portion where anyone who wanted to contribute was encouraged to perform.
Junaidean finished the night by thanking everyone for coming, expressing the purpose of the event, and recapping the past events from the Art of Self-Care Week. From a scavenger hunt to a multicultural potluck and an art-making event, it was a packed week filled with successful and nourishing events. By creating a space for Muslim students to be heard, the hosts gave students an outlet where they could be supported and uplifted.
Organizations such as The Beautiful Mind Project, a group dedicated to fostering understanding of mental health in the Muslim community, and Al-Talib, whose independent journalism has proven quite powerful, deserve our attention for the relevant and pertinent work they are doing.