Founder & Producer
Tom is a playwright, author of five books and 20+ year visual artist. His plays have been developed and produced at such venues as the Ensemble Studio Theater, HERE, Dixon Place, Theater for the New City, IRT Theater, Theater at the 14th Street Y, Theater Row, A.R.T.-NY and many others.  He was the founding producer of the International Human Rights Art Festival (2017), the Amnesty International Human Rights Art Festival (2010) and a Research Fellow at DePaul University (2010). He has exhibited his artwork and spoken about his ideas throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, Turkey and the Middle East.  www.tomblock.com

Layla Zami

Assistant Producer

Layla is an innovative academic and artist working with words, music, performance, and video. Born in Paris, France in 1985, Layla gains inspiration from a rich and complex Jewish-Russian-German and Afro-Caribbean-Indian cultural heritage. Layla holds a Ph.D. in Gender Studies from Humboldt-University, Berlin and a M.A. from the Sciences Po Paris School of International Affairs. She was a Visiting Research Scholar at Columbia University (IRWGS), and at the UCSD Department of Theatre & Dance. Together with Oxana Chi Dance Art, Layla has performed in theaters, universities and festivals across the globe. She currently serves in the Dance/NYC Research Task Force and Symposium Programming Committee.  www.laylazami.net

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Alexa Jordan

 

Social Media and Volunteer Co-ordinator

Alexa Jordan is an actress who recently graduated from Vassar College, with a BA in Drama. While there, she received the Marilyn Swartz Seven Playwriting Award. Alexa serves on the board of the Juanita James Scholarship Foundation (jjmsf.org), a scholarship fund in memory of her late grandmother. She is extremely passionate about the importance of the arts, social activism, and raising mental health awareness.

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Solvency Studios

 

Official Videographer

Solvency Studios will be our official videographer for the full Festival in November at the Wild Project.  This NYC-based video company creates "shaping and sharing" stories, long and short, that capture the totality of human experience. They will be creating a 10-20 minute piece which captures the beauty, sincerity and vibrancy of the NYC activist art community, and the work that we are doing at the International Human Rights Art Festival.  

Board of Directors

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Tom Block

 

President

Tom is a playwright, author of five books and 20+ year visual artist. His plays have been developed and produced at such venues as the Ensemble Studio Theater, HERE, Dixon Place, Theater for the New City, IRT Theater, Theater at the 14th Street Y, Theater Row, A.R.T.-NY and many others.  He was the founding producer of the International Human Rights Art Festival (2017), the Amnesty International Human Rights Art Festival (2010) and a Research Fellow at DePaul University (2010). He has exhibited his artwork and spoken about his ideas throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, Turkey and the Middle East.  www.tomblock.com

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Dr. Kathleen Cavanaugh

Vice President

Dr. Kathleen Cavanaugh is currently a Lecturer of International Law in the Faculty of Law, Irish Centre for Human Rights (ICHR), National University of Ireland, Galway.  She held the position of Chair of the Executive Committee of Amnesty International Ireland (2004-2010) and was a member of the International Policy Committee of Amnesty International. She has conducted trainings for governmental as well as non-governmental organisations throughout the Middle East (Yemen, Jordan, Egypt, Iran, Morocco, Syria, Lebanon, and Sudan), India, and the Republic of Ireland.

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Catherine Filloux

Treasurer

Catherine Filloux is an award-winning playwright who has been writing about human rights and social justice for over twenty years. Filloux’s more than twenty plays have been produced in New York and around the world. Awards include: Voice Award for Artistic Works (Voices of Women), New Generations-Future Collaborations Award (Mellon Foundation/TCG), PeaceWriting Award (Omni Center for Peace), Roger L. Stevens Award (Kennedy Center), Eric Kocher Playwrights Award (O'Neill), MAP Fund and the Callaway Award (New Dramatists). She is a Fulbright Senior Specialist (Cambodia & Morocco), Asian Cultural Council Grant and LMCC Manhattan Community Arts Fund and Fund for Creative Communities recipient.

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Robina Niaz

Robina Niaz founded Turning Point for Women and Families in 2004, the first non-profit in New York City to address domestic violence in the Muslim community. A social worker, an activist and a fierce advocate of Muslim women’s rights, Robina has spoken extensively against domestic violence locally, nationally, and internationally, and has received numerous honors and awards. Robina was named a CNN Hero in 2009, and also featured as one of the 500 Most Influential Muslims (2009) by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Center/Georgetown University. Robina has also received awards from FEBA (Federation of Balkan American Associations), Chhaya CDC, State Senator Eric Adams, Women’s eNews, Bank of America, Queens Council for Social Welfare and NASW-NY, NEMWA (North East Muslim Women’s Association), Women In Islam, Union Square Awards, Open Society Institute and the Queens Borough President.

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Rabbi Abie Ingber

Rabbi Abie Ingber is a pioneering advocate of immigrant and refugee rights and interfaith collaboration. For over 30 years, he served as the executive director of the Hillel Jewish Student Center at the University of Cincinnati. In 2008, he founded the Center for Interfaith Community Engagement at Xavier University and still serves as its executive director. He is also an adjunct professor in the University’s Department of Theology, and Special Assistant to Fr. Michael Graham, S.J., President of Xavier.

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Mashuq Deen

Mashuq Mushtaq Deen is an award-winning, queer theater artist and a resident playwright at New Dramatists (class of 2022). Deen's plays have been produced and/or developed by New Dramatists, The Public Theater, NYTW, New Harmony Project, InterAct Theatre, Page73, Ma-Yi, Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics, Georgetown University, BEAT Festival, PACE University, Hampshire College, Averett University, Dixon Place, Passage Theatre, Queens Theatre in the Park, Tofte Lake Center, Berkshire Fringe. Awards and Grants: Helene Wurlitzer's Chesley/Bumbalo Foundation Award, MacDowell Colony's Arch an Bruce Brown Fellow (2015-16), New York Foundation for the Arts Fellow;  Bogliasco Foundation Fellow (2016), Helene Wurlitzer Foundation Fellow (2016). He earned his MFA from the Actors Studio Drama School/New School for Drama. 

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Laura Barbieri

 

Laura Barbieri is the Director of Development for GENYOUth, where she is responsible for expanding revenue streams related to corporate and foundation partnerships, individual giving, and special events –and to amplify impact and awareness.

Most recently, Laura took on a role at Toys “R” Us where she was tasked with reimagining the company’s giving strategy and deepening engagement for cause marketing campaigns that generate millions of dollars for nonprofit partners.

Prior to her stint in corporate America, Laura worked for a diverse mix of nonprofits including Foundation Center, Amnesty International and Global Citizen.

Laura holds a M.S. in International Development from the New York University and a B.A. in Journalism from University of Massachusetts Amherst. She has written for sites including the Feminist Wire and the Huffington Post.

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Dr. Layla Zami

Secretary

Layla is an innovative academic and artist working with words, music, performance, and video. Born in Paris, France in 1985, Layla gains inspiration from a rich and complex Jewish-Russian-German and Afro-Caribbean-Indian cultural heritage. Layla holds a Ph.D. in Gender Studies from Humboldt-University, Berlin and a M.A. from the Sciences Po Paris School of International Affairs. She was a Visiting Research Scholar at Columbia University (IRWGS), and at the UCSD Department of Theatre & Dance. Together with Oxana Chi Dance Art, Layla has performed in theaters, universities and festivals across the globe. She currently serves in the Dance/NYC Research Task Force and Symposium Programming Committee.  www.laylazami.net