Workshop: Race, Power, and Representation in Chicago’s Muslim Community

WBEZ’s Curious City and American Islamic College are hosting an interactive workshop on building interracial relationships within the Chicago-area Muslim community.

The topic is “Race, Power, and Representation” and our guiding question is: How can Muslim organizations represent and give equal voice to the diversity of the Muslim community? The workshop — featuring a panel discussion and a series of facilitated small group conversations — will address issues of race, power, and representation in masjids, community organizations, educational institutions, and the media. Participants will have the opportunity to develop specific recommendations for how to create more inclusive Muslim institutions.

Featured panelists:

Tahera Ahmad is the associate chaplain and director of interfaith engagement at Northwestern University. She also serves as faculty at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary on the Northwestern campus. Ahmad was recognized at the White House as a leading Muslim woman and in 2014, she became the first woman to represent the United States at the International Quran Competition in Indonesia, where she placed 6th place in the World.

Tariq El-Amin is one of the leaders of the Community of Imam Warith Deen Mohammed in Chicago. He is also the host of Radio Islam, a Muslim-run-and -produced daily call-in talk show, the resident imam of Masjid Al-Taqwa, and the founder and executive director of Bridging the Gap, Inc.

Abdullah Mitchell is the Executive Director of the Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago, an organization that provides resources and guidance to local Masjids and Muslim community organizations. He is also a board member of Masjid Al-Taqwa, American Islamic College, and the Southland Ministerial Health Network.

Shabana Mir is Associate Professor of Anthropology and General Education Coordinator at American Islamic College. She is the author of the award-winning book Muslim American Women on Campus: Undergraduate Social Life and Identity.

WBEZ Curious City Editor Alexandra Salomon will moderate the panel discussion, which will be followed by facilitated small group conversations and a share-out. Halaal drinks and snacks will be served.

This workshop is co-hosted by American Islamic College and WBEZ’s Curious City. It was inspired by a Curious City feature about whether Chicago’s Arab and African-American Muslims share the same mosques.

Feel free to contact programs@aicusa.edu or (773) 281-4700 ext. 202 if you have any questions. We look forward to your participation.

Event Summary

WBEZ’s Curious City and American Islamic College hosted an interactive workshop on building interracial relationships within the Chicago-area Muslim community.
WBEZ Curious City Editor Alexandra Salomon moderated the panel discussion. Founder of Side Entrance, Hind Makki, coordinated the facilitation of small group conversations that addressed issues of race, power, and representation in masjids, community organizations, educational institutions, and the media. Participants had the opportunity to develop specific recommendations for how to create more inclusive Muslim institutions.
Featured panelists included, AIC’s Associate Professor of Anthropology & Islamic Studies, Dr. Shabana Mir, AIC Board Member, Gregory Abdullah-Mitchell, Exec. Dir. of CIOGC, Tahera Ahmad, Assoc. Chaplain at NU, Tariq El-Amin, Imam at Masjid Al-Taqwa & Radio host at Radio Islam.
In addition to the panelists, Bashirah Mack of Sapelo Squared, Eman H. Aly, Founder of Collaborist, and AIC’s undergraduate students: Ahmet Sahin, and Linda Maryam Millan served as facilitators of the group discussions.
At the end of the collaboration, participants shared their commitments to solutions-based outcomes that build equity and trust for their fellow Muslims in the larger Chicago community.
This workshop was inspired by a Curious City feature about whether Chicago’s Arab and African-American Muslims share the same mosques.

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