A tweet from Ali went out in the morning, looking for volunteers to come out in the wee hours of the morning to help set up a stage and the 30,000 watt sound system. About 30 people showed up between 7am and 8am and got that stage up in the same time it usually takes the pros. It was a great indicator of how the Day of Dignity was going to go.
Day of Dignity (DoD) was the brain child of local Hip Hop artist Brother Ali. The Masjid An-Nur Islamic Center has been helping the North Minneapolis community since it opened it’s doors in the late 90’s. Every month, the mosque opens it’s doors to help feed 300 families, among other things. The DoD was offering that as well, just on a much larger scale. The free services offered this day included: health care services, hair cuts, books and school supplies, winter clothes, food, and health and hygiene products.
After some local performers that included drums and dancing, a rapper named KAY took the mic. KAY moved here from Somalia and his last song of the day titled “The Drought”, he writes about the struggles that his people are having at home with famine due to the historic drought. He is donating all of the proceeds from this song, so please check it out here.
The acts that followed included Toki Wright, Freeway, Dessa and Aby Wolf, P.O.S., Slug and of course Brother Ali. Ali was half rapper, half motivational speaker and excelled at both. He offered words of acceptance of yourself, for who and what you are, loving others because of; and not in-spite of; your differences and so much more. He is an amazing performer and an important member of the Twin City, Muslim and Hip Hop community.
Brother Ali explains what the Day of Dignity is all about.
Additional photos can be found here: Flickr