"This is about empowering people," Gurira tells PEOPLE of her non-profit Almasi Arts Alliance
“This is about empowering people,” she says of the Almasi Arts Alliance, the non-profit she co-founded in 2011 to “create and facilitate artistic collaborations between African artists and American artists.”
Born in the United States and raised in Zimbabwe, Gurira, 37, hopes to facilitate an “cultural exchange” between the two places she is from and provide “access and opportunities” to artists in Zimbabwe through mentorships, trainings and exchange programs.
Thanks in part to Gurira’s hard work, the Almasi Arts Alliance has taken American directors and artists to Zimbabwe as teachers and mentors and brought a handful of Zimbabweans to the United States for educational opportunities.
And now Gurira is giving Walking Dead fans the opportunity to help her continue Almasi’s mission by entering for the chance to win some “astounding” fan experience packages.
“For the Walking Dead fan it s a really exciting thing,” Gurira says of offering up a trip to the season 6 premiere as well as chance to visit a site in Atlanta where they can attend a weapons training session and get made up as a zombie. “And the beauty of it is that it benefits such a great cause.”
Fans can enter for the chance to win the fan package by donating as little as $10 at Almasi’s CrowdRise page.
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Ultimately, Gurira says she’d like to see an arts school akin to NYU’s Tisch (her alma mater) open up in Zimbabwe, but for now she’s focusing on helping one artist at a time.
“You get so busy just thinking about the logistics and fundraising but you hope it has an impact,” says Gurira. “The other day, there was a lady who emailed me who had never directed before going through our mentorship program. She had just finished her directorial debut and she said, ‘Thank you for empowering me.’ That really touched me. It was very moving.”
Fans can donate for the chance to win the ultimate fan experience package now through Sept. 24.