Several members of the Buffalo State community participated in a performance at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C., on November 3, as part of Interfaith America’s Black Interfaith Project.
Naila Ansari, Buffalo State assistant professor of theater and Africana studies, who is also is a Black Interfaith fellow and part of its first cohort, choreographed and performed the piece “The Movement of Joy”; Nick Quinn, lecturer of theater, served as the technical director; theater alumna Mariah Faulkner, ’21, served as the lighting designer; graphic design alumnus Edreys Wajed, ’97, presented a “live” painting during the performance; and theater alumna Zhanna Reed, ’19, sang. In addition, award-winning Buffalo poet and educator Marquis “Ten Thousand” Burton gave a spoken-word performance.
They joined almost 300 educators, scholars, writers, activists, faith leaders, and philanthropists for the event. Funded by the Henry Luce Foundation, the Black Interfaith Project spotlights the longstanding diversity of Black religious life and how Black interfaith engagement has contributed to American spiritual and civic life.
From left: Naila Ansari, Zhanna Reed, Sasa Akil, Marquis “Ten Thousand” Burton, and Edreys Wajed (front). Photo by Silma Suba.