Local Current Blog

Brother Ali, Omar Offendum to speak and perform at the Nobel Peace Prize Forum

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Minneapolis-based Nobel Peace Prize Forum, and the second year that the Forum is incorporating hip-hop into its programming. Following on the heels of last year’s successful presentation and Q&A session with Dessa, this year’s summit will include a special evening with Minneapolis’s own Brother Ali and Syrian-American rapper and activist Omar Offendum.

Next Saturday, March 9, Ali and Offendum will present TED-style talks on the topic of “Hip-Hop and Peace” and give short performances at Augsburg College’s Kennedy Center. After their presentations, I will moderate a panel discussion with Ali and Offendum about their politics and music and help facilitate an audience Q&A.

Personally, I can’t wait to delve deeper into some of the topics that Ali addressed while unpacking the themes on his most recent album last fall, and he and Offendum will have plenty to discuss; while Ali’s music has become interwoven with grassroots movements like Occupy Homes here in the Twin Cities, Offendum’s song “#Jan25” became something of an anthem during Arab Spring and his music has helped unite protesters and peacemakers in the Middle East.

Last year’s Nobel event with Dessa sold out, so it’s recommended that you purchase your tickets to the evening in advance. The Hip-Hop and Peace presentations are just part of what the Nobel Peace Prize Forum will be offering on the West Bank next week; the Forum kicks of Friday, March 8, and runs through Sunday, March 10. Find more details here.