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As this year comes to a close, we are all certainly deeply and fundamentally changed - subtly and radically different from who we were on Jan 1. We have lived through an attempted insurrection/political coup, natural disasters, racial violence (both locally and nationally) – and these are just the major headlines. In the midst of this all, we have experienced personal and often hidden crises and traumas. We have experienced deaths, disappointments, pain and of course, the exhausting toll of the COVID-19 pandemic. 800,000 Americans have died, and this number includes those loved ones whose presence we continue to grieve in large and small ways. A new variant Omicron is now sweeping across the country as we grapple with the reality of crushing student loan debt, appalling conditions of workers, and a healthcare system groaning under the weight of systemic disparity.

 

However, through the hardships, we have also had moments which defy the pall and dark clouds of despair - we have laughed, danced, smiled, gazed with longing at something or someone, sent virtual hugs, and attempted to make sense of the unfathomable. In the midst of unrelenting suffering there is always hope, no matter how dim or fleeting it may feel.  It is in this spirit that we offer this space: Facing the Rising Sun - A Gathering for Healing & Hope. 

 

This gathering is for those who desire a place to ponder, a place to sigh, a place to weep, a place to rejoice. A place simply - to beFor those who celebrate, December 30 is also the fifth day of Kwanzaa. This day represents the principle Nia, or purpose. So we will also create space for contemplation - of the year we’ve had and hopes for the year to come. 

 

This gathering is open to all, yet will center Black Muslims and the Black Muslim experience. Come as you are - with sincerity, humility, and the knowledge that as our wise elder and now ancestor, bell hooks taught us: “one of the most vital ways we sustain ourselves is by building communities of resistance, places where we are not alone” and “rarely, if ever, are any of us healed in isolation. Healing is an act of communion…”

This program is being offered in partnership with Muslim Alliance of North America (MANA)

CAIR - Los Angeles

Black Muslim Coalition

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SPEAKERS

Dr. Kameelah Rashad
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Dr. Kameelah Mu'Min Rashad

Founding President - Muslim Wellness Foundation

Co-Director, National Black Muslim COVID Coalition

Dr. Rashad is the Founder and President of Muslim Wellness Foundation (MWF), 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 Omar ibn Said Institute for Black Muslim Studies  and Research, annual Black Muslim Psychology Conference and the Deeply Rooted Emerging Leaders (DREL) Fellowship for Black Muslim young adults. 

 

Dr. Rashad is a Visiting Professor at Bayan Islamic Graduate School and Visiting Assistant Professor of Psychology and Muslim Studies at Chicago Theological Seminary. Dr. Rashad's clinical and research areas of interest include: healing justice and faith based activism, racial trauma and healing, psychological impact of anti-Muslim bigotry and anti-Blackness, Black Muslim psychology and Black Muslim intersectional invisibility. 

 

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.

CAIR - Los Black Muslim Coalition

Margari Hill
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Margari Hill  

Co-Founder & 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.

Drea D'Nur
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Drea d'Nur

Singer, Songwriter, Founder - Feed Buffalo

Drea D’Nur is a Mother, Buffalo native music and visual artist, archival researcher and evidence collector, community organizer and activist. As visual curator and music artist, Drea produced “The Spirit of Nina”, encompassing musicaltheatre, photo and art exhibition, and an award-winning documentary about Nina Simone. As a healing vessel of sound, Drea curated “Healing Songs in Beautiful Spaces”, a spiritually guided sound healing session led by her voice and piano.

In addition to Drea’s rich music profile, she works to heal broken communities through creative strategic collaborations. In 2020, aided in the passage of Cariol’s Law, a duty to intervene law written in honor of former officer Cariol Horne who lost her job and pension for intervening, in Buffalo, NY, as a member of the Justice for Cariol Team. She is also the founding director of WNY’s first organic and halal food access resource center, Feed Buffalo and a founding member of Project Mona’s House, WNY’s first restoration home for human trafficking victims.

Her latest curated projects include, “Dear Nina: A Sonic Love Letter”—in collaboration with Rootstock Republic (Strings and String Arrangements)—featuring re-orchestrated works from Nina Simone’s songbook of Love songs, Blues and Protest Music for voice and string sextet; and “This Love Thing”—co-executive produced with Rami Nashashibi (IMAN Central, Founding Director)—an album that explores themes of brokenness, repair, and hope “through the turbulent and triumphant expressions of love.” Drea is currently crafting an interdisciplinary healing art project, “Reimagine Black Death: Expanding the Testimony Through Remembrance”.

www.dreadnur.com

Black Muslim Coalition

Ismaeel Dhul-Qarnayn
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LuFuki Ismaeel

Community Organizer, Artist

LuFuki Ismaeel is a community organizer, artist, researcher based in Detroit. He is also particularly invested in social justice work and highlighting the work of Black Muslim artists and activists. He is the co-director Gathering All Muslim Artists (GAMA) and Vice President of Neighborly Needs and has worked as Housing Director at Dream of Detroit.  As a composer, guitarist, and writer, he leads Lu Fuki and Divine Providence, performing throughout the country. His work on the  Black Muslims and Jazz project in Detroit is at the Stamps Gallery at the University of Michigan and currently at the Scarab Club gallery in Detroit. As part-time ARCHouse Project Manager, Ismaeel oversees the rehabilitation of the ARCHouse and MuslimARC community building in Detroit. 

*Meaning of Lu Fuki: An homage to my ancestors. It's a West African word meaning "to strive". It was used often during slavery. It could mean to strive to stay alive and it could also mean jihad, which also means to strive. Historians trace the word "funk" to the West African term Lu Fuki.

Black Muslim Coalition

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Ustadh Adrian Ashir Kirk

Founder & Executive Director, Measured Tones Institute of Quran 

Ustadh Adrian “Ashir” Kirk is the founder and Executive Director of Measured Tones Institute of Quran. Born to a convert mother to Islam, he started studying Quran regularly at the age of 10. At 16 years old, he dropped out of high school to pursue studies overseas. He studied in Damascus, Syria at Abu Nour Institute for 3 years plus 1 year of private studies, pursued his Quranic studies in Morocco for 2 years after that and continued to study in the states. He received an ijaazah in reciting the entire Quran with tajwid in both narrations of the Hafs style of recitation of Shatibiyyah and Tayyibatun Nashr. Ustadh Ashir was blessed to receive the Muhammad Ali scholarship and study at Bayan at Chicago Theological Seminary and pursue his Master of Divinity with a concentration in Islamic Chaplaincy. He also owns 2 businesses, currently serves as the Outreach Coordinator for Muslim Prisoner Project, a non-profit organization that focuses on providing Eid gifts to the children of incarcerated inmates, and Director of Interfaith Relations for the Midtown Mosque in Memphis, TN.

CAIR - Los Black Muslim Coalition

PROGRAM

The name of our program is inspired by Lift Every Voice and Sing, the Black National Anthem written in 1900 by James Weldon Johnson:

Lift every voice and sing,

’Til earth and heaven ring,

Ring with the harmonies of Liberty;

Let our rejoicing rise

High as the listening skies,

Let it resound loud as the rolling sea.

Sing a song full of the faith that the dark past has taught us,

Sing a song full of the hope that the present has brought us;

Facing the rising sun of our new day begun,

Let us march on ’til victory is won.

 

As we face the rising sun of 2022, we will use this time to tell the story of our lives over the last 12 months, and envision what the future might bring, together.

We will sing a song full of:

mourning and sorrow (for ourselves, the people and things we have lost)

reflection and remembrance (on our breath and life; possibilities)

affirmation and acknowledgement (of our wounds and strength)

compassion & joy (for the light within each of us)

supplication (to the Creator upon whom we rely as our guide and North Star)

 

Registration required: bit.ly/facingtherisingsun

 

*Each attendee will receive a digital copy of the Facing the Rising Sun Workbook & Journal from Muslim Wellness Foundation

CAIR - Los Black Muslim Coalition