First Annual W.O.R.T.H. Benefit – Sat March 8, 2008


An integrative night of art and education through music, spoken word, displayed artwork, and powerful speech, designed to raise awareness around sexual violence against women and children in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Private Entrance for W.O.R.T.H. Guests: 121 University Place, between 13th and 14th street, New York, NY

10:00pm – 2:00am
$20 cover (proceeds to be dontated to Panzi Hospital in the DRC)
Dresscode – Casual Chic
Space is limited. Arrive early to avoid disappointment.


Toni Blackman
An award-winning artist, Toni Blackman’s steadfast work and commitment to hip-hop led the U.S. Department of State to select her to work as the first ever hip-hop artist to work as an American Cultural Specialist. After her first residency in Dakar, the folks there started calling her the Hip Hop Ambassador and it all took on a life of itself, already serving in Senegal, Ghana, Botswana, and Swaziland where her residencies include performance, workshops, and lectures on hip hop poetry. Toni is a member of the Spoken Word Committee of the New York Chapter of the Recording Academy (aka The GRAMMY’s). Also, AOL BlackVoices named Toni as one of the top ten African-American Next Generation Leaders to watch.This multi-talented woman has been listed in Essence Magazine’s listing of “30 Women to Watch,” been featured in SAVOY Magazine, BOOK Magazine, Newsweek Japan, The Washington Post, and in The New York Times. Highly respected as the founder and director of Freestyle Union, a cipher workshop that uses free styling as a tool to encourage social responsibility, Blackman’s work has held great influence in the world of hip hop activism. check out:

Queen GodIs
Queen GodIs is one of the most POWERFUL voices of this generation. Her work is a fierce blend of Hip Hop, Spoken Word, Soul Music and Theater that is refreshingly unique and accessible. Born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, Queen GodIs is an internationally esteemed artisan whose features have included The Trans Atlantic Music Festival (France), BAM Opera House, Nokia Theater, The Apollo Theater Sound Stage, The Kennedy Center, artistic residency in (India) and The Royal Shakespeare Company’s New Work Festival (UK).

2007 marked the one year anniversary of her sold- out debut album release, POWER U! – critically acclaimed by nuns, saints, snooty music critics, irritable teenagers, pop stars, hard- hearing elders, around- the- way girls, beautiful brothers, scholars, book worms, monks, cavemen, haters, male prostitutes, female pimps, kings, goddesses, thugs and reformed gangstas from all around the country. It also highlights GodIs as a producer, engineer, MC, vocalist , and closet comedian with a keen sense for master- minding work that is as spirit moving as it is thought- provoking. Her poetry has been featured live at HBO’s Def Poetry Jam, Robert Townsend’s Spoken and appears on two major releases produced by Afro- European singing duo Les Nubians entitled: Echoes- Chapter One and Nubian Voyager.

Queen debuted a sold out, off- Broadway production of her piece ‘BIRTH of POWER U!,’ directed by and developed with Tamilla Woodard of Launch Worldwide partners. In the fall of 2007, she embarked upon an international performance and promotional mini-tour of her album. The tour was jump-started with a stint as artistic director and facilitator of a week-long master class in Hip Hop and Spoken Word. The project culminated with a major performance featuring 12 of England’s finest female emcees and poets and was commissioned by both FkUk partners and the renowned Contact Theater in Manchester, England. The well-received work promoted female empowerment and community building through the arts. For more on Queen GodIs performances and the album check out: Contact: Z. Howard: 212 696 8677


DJ Chela
DJ Chela’s live sets are a dynamic synthesis of Hip Hop, RnB, Reggae, Latin rhythms, Rock and Pop to classic funk and soul, and have secured her gigs everywhere from New York, Miami, DC, Philadelphia, to Caracas, Venezuela. Chela’s recent mixtape releases Chela for President, Embedded Reporter: Live from the Front Line, High Treason and Torch Pass have helped her to establish a unique style all her own in mixtapes: revolutionary themes combined with scratch production, mixing and original blends, with a focus on showcasing emerging artists. In 2005 she earned the nomination for “Best Female Mixtape DJ” at the Justo’s Mixtape Awards, as well as the prestigious induction into both Justo Faison’s Justo’s Mixtape Allstars and the elite all-female Hip Hop movement the Murda Mamis. Chela has worked alongside (and toured with) Immortal Technique. She has performed on three continents, branding her name in everything from radio, clubs, mixtapes, battles and live shows to political activism. Out of her legwork she has birthed a movement all her own: the New Girl Order, embracing the new possibilities for our world when Womens voices have an undeniable and respected presence in Hip Hop and society as a whole.


Ursula Rucker
From her native Philadelphia, Ursula Rucker’s affinity for crafting words catapulted her message into hungry ears when she began to read publicly in 1994 at Zanzibar. The Temple University journalism graduate struck a chord in Phillys soul that reverberated around the world with her mezzo-soprano speak. Her recordings with the Silent Poets, Jamaaladeen Tacoma and Josh Wink captured the publics imagination, so when Ahmir ?uestlove Thompson asked her to compose the final cuts on three consecutive Roots albums, she found an eager international following. Ruckers albums are poetry in motion, guided by a time signature that speaks to the human experience with honesty and poignancy. Rucker does not shelter her audience. Shes honest, vibrant, heartfelt and at the core true. She ends For Women with a grand declaration. Call me crazy, divine, Maat, true honeybun, Supreme Pontifica, electric lady, holy prostitute. I dont care what you call me. I know who I is. Rucker, a global activist, enlightens in the recording studio and at her powerful live shows. Recently she has performed at FREEDOM Festival in Australia, to raise awareness for Amnesty Internationals global Stop Violence Against Women campaign. By her own definition, she is maat mama to the core. Oh yes, shes gone there, to that place.

Patricia Smith
A poet, spoken word artist, playwright, author, and writing teacher, Patricia Smith is one of the most formidable spoken word performers in the world. She is a four time individual champion of the National Poetry Slam, making her the most successful Slammer in history. Patricia was the winner of the Carl Sandburg Literary Award, the National Poetry Series award, the Pushcart prize and more recently, the 2007 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award and the Paterson Poetry Prize. A selection of Smith’s poetry was produced as a one-woman play by Nobel Prize winner Derek Walcott and performed at both Boston University Playwrights Theater and the historic Trinidad Theater Workshop. In 2006, she was inducted into the International Literary Hall of Fame for Writers of African Descent.

Maya Azucena
Winning over an international audience with her classic soul voice, Maya adds a truly refreshing splash to an often wave-less pool of mundane sound. The NY Post recently described Maya Azucena as having a “towering voice which has echoes of old-school divas, like Chaka Khan and Roberta Flack.” Maya has built her reputation largely through her incredibly vibrant live performances. She sang at the Official United Nations Tsunami Benefit; performed a concert at the store-opening block party for New York’s Union Square SEPHORA; sang on Washington DC’s historic National Mall for the Save Darfur Coalition Rally To Stop Genocide in the Sudan, in solidarity with national activists and celebrities such as George Clooney. She continues to remain active on community issues and uses her voice as a channel for social justice and human rights issues.

Carlos Andres Gomez
An award-winning poet and actor from New York City, Carlos Andrés Gomez has been described as “raw and intense…a rebel Don Juan with a sensitive edge” by Underrated Magazine (U.S.) and was called “a must-see” and given five stars (out of five) by Hairline Magazine (U.K.). A former social worker and public school teacher, he has performed at over 100 colleges and universities and toured across North America, Europe, the Caribbean, and Africa. He is the 2006 Toronto International Poetry Slam Champion and a two-time National Poetry Slam Finalist, as a member of the legendary Nuyorican Poets Café’s Slam Team that finished 2nd and with the NYC/louderARTS Slam Team that finished 3rd in the U.S. He co-stars in Spike Lee’s number one box office smash hit film that was selected as one of AFI’s 10 Most Outstanding Motion Pictures of 2006, “INSIDE MAN” (Universal Pictures), with a lead role alongside Denzel Washington, Jodie Foster, and Clive Owen. Most recently, he appears on the sixth season of HBO’s “Russell Simmons Presents Def Poetry” — voted “Favorite Poet” of his episode by viewers.

Carlos is the proud founder of The Excelano Project at the University of Pennsylvania, one of the nation’s premier spoken word/performance poetry collectives that took the National Championship Title at the 2007 College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational. Over the past 8 years, he has shared the stage with a diverse range of celebrated artists and icons, including Wyclef Jean, Amiri Baraka, MC Lyte, Yosef Komunyakaa, Toots and The Maytals, Martín Espada, Immortal Technique, Reel Big Fish, Donnell Rawlings, Pete Rock, Saul Williams, and Mos Def. He splits his time between New York City and Los Angeles.


Nissrene Dondini



~ by nusoulmagazine on February 17, 2008.

2 Responses to “First Annual W.O.R.T.H. Benefit – Sat March 8, 2008”

  1. Thanks Nu-Soul Magazine!!

  2. Very good and helpful post.
    Thx, your blog in my RSS reader now 😉

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