About the Coalition
Muslim Wellness Foundation (MWF) and Muslim Anti-Racism Collaborative (MuslimARC) have launched the National Black Muslim COVID Coalition (National BMCC) to address the need for effective planning, preparedness, and organizing in Black Muslim communities during this global pandemic. Muslim Wellness Foundation (MWF) and Muslim Anti-Racism Collaborative (MuslimARC) are the only national social change organizations that are both Black led and that have convened Black Muslims from across the country to address the psychological impact of oppression and anti-Black racism, healing justice, public policy, advocacy, and organizing.
Muslim Wellness Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting healing and well-being in the American Muslim community through dialogue, education and healing. In order to achieve this goal, we have adopted an interdisciplinary approach which addresses mental health challenges using a spiritually relevant community-based public health framework. This approach recognizes the negative impact of stressors such as poverty, oppression, anti-Black racism, and anti-Muslim bigotry which lead to diminished well being. Muslim Wellness Foundation is best positioned to lead in this area of mental health advocacy and healing justice because our emphasis on a holistic, intersectional, intergenerational, justice-oriented approach to wellness is innovative and interdisciplinary.
MuslimARC is a human rights education organization that provides anti-racism training and education resources. Our mission is informed by the anti-racism ethos in Islamic traditions and scripture including: racial equity, appreciation of diversity, mutual recognition, allyship, and standing for justice. Drawing on these values, MuslimARC works to CREATE spaces for learning anti-racism, CONNECT a network of multiracial and multi-faith leaders through digital media, storytelling, and dialogue, and CULTIVATE solutions through leadership development, strategic planning, research, and curriculum development.
COALITION PHILOSOPHY & THEORY OF CHANGE
Muslim Wellness Foundation and Muslim Anti-Racism Collaborative are organizations that wholeheartedly believe that liberation, healing justice and self-determination are inextricably linked. Drawing on the legacy of our ancestors, elders and our roots in the Black Freedom Movement, our bold initiative aims to strengthen leadership, support wellness, and provide popular political and economic education for personal and social transformation in this time of crisis. This coalition draws from our history of Black liberation movements and is grounded in the frameworks of radical healing, healing centered engagement and the cycle of liberation. We have adopted an interdisciplinary, intergenerational, multi-ethnic, healing centered approach to community-based organizing in order to build upon our strengths and achieve our vision of a healthy and whole community.
In essence, radical healing involves personal and collective actions that promote living a life with dignity and respect. Such a life necessitates freedom from all forms of oppression... includes both acknowledgment of and active resistance from oppression, as well as a vision of possibilities for freedom and wellness.
Healing Centered Engagement
A healing centered approach to addressing trauma requires a different question that moves beyond “what happened to you” to “what’s right with you” and views those exposed to trauma as agents in the creation of their own well-being rather than victims of traumatic events.
Healing centered engagement is explicitly political, rather than clinical. Communities, and individuals who experience trauma are agents in restoring their own well-being.
Healing centered engagement is culturally grounded and views healing as the restoration of identity. This process highlights the intersectional nature of identity and highlights the ways in which culture offers a shared experience, community and sense of belonging.
Healing centered engagement is asset driven and focuses well-being on what we want, rather than symptoms we want to suppress.
Cycle of Liberation
As people come to a critical level of understanding of the nature of their oppression and their roles in this systemic phenomenon, they seek new path ways for social change and taking themselves toward empowerment and liberation.
NATIONAL BMCC GOALS & AREAS OF FOCUS
Historically, Black Muslim communities have implemented and sustained vibrant self-help programs serving poor, vulnerable, targeted and criminalized communities through spiritual stewardship and direct services such as food pantries, reentry programs, and economic empowerment. Currently, these invaluable programs are under-funded and under-resourced and the current pandemic will exact an extraordinary strain on these already overburdened, yet vital programs. Our aim is to utilize community organizing principles, deeply rooted faith and spirituality and cultural resilience and knowledge to:
Disseminate accurate and timely information to bolster individual and collective health and well-being.
Strengthen and support Black Muslim leadership
Support optimal physical health and spiritual and emotional wellness
Share best practices and resources to respond to community needs in all phases of the pandemic
A pandemic is defined as a global outbreak of disease which spreads quickly and for which people have little to no immunity. There will be both immediate consequences and long-term implication of this disease. Research has shown that having accurate information and feeling prepared significantly reduce individuals' feeling of pandemic related anxiety and stress. The National BMCC is committed to ensuring that our communities have access to the most relevant information, best practices and resources to mitigate risk and promote wellness and healing through all phases of the pandemic.
Areas of Focus:
In order to achieve our Coalition goals, we have invited Black Muslim Imams, chaplains, social service providers, health professionals, organizers, youth leaders and community members from across the country to “organize, mobilize, and build power” in six key areas: health and wellness, spiritual well-being, education, arts & culture, advocacy & organizing and economic development and to support those who are on the ground doing important work through skills, community, and power building.
Areas of Focus: