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April 18, 2021
As the nation reels from yet another police killing of a black man, Daunte Wright, just miles from where the trial of Derek Chauvin for the killing of George Floyd is taking place, the tape of a fatal police shooting of a 13-year-old Latinx boy in Chicago was just released. And yet another mass shooting took place in Indianapolis in which at least four of the eight people killed on Thursday night were Sikhs; while it is not clear if their identity played a role in the killings, Sikhs have been targeted many times in the past.
This is not the America I want to live in and I don’t think it is the America that you want to live in either.
It is incumbent upon all of us to make sure that the biased attitudes and racism that underpins these and other incidents is challenged by each one of us.
At ING, we realized several years ago that it was impossible to separate the bias that produces Islamophobia from other pervasive biases entrenched in American society. In fact, history shows us clearly that all forms of bigotry are both similar and interdependent.
In light of that fact, we launched the Intercultural Speakers Bureau (ICSB) which incorporates the intersectionality of Muslim experiences with that of other marginalized groups, including Indigenous, African American, Asian, Latinx and Jewish communities.
To that end we have done the following:
Created 14 Educator Lesson Plans on Individual and Systemic Racism which examine the role and impact of dominant narratives in promoting racism and bigotry in society and how to challenge these narratives. So far, these have been downloaded by 75 teachers in 34 states across the country. An article by a prominent educator website, WeAreTeachers, was also produced about our work.
Trained and certified two dozen representatives of marginalized communities so far for the ICSB program to speak alongside Muslim Americans about their community’s experiences with bigotry and racism and how they are working together to challenge it. Jointly, these panelists have delivered 25 panels across the country that have included middle and high schools, universities, police departments, and governmental offices.
One trainee commented:
“I’ve been to many implicit bias trainings… but I’ve never experienced anything like this. Your ING training today blew the lid off anti-bias training. I finally get why we have the biases we do about certain groups of people, and I’m very grateful for the work that you did with this.”
– Faculty member, UC Santa Cruz
Convened a series of webinars with these and other speakers on topics that include Anti-Asian hate and systemic racism and inequalities revealed by Covid-19 last spring, and Anti-Black Racism in the broader society and among Muslims last summer, including six panels on Countering Intra-Muslim Racism. Combined these panels have been viewed by 936,000 people across the country.
Our anti-racism work– where we contextualize Islamophobia in other forms of bigotry and work alongside other marginalized groups to combat it– has never been more important.
Help us expand this important work even further across the country.
Ramadan is an opportunity to double the blessings of your donations as you help to promote understanding, inclusion, and justice in America today.
Thank you for all you do and your support.
Chief Executive Officer