Human Rights Initiative of North Texas Presents ‘Rock Your HeART Out’

by Christopher Blay October 6, 2020
Menigedi Road By- Alisa Eykilis

Menigedi Road, by Alisa Eykilis

Twenty-two visual artists, twelve musicians and nine poetry performers will come together for Rock Your HeART Out (RYHO), a free virtual event on October 17, 2020 from 6:00–9:00 p.m. Human Rights Initiative of North Texas (HRI), a Dallas-area non-profit organization, announced the roster last week. The celebration will include a visual art auction, music, poetry performances, mini-documentaries, and a special tribute to Serena Simmons Connelly, HRI’s late co-founder.

“Every year, through Rock Your HeART Out, we celebrate our brave and resourceful clients,” says Bill Holston, HRI’s Executive Director. “I cannot wait to see it unfold, this year in its virtual format. This is the most diverse and international group of participants we’ve ever brought together. I assure you it will blow you away.”

RYHO artists, From Top Left- Jessica Fuentes, Sara Cardona, Vicki Meek,.Jimmie Hudson, Can Turkyilmaz, and Daniel Avazpourjpg

Some RYHO artists include, from top left: Jessica Fuentes, Sara Cardona, Vicki Meek, Jimmie Hudson, Can Turkyilmaz, and Daniel Avazpour.

RYHO artists this year include : Viola DelgadoSara CardonaMaedeh AsgharpourDaniel AvazpourVicki MeekMarjaneh GoudarziCan TurkyilmazNida BangashAmmaar MuftiLeticia AlanizManuel PecinaJessica FuentesTrevor YokochiAdnan RazviAnalise MinjarezPouran LashiniSamina HoodaApril HopkinsJimmie HudsonShafaq AhmadAlisa Eykilis and Ashling Han.

“Knowing this line up as I do — these proven artists and their works are all worthy investments not only for the execution of their craft, but for the heart-beat of shared experience spliced into the works,” says Greg Metz, Associate Professor of Visual Arts/Studio Program and Gallery Director of SP/N Gallery at the University of Texas at Dallas. “I hope that those who win these works will also get to learn about and know these artists as they all have impacting stories of their own and have contributed in so many diverse ways to the North-Texas-and-beyond Art Scene. These artists are not just artists but dedicated advocates of cultural and humanitarian enlightenment.”

For a complete list of all the events entertainers, and more on Rock Your HeART Out, please go here.


Founded by social worker Serena Simmons Connelly and lawyer Elizabeth Healy, the Dallas-based Human Rights Initiative of North Texas has grown into an award-winning agency helping immigrant survivors of human rights abuses from all over the world. Our courageous and resilient clients are eligible to apply for legal status under the humanitarian provisions of United States immigration laws and policies: they are asylum seekers fleeing persecution; children who have been abandoned, abused and neglected; and victims of family violence and violent crimes. HRI’s Legal team partners with a network of over 250 pro bono attorneys from top DFW firms and corporations to help clients access the U.S. immigration system, and our Social Services team offers transitional support and referrals to help address trauma and ease the hardships of profound displacement. At HRI, all of our services are free, and all are designed to help forge a path to safety, stability and opportunity.

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