If you haven't eaten rice...
Aline Sitoue, a Diola Woman
FANIKE! African Dance Troupe
March 18th 2023 7:30pm
Jamaica Performing Arts Center
Tonight we reveal to you what God has revealed and inspired us to present to you and the community. A night of revelations, connections, rice and culture.
Aline Sitoue Diatta is a Diola woman from Kabrousse, Senegal. She lead a tax resistance against the French during World War II. She is also know as a woman who had a prophetic vision and prayed for rain for her people's crop...rice. She was eventually arrested and sent to Timbuktu where she died. She is considered one of the national heroine's of Senegal.
Artistic Director & Choreographer
Nya Ghizamboule Robinson
Mistress of Ceremonies
Nya Kudara Cynthia Faison
Nya Akua Brabham, Ansar Roberson, Nya PY Gittens, Joy Karimu
Guest Choreographer and Cultural Consultant
Lenea Stevens*, Ousmane Sall
Lenea Stevens*, Cyre Irby, Noelle Pigott, Ashonte Rhodes, Rasheeda Rhodes, Kim Bailey, Tunisha Johnson, LaNiece McKeller, Kiabi Hopkins, Kayla Johnson
Khary Kamu, Zori Jacobs, Eddie Jones, Kirov Briggs, Jean- Lemke Chariot II, Craig Depass, Atiba Morales,
Mohammad Guisse, Nadja Codrington
Hazel Pigott, Michele Stevens
Ghizamboule Robinson, Erlene Trumpet, Sophia Walsh-Newman
Cultural Warrior Awardee
Aleeia Abraham is a Social Organizer committed to elevating Black people in Queens, New York. Born and raised in Queens, Aleeia is best known for founding The BlaQue Resource Network: a community collective of 23,000 people dedicated to organizing Black business owners, consumers and community members in Queens. For her outstanding service and contributions, Aleeia has been honored by Congressman Gregory W. Meeks, New York State Senator Leroy Comrie, New York City Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer and Selvena Brooks-Powers and Assembly member Khaleel Anderson. In 2020, Queens Borough President Sharon Lee proclaimed August 10th 2020 as BlaQue Resource Network Day in Queens. Aleeia was named one of the 100 Most Influential People in Queens by City & State Magazine in 2021. Most recently, Aleeia is the proud recipient of a New York City award by Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz, presented during their February 2022 Black History Month Celebration. Aleeia Abraham's commitment to creating a local community ecosystem of mentorship, support, and partnership has been proven steadfast through her actions, initiatives and continuous service.
Karesia Batan is a Queens-based dancer and Founding Executive Director of the Queensboro Dance Festival, an organization that provides free dance programming across Queens outdoor public spaces, presenting the diversity of dance companies from the borough. Serving both the Queens dance community and audiences, Karesia's work has received recognitions from Queens Pride, assemblywoman Cathy Nolan, comptroller Thomas DeNapoli, public advocate Leticia James, and in the NYC Cultural Plan. She is an advocate for arts funding equity and accessibility for Queens, serving on several city and private funding review panels for artists, and speaking panels on Queens Public TV, Center of Urban Future, and Dance/NYC, where she currently is on their Advisory Committee. Karesia also serves on her local Queens Community Board 2 under Land Use, and chairs its Arts & Culture committee. A dancer at heart, Karesia most recently maintains her artistic practice in Filipino folk dances, and as a modern dancer for choreographer Craig Hoke Zarah. www.queensborodancefestival.com
Dane Chong Is a graphic designer with over 25 years of experience whose designs have been featured everywhere from the GAP and Old Navy to album covers of Grammy winning artists Sean Paul and Beanie Man. Currently, he is the Senior Graphic Designer for NYC Department of Corrections.
In addition to graphic design, Dane is also a passionate photographer who shoots both private and corporate events. After spending several years designing for large fashion institutions and the music industry, Dane decided that he wanted to use his talents to help small business owners bring their visions to life. He founded WeSo Creative in 2012 and has since helped hundreds of small, most black owned businesses with all aspects of design including logos, billboards, pamphlets and more.
Dane’s most recent achievement and likely his greatest source of pride is being the co-founder of The BlaQue Resource Network, a Facebook group designed to bring together the vast resources among black Queens residents. BRN’s goal is to support local black business in Queens, provide community assistance to those in need and promote black voices in local politics and so much more. In addition to his passions for design and photography, Dane is an avid traveler, admires all things vintage and boasts a collection of nearly 500 pairs of socks.