Watch our videos:
- NATIONAL SLAM POET
- ARTISTIC DIRECTOR
OF SACRIFICIAL POETS
Co-director, poet, oral interviewer
Kane Smego is Artistic Director of Sacrificial Poets/YouTh ink, a nationally competing youth poetry organization that works with local middle and high school youth. Kane grew up in the Durham-Chapel Hill area, and recently graduated with highest distinction from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill class of 2010, where he was awarded the Sterling A. Stoudemire Award for Excellence in Spanish Language, and was inducted into the Phi Beta Kappa academic honor society and the Order of the Golden Fleece. He is an adult National Slam Poet and four-time member of the Bull City Slam team that finished 3rd at the 2010 National Poetry Slam in St. Paul, MN, and took 1st place at the 2010 Southern Fried Southern Regional Poetry Slam in Knoxville, TN. In 2008, Kane won the Lake Eden Arts Festival (LEAF) poetry slam amidst some of the country's top poets, and later that year competed in the Individual World Poetry Slam (IWPS) where he finished 14th in the world out of nearly 80 poets. He was also a 2010 Duo Slam champion and 2010 Black on Black Rhyme Two Piece and a Side Slam champion. Kane has featured all over the country, performing at such historic venues as the Nuyorican Poets Café in NYC, the 2010 Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival, and the birthplace of Slam Poetry, Chicago's Green Mill. As an educator Kane has co-coached three Sacrificial Poets youth teams at the Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry Slam Festival (BNV) from 2008- 2010, taking the team to semifinals the last two years. Kane teaches youth poetry workshops throughout North Carolina and across the nation, inspiring youth and adults to tell their own stories, and challenging them to transform themselves and their communities through the use of the spoken word. He is the primary author of the Sacrificial Poets/YouTh ink. curriculum, and is the founder of Poetic Justice, an afterschool program focused on spoken word and hip hop which he runs with underserved youth in Durham, NC. Kane has been hired to facilitate poetry workshops with a number of notable organizations and institutions including: UNC Wilmington, the Ackland Art Museum, the UNC-Chapel Hill Upward Bound program, Duke Creative Writer's Workshop, Bennett College, the NAACP, and the Durham, Chapel Hill-Carrboro, Chatham County, and Asheville public school systems.
- NATIONAL SPOKEN WORD ARTIST
- ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR OF SACRIFICIAL POETS
- LOVE ACTIVIST
Co-director, poet, oral interviewer
Will McInerney is the Associate Director of Sacrificial Poets/YouTh ink, a nationally competing youth poetry organization devoted to fostering social transformation. Born and raised in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, Will has been actively involved in his local community through various groups since a young age. Working with the Academy Award winning non-profit organization, The Empowerment Project, McInerney was able to help advocate for issues of social justice and human rights on a regional as well as global level. Upon entering college, McInerney discovered the art of Spoken Word and began working with the Sacrificial Poets. Will uses poetry as both a form of personal expression and a means of continuing his fight for social justice. In 2008, after competing at the International Youth Poetry Slam, Brave New Voices, McInerney performed across North Carolina including a first place finish at the 2008 Shakori Hills Poetry Festival and as a featured poet at the 2009 Mo Soul Poetry Festival. In 2010 McInerney earned a spot on the Bull City Slam Team and subsequently placed first in the South East Regional and third in the nation. In addition, McInerney was a member of the 2010 National Duo Slam champion team. Alongside writing and performing, McInerney has a passion for sharing his art through education. Utilizing the Sacrificial Poets/ YouTh ink. poetic curriculum, of which he is a co-author, McInerney has taught spoken word in the Chapel Hill- Carrboro City School System, the Durham Public Schools, and with the UNC Upward Bound Program. Further, in June of 2010, McInerney traveled to Israel- Palestine upon invitation and taught poetry at the Ramallah Friends School in the West Bank. In addition to his work with poetry in the US and abroad, McInerney attends the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he studies Middle East Politics and the Arabic language. He is currently in the process of acquiring a degree in Peace, War, and Defense before attending law school.
- PHOTOGRAPHER & VIDEOGRAPHER
- ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY
Sameer Abdel-khalek is a photographer, videographer, graphic designer, and founder of fisdj.foto, a multimedia company based out of Raleigh, NC. A Muslim and first generation American of Egyptian and El Salvadorian descent, his pictures have graced a range of album covers, publications and web sites. His visual uniqueness lies in not only his ability to create compelling imagery with a message, but also in his skill for manipulating light and shadows to expose life in its purest forms. A student in the Environmental Technology program at North Carolina State University, Sameer has a deep-rooted commitment to promoting environmental activism and social awareness around issues that affect the majority of the world's population. In his work as a photographer, entrepreneur and activist, he strives to continually uplift society—and ultimately, humanity.
- TRANSLATOR & INTERPRETER
- SPOKEN WORD ARTIST
Translator, interpreter, and spoken word artist
Mohammad Moussa is a Junior at NC State University majoring in electrical and computer engineering. Born in Columbus Georgia to Lebanese parents, Mohammad has hopped back and forth between the US and Lebanon, living about half his life in each part of the world. As such, he has a profound understanding of, and deep connections to, both cultures. In 2006, while on a summer vacation in North Carolina, the Israeli war broke out in Lebanon and prevented his family from returning which forced him to deal with this sudden change. Learning to cope with the volatility in the Arab world, and the way it changes your life, is thus all too familiar to Mohammad. As the former education chair and current president of the Muslim Students Association at NC State, he has helped organize various interfaith and outreach dialogues, has spoken on panels, and has hosted various events interacting with people of all walks of life. Some of the interfaith events include "Fast-A-Thon," a dinner aimed to educate college students about Ramadan, "Beyond Aladdin," a panel event discussing the representation of Muslims in the media, and "Artsfest," an Islamic Awareness Week event presenting various art pieces (paintings, clothes, poetry, etc.) from the Muslim world. His fluency in English and Arabic will enable the team to communicate with the locals in Tunisia and Egypt and translate and transcribe their responses to interview questions. Mohammad is also a poet, so his experiences in the arts will help the team speak with the locals through the right perspective.