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Birth Of A Hakim (& Turtle Tank) present:

Stirring the Roux/Making Jazz: Blood Memories & Stories for Transformation

Live Virtual Talk and Q&A on Saturday, June 29th @ 2pm EST / 11am PST

a conversation with writer and performing artist Sharon Bridgforth

Hosted by Samia Abou-Samra (co-founder of Turtle Tank)

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SIGN UP for the link to attend live oR get a link of the recording following the event

This event will be held LIVE via a virtual platform (such as Zoom, Facebook Live or YouTube Live) and be followed by a Q&A.

Date&time: Saturday, June 29th 2019 @ 2pm EST/ 11am PST

PS: If you attend live, you will receive a $50 discount code (that expires in 24hrs) for our new digital course: Radical Purpose Deep Dive !

Sharon Bridgforth is magic. Water magic. Mermaid magic. Jazz magic.

For many years now (and still), she magically appears into my life when I’m at crucial creative crossroads and rebirth - and she breaks my heart open. And with the outpour from the deepest waters of my soul comes... music and story. Rituals that bring me back to myself, my source of power and wisdom, my ability to live in my love and joy.

The funny thing is, when I first met Sharon, I was kind of mad at her. Well I wasn’t mad at HER per se, but I was angry. She sat there, in a small, sterile carpeted university room, reading from her book Love Conjure Blues to a crowd of about 15 people. The moment she opened her mouth, the room was stirred with spirit. I was absolutely certain we were not alone. And that she wasn’t even really the one talking. It wasn’t just the words but what came down with them. I saw faces and heard breaths and heartbeats and footsteps. I could see what she was saying.

That kind of power is stirring. The water of it reached into places inside of me that were broken: a place where my young burgeoning aching voice was stuffed down by the weight of time and loss. It hurts when someone takes you there, to your wounds. So I asked Sharon “what do I do if my voice is not in English? Nobody will understand me here” and she said “you still have to create from that place”. I tried to play it cool but I was angry with her matter-a-fact statement. Was it really that simple Sharon? I’m hurting!

But that is the gift of Sharon. If you really really listen, you will hear the poignant truth in a single drop of her medicine and it will break you open to create.

For years I sat with what she had said, and it would come back to me again and again as I struggled to release my voice. I unpacked my anger from so many angles. I was angry at the state of my life as a recent immigrant, the losses I was living with, the brokenness of my home, the separation from land and family, the heaviness of english on my tongue, my inability to express myself clearly, my loneliness. I was angry at the world AND... Sharon was right. I still had to create from that place, no matter who would understand or even listen. The creating was for me.

We’d eventually come back to work together on an online course and it was then that I finally understood what she was saying. I was coming out of a period that she identified as “the dark night of the soul”. After I talked about whales and ocean dreams for 40 minutes straight, she came with her directive: I was to write 7 songs for the ocean… so I got to it.

Sharon was the first person to hear me actually sing in full voice, on a crappy recording of my very first song. And now, I have those 7 songs.

Most recently, Sharon had me on her podcast Who Yo People Is where POC and LGBTQ people tell their stories. The process of telling my story re-ignited my storytelling voice. As I left her place, my ancestors were screaming at me to speak and tell our story - dropping signs left and right, I couldn’t sleep for days until I started writing my story. Sharon had broken me open again.

Join us in this conversation with Sharon where we will talk about all of this and her roots in the tradition of Theatrical Jazz. Omi Osun Joni L. Jones, Sharon’s partner, is the leading scholar/and a practitioner and producer of Theatrical Jazz. Here’s an excerpt about Theatrical Jazz from her book:

“A theatrical jazz aesthetic borrows many elements from the musical world of jazz—improvisation, process over product, ensemble synthesis, solo virtuosity— and disrupts the traditional conventions of Western theatre, including a single narrative with a throughline and causal relationships that rely on psychological coherence, individual characters performed singly by performers, and identifiable places and spaces. A theatrical jazz aesthetic uses gestural language as counterpoint to the verbal text. This gestural language is a blend of modern dance, contemporary dance, popular idioms, and everyday physical references. Some of the movements reflect West African aesthetics (angularity, movements that pull to the earth, unpredictable punctuation), but the modern dance foundation from Dianne McIntyre remains apparent. Theatrical jazz is incorporative; it borrows, includes, stirs many elements into the roux.” - Omi Osun Joni L. Jones. Excerpted from, Theatrical Jazz: Performance, Àse and the Power of the Present Moment (https://www.theatricaljazzbookparty.com/)

Omi Osun Joni L. Jones sites the following elder/innovators of Theatrical Jazz: Dianne McIntyre, Laurie Carlos, Robbie McCauley, Jessica Hagedorn, Aishah Rahman, Ntozake Shange, Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, Marlies Yearby, Cecil Taylor, Craig Harris, Sekou Sundiata.

Needless to say, with Sharon Bridgforth comes her family, her ancestors and her creative lineages. Come hangout with all of that.

Join us and be witness to Sharon Bridgforth’s magic - let your heart be broken open.

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Stirring the Roux/Making Jazz: Blood Memories & Stories of Transformation with Sharon Bridgforth

SIGN UP for the link to attend live oR get a link of the recording following the event

This event will be held LIVE via a virtual platform (such as Zoom, Facebook Live or YouTube Live) and be followed by a Q&A.

Date&time: Saturday, June 29th 2019 @ 2pm EST/ 11am PST

PS: If you attend live, you will receive a $50 discount code (that expires in 24hrs) for our new digital course: Radical Purpose Deep Dive !


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SHARON BRIDGFORTH, a Doris Duke Performing Artist, is a writer that creates ritual/jazz theatre. A New Dramatists alumnae, Sharon has received support from Whitman Institute, Creative Capital, MAP Fund, and the National Performance Network. Her work has been featured at: New York’s SummerStage Festival; Rites and Reason Theatre’s Black Lavender Experience at Brown University and Links Hall. Sharon’s dat Black Mermaid Man Lady/Home project launched in Minneapolis, MN May 2018 in partnership with Molly Van Avery, City of Lakes Community Land Trust and the Powderhorn Park Neighborhood Association. dat Black Mermaid Man Lady/The Show premiered at Pillsbury House Theatre in Minneapolis, MN in June 2018, and dat Black Mermaid Man Lady/Performance Installation premiered at allgo in Austin, TX in August 2018.

Sharon has served in residence for: The NoVo Foundation; Thousand Currents; allgo, a Texas statewide queer people of color organization; Brown University’s MFA Playwriting Program; University of Iowa’s MFA Playwrights Program; The Theatre School at DePaul University; and The Department of Performance Studies at Northwestern University. Sharon served as the Embedded Writer for Marjani Forte-Saunders’s Memoirs of a…Unicorn residency at Florida State University in Tallahassee at the The Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography in partnership program with the Urban Bush Women Choreographic Center Initiative’s (CCI) Choreographic Fellowship program.

Sharon is producer and host of, Who Yo People Is, a podcast series that gives space to POC & LGBTQ artists whose Work and artistic practices are rooted in serving our communities through healing/Spiritual and cultural traditions - centered in Love. Sharon’s publications include: love conjure/blues and Lambda Literary Award winning the bull-jean stories. Sharon is co-editor, with Omi Osun Joni L. Jones and Lisa Lynn Moore, of Experiments in a Jazz Aesthetic: Art, Activism, Academia, and the Austin Project. Sharon’s River See Theatrical Jazz Performance Installation script is published in Obsidian Literature & Arts in the African Diaspora, Issue 43.1; delta dandi, is published in solo/black/woman: scripts, interviews and essays; and The love conjure/blues Text Installation is in Blacktino Queer Performance.


What is ‘Birth Of A Hakim’?

A Playspace for LOVE, Wisdom and the EVOLUTION of Consciousness within the Turtle Tank universe

With Samia Abou-Samra, co-founder of Turtle Tank: School for Radical Purpose

How do we bring and keep Love alive? It is time for an Age of Wisdom.

My heart has always been big and tender.

Too big to fit within the confines of my rib cage, of this body, of this life. A black hole of unimaginable love that I would often drown in. As a child, I was in a constant state of in loveness -- with the ever-loyal, majestic dogs and chickens I cared for, the revolutionary Levantine mountain and ocean people I come from, the smell that emanates from a chop of parsley and a pounding of garlic, the Tarab music that trickled into my ears and pierced an opening into another layer of my soul. I was always in love, vibrant passionate love. And as for any child, as we grow into a world that seems like it isn’t made for that kind of heart, that kind of love, the eternal state of in loveness turns to a state of perpetual heartbreak. Heart broken into forgetfulness. Aching to belong. To be in longing - in a state of aliveness. To be in a state of loveness again.

Yearning to go back to love.

And even though, over the years I’ve been ridiculed for how I love. Who I love. How deeply and intensely I experience the magnificence of love. I have never been able to be anything else but love.

For those who have tried could never beat it out of me... and they never will.

But how much more heartbreak could I really survive?

Yes. At times I questioned my sanity. I wondered if the desire and ability to love so deeply was in fact a disease. An inability to truly see fault and draw needed boundaries. An inability to mature into a reality that often consumes and abuses this love because most of us are so fearfully hiding from it. I’ve been called too earnest, too naive, too passionate, too intense, too forgiving, too crazy, too much. Too young. But I have always felt as old as time. I was never and am not naive. Though my heart is pure and maybe too open. And there is a difference between naive and pure.

I hail from a line of pure hearts. And I watched my mother struggle with those who could not sit next to her unmasking integrity -- as it shed light on all they had painfully hidden. I watched my father’s open, generous heart be beat down and abused by the weight of injustice in more ways than I cared to know. I come from a family often ostracized for their values, for standing in their truth, for standing up for me: a wild one with a big heart. For loving so deeply in spaces that had often forgotten how to love. For extending grace at times where others could never imagine to -- and teaching me that I needed to do the same.

They taught me that there was nothing more needed in this world than a love like that.

At times I wondered if there could ever be a love this deep without a great deal of pain. The inescapable duality that we’ve come here to experience. That duality that philosophers ponder into conscious questioning, writers write to dissolve and singers sing to resolve. The one we are all looking to reconcile. Can we ever escape it, the duality?

How can we hold a state of real love in a world where its dual counterparts, fear and pain, often seem to reign supreme.

This is what I’ve come to know:

There is absolutely nothing wrong with being in a deep state of in loveness. But what I’ve come here to learn is that: on this earth, this kind of love requires (even demands) an equally robust consciousness steeped in the grace of wisdom.

And that is the ONLY way that kind of love will survive and be sustained in the magnificence of its being. Without the grace of wisdom, it will wither. It will lead to the deaths of the lover and the beloved.

I don’t have to lose my loving heart, in fact I can grow it some more. But to preserve and protect it, I do have to cloak it in a state of graceful wisdom.

I’ve been looking for a word that best suits who I yearn to be to continue to love the way that I do. A reference I can grow more deeply into as the soul I’ve come to be.

Hakim | The Wise One

A Hakim (Arabic Noun) is used to refer to a wise person. An all-wise judge, a person with the ability to discern what is most fitting in the present circumstance and act in honor of a balanced self towards the balancing of the universe as a whole.

In my mother tongue, spoken Lebanese Arabic (and other spoken Arabics) Hakim is what we commonly call a medical doctor -- that’s how I grew up using the word. But that’s not all it is and was used for. It is also a reference for a traditional medicine person, a philosopher and a person of authority (a judge) and often used historically for people in positions of leadership and governance.

The Birth of A Hakim refers to the birth of a sovereign self. A person endowed with sound choice-making (choices that ensure the person can thrive). A person able to make a choice and know that they are in fact, responsible for the choices they make, for the state of their being - their feeling. A person that no longer accepts to simply exist within the simple duality of victim and oppressor. A person that sees both victim and oppressor and their capacity for both in themselves. A person that understands that they co-create their lives with all that is and appoints themselves as the owner of their life and co-creator of their world, all circumstances considered. A person that inspires sovereignty for all the ones, the collectives and the wholes. A person that seeks interdependence as a sovereign self.

At its essence, a Hakim is a person that holds the wisdom of the cosmos, and is able to respond to the universe accordingly while maintaining the cosmic dance of balance at play.

The Birth of A Hakim, is the birth of a person who embodies the cosmos in all that they do. Who knows when to fight and when to surrender, when to bring in and when to leave out, when to speak and when to listen -- and that both edges are necessary in the arsenal of balanced, appropriate behavior.

How to use those edges and when has everything to do with the constant pursuit of Wisdom. And it is this kind of pursuit of Wisdom that will allow us to preserve and deepen a state of true, deep and radical Love.

How do we pursue Wisdom? The medicine of the crossroads and initiation.

The more I learn, the more I know that the pursuit of Wisdom is the pursuit of an ever deeper knowing of ourselves.

And to know ourselves we must be ourselves. Unapologetically.

And to be ourselves, we must integrate all of who we are as part of ourselves. This is what we mean when we talk about “healing”. Bringing all fractured parts of ourselves into a whole that we love.

With integration comes integrity. The ever deeper truth of who we are.

Integration is an act of initiation. It is the coming together of formerly divided parts to make up a new whole, a new beginning. An initiation of a new sense of self that emerges at the crossroads.

And with this new sense of self, we are able to love freely and deeply by the grace of Wisdom.

Wisdom is the medicine of our times. Wisdom is the healer of our hearts.

Wisdom is how great Love thrives. Wisdom will keep us well and alive.

This is a playspace for Love, Wisdom and the EVOLUTION of Consciousness. Join me as I explore these concepts in multimedia conversations, creations and incubations.


Turtle Tank: School for Radical Purpose

Turtle Tank is a radical modern-day mystery school where we ignite Radical Purpose, support the evolution of consciousness and harness creative power to bring forth worlds of Radical Love and Freedom.

Our aim is to reintegrate old and new wisdom into practical tools to revolutionize all of our diseased human systems and evolve into worlds of ever deeper balance.

At the School for Radical Purpose, we focus on three core paths:

Radical Creators: looking to co-create a fulfilling and impactful life and desire-filled work by rooting in their unique radical purpose through a nature-based creation process aligned with sacred ritual

Radical Entrepreneurs: looking to co-create a radical enterprise rooted in their unique radical purpose and desire-filled work as sacred ritual to contribute to just and balanced systems of well-being and wealth.

Radical Leaders: looking to ignite and amplify the purposes of others through radical forms of teaching, leading and organizing towards worlds of love and freedom.

Meet Samia and Ije, the Purpose Igniters and Creative Directors facilitating this experience…


Samia Abou-Samra (Co-Founder and CEO)

Samia Abou-Samra is an igniter of purpose towards a world of Radical Love. An Alchemist: they create music as Wailing - the cry, the longing prayer to inspire the deepest love. A Director of Genius: they facilitate the creation process for geniuses and design strategic systems to support them and have supported the creation of many Radical Enterprises and projects including Lumos Transforms, Finding Voice (the virtual course) with Sharon Bridgeforth, Balade Black, At The Crossroads: Finding Your Purpose with Yeye Luisah Teish. A Hakim: they practice, invest in and teach about intuitive analysis, old wisdom and the elevation of consciousness. They are the founder of Whale Wonder: a playspace and incubator for the elevation of consciousness. And the co-founder of Turtle Tank: School for Radical Purpose. Samia enjoys all aspects of the creative process particularly in the areas of music/media, entrepreneurship, indigenous knowledge and radical health.

Their years of study include:

Samia has a BA in Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity (with a focus on Ritual, Medicine & Performance) from Stanford University and an MBA in Environmental and Social Management from Antioch University of New England

Relevant Certifications:

Music, Voice and Sound Healing (CIIS), Domestic Violence Prevention Training, Visual Basic, JavaScript, C++, Food Systems Certificate

Relevant Training and Mentorship (ongoing):

Extensive study under the mentorship of Cherrie Moraga and Celia Herrera-Rodriguez through the lens of Xicana Indigena art practice

Initiated to Ifa: received one hand of Ifa and are Olorisha initiated to Orisha Babaluaye / Omolu in 2018 after 12 years of study and practice in Ifa. Currently undergoing training with their godmother priestess Iyanifa Ifalade TaShia Asanti presiding priestess of Ile Ori Ogbe Egun.


Ije Ude (Co-Founder and Chief Transformation Officer)

Ije Ude is a midwife of deep, gentle change. She resources herself and others to be their freest, fullest selves and give birth to their precious dreams. As Nwachi, she dances, crafts and studies metaphysics to experience the mundane and magical ways god expresses through us. As the Freedom Midwife she designs transformational programs for those of us who are often forgotten and facilitates our remembering of how powerful we are. As a Memory Maker, Ije connects with loved ones to share and experience unconditional love and respect through the crucible of intimate relationships. And as the Inspiration Cocoonist, she makes art that inspires her to honor her inner knowing and teaches others how to do the same.

She is the co-founder of Turtle Tank and proud facilitator of Lumos Transforms’ Resilience Toolkit.

Her years of study include:

B.A. Human Biology with a concentration in Black Women’s Health and Well-Being and an M.A. Integral Counseling Psychology


Coaching for Transformation, Indigenous Focusing Oriented Therapy, Resilience Toolkit, International Trauma Studies Program, Tension and Trauma Releasing Exercises, Tiny Habits Coach, Empowerment Workshop Facilitator, Institute for Integrative Nutrition, Association of Labor Assistants and Childbirth Educators, Human Design Consultant.

Relevant Trainings:

Lead, Gather, Relate Leadership Program, Radical Relating: 4 Skills, Theater of the Oppressed, Education for Liberation, Gestalt-Based Group Facilitation, Somatics and Social Justice, Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, Sexual Assault Violence Intervention Advocate Training.