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On the Leaves

At the Roots

Ahmaud Arbery, Collective Trauma & Healing

CAIR - Los Angeles

Monday May 11, 2020 | 3:00pmPST | 5:00pmCST | 6:00pmEST |  Community Townhall via Zoom

"Southern trees bearing strange fruit
Blood on the leaves and blood at the roots
Black bodies swinging in the southern breeze
Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees..."

-Billie Holiday

On Sunday February 23, 2020, 25 year old Ahmaud Arbery went for a jog 2 miles away from his home near Brunswick GA. 

This young African American man did not return home alive that day. 


George and Travis McMichael, two white men, (father and son), profiled Ahmaud as a dangerous criminal, a burglar. They pursued him in their vehicles, armed with weapons, at least 1 shotgun, harassing him along the road, shouting “Stop, stop, we want to talk to you!”.  They shot him at point blank range after he "did not comply with simple commands". The video of this heinous killing surfaced on Wednesday May 6, 2020, 72 days after Ahmaud's death, prompting public outrage and leading to the arrest of the killers. 

This most recent murder is horrifying and traumatizing. A trauma all the more painful as Black communities grapple with alarmingly high rates of infection and death due to the COVID19 pandemic. This townhall will serve as a virtual gathering to first and foremost acknowledge the grief and trauma that many of us are experiencing in this moment, provide practical coping strategies, and offer a call to action.

Ahmaud Arbery

Moderator: Angelica Lindsey-Ali, The Village Auntie


CAIR - Los Angeles

CAIR - Los Angeles


Angelica Lindsey-Ali

The Village Auntie

Angelica Lindsey-Ali is a recognized expert in sexual health, intimacy cultivation in Islamic marriage, and emotional well-being. Angelica offers workshops and resources on love, intimacy, traditional approaches to sexuality, and feminine gender identity within the framework of traditional West and East African societies. She also facilitates in-person and online rites of passage programs for girls and young women. The focus of Angelica’s work is to re-examine the critical role of woman-to-woman communication as well as age-grade societies as a tool for dissemination of not only practical sexual knowledge from an Islamic framework but as a portal for the modeling of femininity, positive body image, and the rightful role of women as pillars of family and community.


Angelica is an alumna of the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor and holds a graduate certificate in HIV prevention leadership from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the University of South Carolina Arnold School of Public Health. Angelica is Program Director/VP of Outreach Services at Ebony House, Inc., the oldest and longest running Black owned behavioral health organization in the state of Arizona. She has spent the last 19 years working both locally and internationally in the fields of education, public health, refugee rights, and social work.


Twitter: @villageauntie

IG: VillageAuntie

FB: Reclaiming the Village Auntie

CAIR - Los Angeles

Margari A. Hill

Executive Director | Muslim Anti-Racism Collaborative

co-Director, National Black Muslim COVID Coalition

Co-founder and Executive Director of Muslim Anti-Racism Collaborative (MuslimARC), a human rights education organization focused on building the capacity for racial justice in Muslim communities and training allied communities on the intersections of systemic racism, Islamophobia, and xenophobia. She is also a blogger, editor, and freelance writer published in How We Fight White Supremacy (2018) Time, Huffington Post, and Al Jazeera English. She has six years full-time experience working full-time in community organizations and over 15 years as an educator in various capacities including instructor, curriculum design, school policy, teacher training, and online learning as well as graduate research assistant and teaching fellow in Middle East, African, and Islamic history. She earned her bachelor’s degree in History from Santa Clara University in 2003 and master’s in History of the Middle East and Islamic Africa from Stanford University in 2006.  Her research includes transformations in Islamic education, colonial surveillance in Northern Nigeria, anti-colonial resistance among West Africans in Sudan during the early 20th century, interethnic relations  in Muslim communities, and the criminalization of Black Muslims. She has given talks and lectures in various universities and community centers throughout the country.

Twitter: @Margari_Aziza

IG: Margari.Hill

CAIR - Los Angeles

Imam Mika'il Stewart Saadiq

Assistant Director at Ikhlas Training Academy

Associate Imam at Muslim Center (Detroit)

Detroit City Council Liason

Imam Mika’il has taught Social Studies and Islamic Studies at Detroit’s Al-Ikhlas Training Academy since 1999. Born and raised on the west side of Detroit, Imam Mika’il went on to study sociology and political science at Prairie View A&M University. After accepting Islam at 21 years of age, he immersed himself in Islamic activism and began studying Islamic ‘Aqeedah (Creed) and Fiqh (Deductive Reasoning) under the late Imam Luqman Abdullah. He also studied at Islamic Online University and continues his studies and growth under the advice of local/internationally renowned imams and scholars. Imam Mika’il is a former Police Chaplain, a member of the Michigan Imam’s Council and is heavily involved in community organizing and activism. As a Detroit City Council Liaison, he advocates for civic engagement and empowerment. Imam Mika’il is known for his real, but sophisticated, lectures and writings on minority and youth social issues. In 2013, he became the first Muslim to offer the invocation for a Michigan State Senate session. At the end of 2014, he gained international notoriety when he organized 65,000 people to participate in 24-hour social media blackout called The National Black Day of Silence; to protest the exploitation of violence against Blacks and marginalized peoples.


Twitter: @imamstew

FB: Imam Mika'il

CAIR - Los Angeles

Maimouna Youssef

aka MuMu Fresh | Grammy-nominated Singer, MC, Songwriter & Activist

In 2019, Mumu performed at the BET Black Girls Rock! Awards and received a standing ovation for her soul-stirring performance of her song “Say My Name” honoring Sandra Bland and the Mothers of the Movement (M.O.M), which is a group of women whose African American Children have been killed by police brutality or gun violence. Later that year, she delivered a soulfully nostalgic tribute to hip hop supergroup and cultural pioneers Arrested Development with gospel artists  Mali Music, Travis Greene and rapper Dee-1 that aired on Black Music Honors. 

Behind the scenes, Youssef serves as a Governor for the DC chapter of the Recording Academy’s Grammy Board as well as a mentor for several Grammy U affiliated young aspiring artists. She has received recognition from several local non-profit organizations such as One Common Unity, Bmore News, & Womb Work Productions as well as international awards from Mayor Luis Fernando Castellanos Cal of Tuxtla Gutierrez, Mexico for her outstanding service and commitment to the youth worldwide.  Maimouna’s work continues to establish her as a true Global Citizen, a musical healer, teacher, powerhouse performer, and community pillar. 

Twitter: @maimounayoussef

IG: Maimouna Youssef

CAIR - Los Angeles

Tariq Toure


Touré's poetry and prose covers Social justice, Black Muslim Narratives, Arts and Current events. Among publications that have featured his work is Muslim Matters, Salon, Washington Post, Al Jazeera and Sapelo Square. 


Black Seeds, Toure's debut collection of poetry is ranked among  the top in African American Poetry and Literature on Amazon and the winner of Best Poetry Book of Baltimore in 2016 by City Paper Magazine. Touré has been a featured lecturer/performer at Howard University, Princeton University, Georgetown University, among many others. He has been regarded by legendary hip hop artist Black Thought as the Amiri Baraka of our era. Imam Omar Suleiman has identified Tariq as a vessel of the Muslim community. 


In 2017, Toure's writing was contributed to Gordon Parks' Fellow and Times Magazine featured Photojournalist Devin Allen's book and exhibit, A Beautiful Ghetto which was nominated for an NAACP image award. Touré is the author of 2 Parts Oxygen, his sophomore collection exploring faith, family, and fatherhood. 


Twitter: @TariqToure

IG: Tariq Toure

CAIR - Los Angeles

Dr. Kameelah Rashad

Psychologist, Founder & President, Muslim Wellness Foundation

co-Director, National Black Muslim COVID Coalition

Muslim Wellness Foundation (MWF), is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting healing and emotional well-being in the American Muslim community through dialogue, education and training. Through Muslim Wellness Foundation, Dr. Rashad has established the annual Black Muslim Psychology Conference and the Deeply Rooted Emerging Leaders Fellowship for Black Muslim young adults. Dr. Rashad also serves as the Fellow for Spirituality, Wellness and Social Justice at the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn). She is the advisor to Penn Sapelo, (the first Black Muslim student organization at UPenn), and the Muslim Students Organization (MSO) at The Lawrenceville School. She served three years as the Muslim Chaplain at UPenn and continues to facilitate discussions on religious identity development and challenges faced by American Muslim youth. Dr. Rashad graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a BA in Psychology and MEd in Psychological Services. She obtained further graduate education, earning a second Masters in Restorative Practices & Youth Counseling (MRP) from the International Institute for Restorative Practices. She completed her doctorate in Clinical Psychology at Chestnut Hill College in Philadelphia, PA.


Twitter: @kameelahrashad


CAIR - Los Angeles

Imam Mansoor Sabree

Director, Innercity Muslim Action Network (IMAN) - Atlanta

Inner-City Muslim Action Network -Atlanta (IMAN-Atlanta ) a grassroots organization focused on health, wellness and healing in the intercity of the USA. Imam Sabree is a distinguished fellow of the American Muslim Civic Leadership Institute (AMCLI) from the University of Southern California. For 10 years he served as an Imam of Atlanta’s oldest and largest African American muslim community in the south, The Atlanta Masjid. Imam Sabree is classically trained in arabic and Islamic law through Imam WD Muhammed’s study abroad program at Abu Nour University, Damascus (2005). Recently he has been recognized as “ Who’s Who 40 under 40 Muslim Leaders in Georgia” and inducted into the board of Religious Leaders at Morehouse College.


Twitter: @imamsabree

CAIR - Los Angeles

CAIR - Los Angeles

CAIR - Los Angeles

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