About the Project from Lehna

In 2014, I began interviewing Nina, dequi and Chanel, to document their creative movement work taking place in New York. Each has their own journey, yet much of their individual work is what moves the collective forward. hearing their stories of purpose, family, triumphs, struggles & legacy draws great inspiration. Understanding the significance of their impact, I have been creating "multi-vocal" art works that explore and celebrate their lives. To Move Mountains is A Testimony, A Way to Give Thanks and a way of honoring their work so that others might know And Recognize the importance of it too. We Are creating a visual "collage"in conversation with time, and its links to the current political climate, the past and the future. We are inviting folks to share their stories to uplift the importance of honoring women of color movement builders with visibility.

-Lehna Huie, Director

About the Film

To Move Mountains is a documentary film that highlights the lives of Nina Angela Mercer, dequi kioni sadiki and Chanel Porchia- Albert. The film aims to faithfully capture the work and lives of these important cultural organizers for liberation. It highlights each woman's connection to personal power, the land and the communities and lives that they impact.  The purpose of the film is to uplift the legacy of these women who are important to the shaping of liberation efforts too often left out of the narrative of "American" history. The film documents each woman's sense of purpose, spirit, transformations and contributions . it is a call for viewers to honor those who are steadfastly working towards a collective liberation. it celebrates the many possibilities we have as a result of the work of our pioneers, whose shoulders we stand on. the film is due to be released in 2020.

Why Now?

In the wake of troubled times across the city, nation and globe, it is important for us to highlight the work of those dismantling harmful structures at play . through to move mountains we learn about how these women each in her unique way, practice daily commitments to uplifting the culture, lives and voices of the most disenfranchised among Black/ Brown folk. 

“Where there is a woman there is magic. If there is a moon falling from her mouth, she is a woman who knows her magic, who can share or not share her powers. A woman with a moon falling from her mouth, roses between her legs and tiaras of Spanish moss, this woman is a consort of the spirits.”
Ntozake Shange

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Images of Nina Angela Mercer, Chanel Porchia Albert & dequi Kioni sadiki, the subjects of the Film Project.

Nina Angela Mercer
Nina Angela Mercer is a cultural worker. Her plays include GUTTA BEAUTIFUL; RACING MY GIRL, SALLY; ITAGUA MEJI: A Road & A Prayer; GYPSY & THE BULLY DOOR; and MOTHER WIT & WATER BORN, a trilogy, including the play she is currently developing, BETWEEN WHISPERED BLOOD-LINES. Her work has been shared at the Warehouse Theatre, The Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company for DC’s Fringe Festival, Rutgers University-Newark and New Brunswick, Wings Theatre, Brecht Forum, The Classical Theatre of Harlem, Dr. Barbara Ann Teer’s National Black Theatre, The Nuyorican Poets’ Café, Abrons Arts Center/Henry Street Settlement, Dumbo Sky, and The Little Carib Theatre. Her writing is published in The Killens Review of Arts & Letters, Black Renaissance Noire, Voices Magazine #SayHerName Edition, and Continuum: The Journal of African Diaspora Drama, Theatre, and Performance. She has performed in collaboration with Betty’s Daughter Arts Collaborative, Angela’s Pulse, BWA for BLM, and others. She is a co-founder and co-director of Ocean Ana Rising -, a non-profit arts education organization dedicated to incubating theatre, performance art and film projects by, for, and about women of color, as well as facilitating arts outreach workshops for communities in need. Nina holds an undergraduate degree from Howard University, and a MFA from American University. She has taught at American University, University of Maryland, Howard University, and Medgar Evers College. She is currently a doctoral fellow of Theatre and Performance at The Graduate Center-CUNY. She teaches at Brooklyn College. Through her work at the intersection of art, social justice, and education, Nina advocates for survivors of the culture of violence, reproductive justice, literacy, and civic engagement through cultural expression. She is also an initiate in Palo Mayombe, serving community as Yayi Nkisi Malongo. Nina is the proud mother of two daughters, Aya Imani and Raisa Selam. Find updates about Nina’s work at http:// windowsdoorsclosetsanddrawers.

dequi kioni sadiki
déqui kioni-sadiki is a Black feminist, artist, educator for Liberation, human rights activist, poet, wife, Mother and Grandmother. She is a member of the National Council of Incarcerated & Formerly Incarcerated Girls & Women, chair of the Malcolm X Commemoration Committee, member of the Northeast Political Prisoner Coalition and the New York City chapter of the Jericho Movement for Amnesty Recognition of u.s. Political Prisoners & Prisoners of War (PPOWs), former member of the Black Panther Collective and co-coordinator of the Sekou Odinga Defense Committee, named for her husband and former Black Panther Party/Black Liberation Army POW. déqui currently serves as a life-skills counselor working with New York City high school students, and has taught in the Freshman Year Program at Medgar Evers College of the City University of New York. She is co-host/co-producer of the weekly public affairs show, Where We Live, on listener-sponsored WBAI-NY radio focusing on the issues of political/mass imprisonment, families and survivors of police terror and murder, repressive legislation, Puerto Rico and other grassroots organizing. She is co-editor of the recently published "Look For Me in the Whirlwind: From the Panther 21 to 21st Century Revolutions." Her essays and articles have been published in the New York Amsterdam News, the Journal of Socialism & Democracy and the Huffington Post. déqui subscribes to the belief held by feminist writer, June Jordan that "we are the ones we been waiting for" to end the tidal wave of state violence, injustice, oppression and terror that is crushing the lives of poor and working-class people around the globe.

Chanel Porchia
Chanel L. Porchia-Albert is the Founder and Executive Director of Ancient Song Doula Services. She is an activist, mother, speaker, certified labor & postpartum doula, certified lactation counselor, vegan chef, and certified holistic health counselor specializing in high risk mothers, multiples, survivors of sexual trauma and domestic violence. Her doula work includes serving familes with multiple needs including but not limted to: adoption, LGBTQP Families, special needs babies, relinquishing mothers, surrogacy, waterbirth, cesarean birth, bed rest, home birth, induced and high medical technology labor & birth, bereavement (pregnancy & infant loss), miscarriage support (before, during or after),postpartum support, prematurity, stillbirth support, single parents support, addiction recovery, parenting consulting, assistance for special needs babies, education for healthy relationships/ prevention of intimate partner violence. Chanel is the mother of six beautiful children. She is also the co-trainer for Ancient Song Doula Services trainings. She has spoken at numerous colleges, conferences and continually rallied for women's issues. "I believe every woman has an "Ancient Song" and I am here to assist her with the keys she needs to sing." Chanel served as Lehna's doula in supporting the birth of her daughter Simone on January 16th, 2015.