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A look back and forward:
Our plans for a new year
As we close out this year, we look forward to next year with exciting new ideas and projects that we want to share with you.
Twenty-one years ago against the backdrop of hate crimes after the first Gulf War, we set out to teach Americans about Islam and Muslims by creating the Islamic Speakers Bureau. Along the way we added cultural diversity programs for teachers, police, healthcare, and corporations.
Fifteen years later we realized that in order to increase Islamic literacy, we need to increase religious literacy and call to action in service. This was the basis for creating the Interfaith Speakers Bureau program as well as the Interfaith Service Days which we hope to continue as part of our interfaith outreach.
In 2014, we want to do expand and scale our work by making it more accessible to others in a more economical way. We plan to do so in three new areas:
- In the Islamic Speakers Bureau, we are expanding access of our curriculum and training materials on Islam and Muslims to both teachers and law enforcement agencies. By creating an iPad app for educators, we will give them easy and direct access to our curriculum, videos and teaching materials on Islam. Similarly, for law enforcement officers, we will have online training materials on Islam and Muslims available for them to freely access and use around the country.
- As the Interfaith Speakers Bureau grows, we are expanding our programming by continuing to hold interfaith service days that will encourage participants to act as well as reflect together. For example, we plan to hold a 9/11 interfaith commemoration that includes both service and discussion. We also intend to conduct workshops and service days aimed at youth to educate them about a variety of faiths.
- One of our newest projects is the Youth Program, which aims to help Muslim youth prevent harassment and bullying against them. We will train Muslim students on answering difficult questions about Islam and Muslims and build their knowledge of their rights when they are harassed, giving them the confidence in their knowledge of their faith that will enable them to respond actively to prejudice in their communities.
We hope you will continue to help us educate and reach out to others. Please consider making your end-of-year gift today.