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July 15, 2021
“There are no days wherein good works are more beloved to God than during these ten.”
– Saying of the Prophet Muhammad (p)
In this Hadith (prophetic saying), Prophet Muhammad (p) was referring to the first ten days of the Islamic month of Dhul-Hijjah, which began this year on July 12th. This makes it an auspicious time to update our donors, partners, and supporters about our accomplishments during the first six months of this year, which are also my first six months leading ING’s wonderful team of staff and speakers that contributes so much to all Americans.
Captured in this note is the spirit and essence of our last six months, made possible only because of you — our dear friends and supporters.
We’ve reached nearly 700,000 Americans across the country so far this year with our online and in-person educational programs delivered through the following ING speakers bureaus:
Our Intercultural Speakers Bureau, where we address the history and role of narratives (stories we tell) about various groups, the perceptions which we form about them, the societal policies that result from these narratives, and how they impact racial and ethnic groups in America is most relevant in DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) programs. Alongside Muslims, Americans of Indigenous, African, Hispanic, Asian and Jewish backgrounds speak on panels about the various forms of bigotry they encounter, and how all Americans — White, Brown, and Black — can combat and root out racism by working together across all of our differences.
This year, we presented ICSB panels to several law enforcement groups, city mayors, houses of worship, schools and universities, and Muslim organizations such as in this panel which we delivered for the Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago (CIOGC). Our classroom curriculum on the same topics has been downloaded by teachers in nearly all fifty states.
=>> Impact: Shared understanding of racism (including Islamophobia) and tools for combating it both individually and institutionally.
Our Interfaith Speakers Bureau, where we increase the understanding of Muslim Americans alongside other religious groups, including Americans of Jewish, Hindu, Christian, Buddhist and Sikh backgrounds, spoke this year about contemporary issues such as Shared Values, Women in Religion, and Living the Faith. Here is an Interfaith Earth Day panel on the topic: “Channeling Faith into Calls to Action on the Environment.”
=>> Impact: Greater understanding of world religions, their commonalities and differences while modeling civic engagement across religious and cultural differences.
Our Islamic Speakers Bureau, where we present about Islamophobia and its impact as well as other topics relevant to Muslims and their faith was our most popular program so far this year, representing nearly 75% of our presentations, training seminars, and online curriculum downloads. In this space, we spoke to a variety of institutions, including Macy’s, the California Department of Education, school districts, corporations, chaplains, and school and university classrooms.
Some of the topics we addressed this year included:
- Muslim Teens Speak: Balancing School, Ramadan and COVID-19
- Supporting Muslim Essential Workers During Ramadan
- Muslim Women Chaplains: Uplifting Women’s Religious Leadership in Muslim American Spaces
=>> Impact: Greater understanding of Muslims and Islam and tools for combating Islamophobia.
As we approach the Islamic Day of Arafah (a day of seeking forgiveness) this Monday, July 19th, the culmination of increased worship and good deeds in these first 10 days of Dhul Hijjah, please consider making a gift to ING and/or praying for our continued success and contributions to greater understanding and peacemaking among all Americans. We hope that this is a blessed time for you and your family and we thank you for all you have done to support ING both financially and morally.
Chief Executive Officer