Azmera Hammouri-Davis (aka the Poetic Theorist) is an emcee, interdisiplinary vocal-visual-performing artist from Kea’au, Hawaii exploring the intersections of sound, ministry, collective memory and popular education with over a decade experience in teaching and training the Afro-Brazilian martial art of Capoeira. Her spiritual, creative and professional practice is rooted in matters of the Heart, Hip Hop and Healing. She is a Fulbright Creative and Performing Artist Research Recipient and was the first person to be offered the inaugural Africana Spirituality Chaplain role at Tufts University Chaplaincy. She currently serves as community partner lead at the Harvard Radcliffe Institute. Since 2015 Azmera has served as the founder and director of Break The Boxes, a women of color led pop-education organization using storytelling across generations and faith traditions to promote the creative arts and spiritual well-being. In the summer of 2020 she became a founding member of theKEEPERS, a Hip Hop collective, the first of its kind, that is developing a comprehensive digital archive to map the international contributions of women and girls, across Hip Hop’s 50-year history. She received her Masters of Theological Studies from Harvard Divinity School and B.A in Visual and Performing Arts from the University of Southern California.
Azmera Hammouri-Davis (aka the Poetic Theorist) is a womanist poet, spiritual-care practitioner, and interdisciplinary visual-performance artist from Keaáu, Hawaii. She is currently the Community Partnership Lead at Harvard Radcliffe Institute, curating meaningful community-based learning experiences that center youth leadership and the Law, Education and Justice. Since 2014 Azmera has written, produced, and directed 5 full length visual poetry videos, and performed on over 150 stages across 7 cities in 4 countries and counting. Her performances, characterized by deep sincerity and emotional intensity, reflect on healing trauma, faith, childhood and sisterhood. As an artist, her story unfolds at the intersection of higher education and higher consciousness and has led to speaking engagements and performances at a variety of conferences, conventions, community and college campus events about her experiences as a spoken word poet, womanist thinker, capoeirista and Hip Hop artist-educator. Prior to her role at the Radcliffe Institute, Azmera was the first person offered the Africana Spirituality Chaplain role at Tufts University Chaplaincy, and served as a teaching fellow at the Harvard Graduate School of Education for a course entitled Can’t Stop Won’t Stop: Understanding and Embracing Hip Hop in Education.
Her activism involves local, national and international efforts. She became the inaugural convener of the nascent Black Christians for Palestine Network originally under FOSNA, serving as Liturgist for FOSNA’s Easter in Jerusalem: The Sabeel Community Celebrates Holy Saturday with Rev. William Barber, as noted by Religion News Service.
In 2017-2018 she was awarded the Fulbright Creative and Performing Arts grant for her research project entitled “Capoetics: Exploring the power of movement and word through Capoeira and Poetry”. During her ten month artist-in-residence, she lived in Salvador Bahia, Brazil and studied the Afro-Brazilian Martial Art of Capoeira through the lens of gender and race. She remains curious about the ways Black women Capoeiristas (practitioners) push us to re-imagine civic engagement and national identity through music. Since 2015 Azmera has served as the founder and director of Break The Boxes, a women-of-color led popular-education organization using storytelling across generations and faith traditions to promote spiritual well-being. In the summer of 2020 she became a founding member of theKEEPERS, a Hip Hop collective, the first of its kind, that is developing a comprehensive digital archive to map the international contributions of women and girls, across Hip Hop’s 50-year history. Azmera is a graduate of Harvard Divinity School where she received her Masters of Theological Studies in African and African American Religions. She holds a double Bachelor of Arts in Visual and Performing Arts and Social Sciences Psychology from the University of Southern California (USC).