In response to recent police killings of #TerenceCrutcher in Tulsa and #KeithLamontScott in Charlotte, a consortium of American Muslim scholars, community organizers, activists and artists from across the country assembled on a national call to create a space to discuss the Movement for Black Lives and ways that the American Muslim ummah can support the effort to make the country safer for people unjustly targeted because of race. African American Muslim leaders spearheaded a discussion to convey impactful Muslim responses to injustice, techniques for self-care and healing stemming from consistent subjection to visual and live acts of oppression. In addition, they addressed methods of everyday resistance and ways to organize for real change. This call was co-sponsored by MuslimArc and Sapelo Square
Listen to the Call Audio
- Date: Friday 9/23/2016
- Time: 9 pm EDT
- Call Length: 1 hour 14 minutes
- Total Attendees: 146
- Imam Johari Abdul Malik, Dar Al Hijrah (Virginia)
- Kalia Abiade, Center for New Community (Chicago)
- Minister Carlos Muhammad, Nation of Islam (Baltimore)
- Kameelah Mu’min Rashad, Muslim Wellness Foundation, Inc.– (Philadelphia)
- Amir Sulaiman, Recording Artist and Activist (Oakland)
Speaker Bios (in order of appearance)
- Amir Sulaiman (@amirsulaiman) is a poet, recording artist, activist and newly appointed Harvard Fellow, born in Rochester, New York. His poems cross subjects of love, tragedy as well as what it means to reconcile humanity with the unprecedented trials of modernity. He has performed his works across the US as well as many other countries including England, Belgium, Senegal, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Sweden, Australia, Iran and the Netherlands, and continues to tour world-wide. His recently published book of poetry, Love, Gnosis & Other Suicide Attempts met with critical acclaim, in addition to his latest album “The Opening,” the third in a unique trilogy project, following “The Meccan Openings” (2011) and “The Medinan Openings” (2012). Amir was first introduced to a National audience in 2005 when he was featured for two seasons on Russell Simmons’ groundbreaking series Def Poetry Jam on HBO.
- Imam Johari Abdul-Malik (@imamjohari) is a beloved leader and activist. He was the first Muslim officially installed as a chaplain in higher education at Howard University and is the Head of the National Association of Muslim Chaplains in Higher Education. Imam Johari is currently the director of community outreach for the Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center and president of the Muslim Society of Washington, Inc. He also serves as the chair of government relations for the Muslim Alliance in North America.
- Minister Carlos Muhammad (@carlosmuhammad) is the student minister at Muhammad Mosque #6 in Baltimore, Maryland. Minister Muhmmad was appointed to this post in 1994 by The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, making him the youngest Minister in The Nation of Islam at the youthful age of 20. More recently, in April 2015, Minister Muhammad along with the Brothers of Mosque #6 took to the streets to help bring order during the “Uprising” resulting from the murder of Freddy Gray by the Baltimore police. Minister Muhammad has built bridges to unify the various Muslim Communities in Baltimore. He conducts Islamic Studies & Jumuah at various Mosques and Islamic Centers in the DC Metro area. Minister Muhammad also serves as The National Archivist and Historian for The Nation of Islam.
- Kameelah Mu’min Rashad (@kameelahrashad) is the founder and president of Muslim Wellness Foundation (MWF), a nonprofit organization dedicated to reducing stigma associated with mental illness, addiction and trauma in the American Muslim community through dialogue, education and training. Rashad is also the Fellow for Spirituality, Wellness and Social Justice at the University of Pennsylvania as well as a founding member of Muslims Make It Plain.
- Kalia Abiade is the advocacy director at the Center for New Community (CNC), a national research and advocacy organization based in Chicago. There, she spearheads efforts to equip and mobilize grassroots organizations and national coalitions to challenge organized nativism and racism in public discourse and policy. Abiade brings more than a decade of journalism experience to this work and is the managing editor of CNC’s blog, Imagine2050.org.
Each caller gave tangible steps we can all take:
- Kameelah: Pointed to the Black Muslim Self Care Primer, which has worksheets for how to personalize that self care plan at BlackMuslimPsychology.org
- Imam Johari suggested doing Personal assessment of how much power you have in your social network. Identify elements that you can reach the power so that you can engage them so that you can enact change. If that is the principal of your child’s school so that proper awareness of current events, if not principal, teacher, or friends in your association. Reach up to the highest level of power that you have and bring them into alliance of the work around anti-racism/Islmophobia, but justice in particular. Everyone has capacity to influence peopel around them. Get on the bus and come to Howard. Share Sapelo with friends.
- Amir Sulaiman: Love and to make love, and generate love as much as you can and broadcast love and reach the furthest distance that you can for our people and the whole creation problems of unity is lack of love, insecurities is a result of the lack of love. If all you can do, love your children. Generating love, perpetuating love, spreading love.
- Minister Carlos: Emphasized that Love is not just what we say, but what we do. We do a lot of injustice against ourselves. We have to adopt an area of our community and do the tangible work that the Prophet exemplified with the Medina model. Food deserts, urban blight. We will be in a better position to guide and direct the community to respond. The job of the Muslims is to go to healing. Start right on the block.
- Kalia Abiade: Create and continue to use art to amplify so much amazing work that already exists.
- Use the Black Muslim Selfcare primer as a resource
- Use the Muslims in the Movement for Black Lives Toolkit
- Love each other!