In Arabic, the word Rizec implies one’s destiny or fate.
RIZEC stands for The Riz (Bay Ridge)
for Environmental Consciousness.
RIZEC is a radical histories learning group
within our SWANA diasporic community
contexualizing the displacement of our peoples
from oil wars (Iraq, Yemen, Afghanistan),
ongoing settler colonialism (Palestine)
and throughout our region,
within an environmental justice framework.
Here we carry on the traditions, knowledge
and revolutionary projects of our ancestors
to reclaim lost lands, plant wisdom
and antiracist ethos.
RIZEC is made up of female identified
Arab and Muslim youth
in our Middle Eastern diasporic
neighborhood of Bay Ridge Brooklyn.
The goals of our group are three fold.
First: to organize SWANA youth
to contribute to wider world changing
environmental justice movements.
Second: to educate and celebrate
SWANA youth through intellectual subjects
and embodied activities
not always available to us
as urban, working class diaspora.
Third: to form lasting alliances with other
BIPOC youth and community groups for environmental
and social change, grounded in the unique traditions
and perspectives of our community.
In short, to collaboratively and creatively
equip SWANA youth with self love and critical skills
to co-create a just world.
RIZEC is grateful for the support of Gibney Dance,
the Bay and Paul Foundation,
Howard Gillman Foundation, the Mertz Gilmore Foundation.
This project was developed within Gibney Dance’s
Moving Toward Justice Fellowship,
formerly in collaboration with AAANY and
the young women of Brooklynat,
and continues independently today
as part of a secular and radical reclaimation of activism
and world building within our SWANA community.
To join, or for more information,
please contact :interelationalecology [at] gmail.com
Image credit: Farida Fahmy,
from the Book “Dancing is my Life”
by Farida Fahmy and Mahmoud Reda.