In Arabic, the word Rizec implies one’s destiny or fate.
RIZEC stands for The Riz (Bay Ridge)
for Environmental Consciousness.
RIZEC was made up of female identified
Arab and Muslim high school age youth
in our Middle Eastern diasporic
neighborhood of Bay Ridge Brooklyn,
working and learn at the intersections of
and environmental and social justice.
The goals of our group were 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 and began
in collaboration with departed
members of the staff of the AAANY and
the young women of Brooklynat.
Image credit: Farida Fahmy,
from the Book “Dancing is my Life”
by Farida Fahmy and Mahmoud Reda.