Amal Walks Across America
Shining a Light on Human Rights Across Birmingham’s Past, Present, and Future.
Little Amal is the 12 foot puppet of a 10 year old Syrian refugee child at the heart of The Walk. She has become a global symbol of human rights, especially those of refugees.
Since July 2021, Amal has traveled over 9,000km in 13 countries and has been welcomed by more than a million people on the street, including hundreds of artists and civil society and faith leaders, as well as by tens of millions online. Her journeys are festivals of art and hope that draw attention to the huge numbers of children fleeing war, violence, and persecution, each with their own story. Her urgent message to the world is “Don’t forget about us”.
Little Amal has become an international symbol of compassion and of human rights. She carries a message of hope for displaced people everywhere, especially children who have been separated from their families.
Everywhere Amal goes she is greeted with events that are authentic and meaningful to the local people she meets. By placing Amal in powerful places with high visibility, we challenge the notion that vulnerable, marginalized individuals and communities are to be feared and instead invite communities to embrace and honor them.
Between September 7th and November 5th, 2023, Amal will visit some of the country’s most iconic sites, such as the U.S. Capitol, Boston Common, Joshua Tree National Park, the Edmund Pettus Bridge, and other natural landscapes that have become synonymous with the vast expanse of the United States. Amal will journey 6,000 miles this fall from Boston to San Diego. She will be welcomed by 1,000+ artists at 100+ events in 35 towns and cities.
To see a full list of cities and events across the US, click here.
Amal will visit Birmingham on October 11th and 12th. There will be three free events where the public will be invited to meet Amal and welcome her to The Magic City. These events will take place at City Walk BHAM, Sloss Furnaces, and the Birmingham Civil Rights District.
When the children Gather
Wednesday | October 11, 2023 | 6:00 - 7:00 PM
City Walk BHAM Amphitheatre
“When the Children Gather” uplifts the power of youth in pursuit of social, climate, racial, and economic justice through dance, theater, and music. In this live site-specific performance created for City Walk Amphitheatre, Little Amal gathers with over 50 young dancers, from the Alabama School of Fine Arts, in collaboration with acclaimed musician Lonnie Holley – a Birmingham native – for a celebration of the power of young people. The performance will begin at 18th Street north and travel to 21st Street North. Inspired by the 1963 Children’s Crusade in Birmingham, which helped lead to the eventual passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, this production is created by Yaa Samar! Dance Theatre (Palestine/US), Directed by Alabama native Samar Haddad King, and produced by Create Birmingham in association with the Alabama School of Fine Arts and presented by The Walk Productions in partnership with Handspring Puppet Company and The Office Arts (US Production Partner).
Thursday | October 12, 2023 | 9:00 - 10:00 AM
Little Amal will visit Sloss Furnaces, joined by local students, to participate in an interactive exploration and iron pour. This event will be hosted by Sloss Furnaces, with Artistic Direction from Birmingham artist Carey Fountain. It is presented by The Walk Productions in partnership with Handspring Puppet Company, The Office Arts (US Production Partner), and Create Birmingham (Local Production Partner).
Thursday | October 12, 2023 | 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, Kelly Ingram Park, Sixteenth Street Baptist Church
Starting at 10:00 AM, the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute will welcome guests to Heritage Alive!, a community event where attendees of all ages will create signs, parade streamers, and flower bouquets for the Children’s March. Then at 11 AM, a send-off for Amal will commence outside of the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. There will be a greeting by a Birmingham City Official and a poetry reading by Alabama Poet Laureate Ashley Jones. The Children’s March will begin at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, continue through Kelly Ingram Park, and end at the steps of Sixteenth Street Baptist Church. The Memorial Unity Choir will perform at the steps of the church, providing a powerful send-off for Amal, as she leaves Birmingham to continue her journey across America. This event is presented by The Walk Productions in partnership with Handspring Puppet Company, The Office Arts (US Production Partner), and Create Birmingham (Local Production Partner).
Young people and schools can join in with Amal’s ongoing journey by downloading our Education & Activity Pack. The pack is created for all young people with learning material and challenge activities to suit different ages. Each challenge is marked with the recommended age group and any material that contains mature themes is flagged at the start of the section. You can also explore our Make With Amal postcards.
Everywhere Amal goes, she learns about history, culture, art, music and more… By following Amal’s journey children around the world can learn through her eyes. We create free to access activity-based resources to help young people engage with the themes of Amal’s journey and learn about the locations she visits.
Amal Walks Across America is produced by The Walk Productions in association with the Handspring Puppet Company. Amal Walks Across America was made possible with an inaugural investment from the Doris Duke Foundation, as well as leadership support from the Bezos Family Foundation. Additional generous support was provided by Bloomberg Philanthropies, Choose Love, The Conrad Prebys Foundation, the Donald A. Pels Charitable Trust, the McMillan Stewart Foundation, the Mellon Foundation, The Shapiro Foundation, and Students Rebuild. U.S. Producing Partner THE OFFICE performing arts+film. Impact + Outreach The Soze Agency. Marketing Cause Lab. PR + Communications DKC.
All Birmingham events are supported by a grant from the Support the Arts Tag Committee, a grant from the Alabama State Council on the Arts, and a grant from the Alabama Humanities Alliance. It is also supported by the Alabama School of Fine Arts Dance Department and a contribution from Cindy and Frank Franklin