Muslim Run Campaign for Health, Wellness and Healing

The Muslim Run campaign addresses a long history of injurious business practices, ingrained racial tensions, and unhealthy food options at inner-city corner stores. Since its launch, Muslim Run has focused on four critical goals:

  • Developing alternative business models for Muslim-run stores on Chicago’s South Side.
  • Using public policy to promote lasting change toward food justice.
  • Launching an education campaign that stresses the benefits of healthier lifestyles.
  • Healing racial tensions between Muslim store owners and their mostly Black patrons.

Fresh produce storeAlternative Business Model

Reviving small businesses is an alternative to the currently trend of attracting “discount stores” back to the low-income communities they previously abandoned.

Small, locally-owned businesses can provide viable solutions to the food access crisis ravaging low-income communities, while also acting as economic engines for community development.

Lasting Policy Change

Small businesses owners face increasing challenges from incoming discount and ‘big box’ stores.

We seek innovative policy solutions to make small businesses viable competitors, including grants and micro-loans for local corner stores to stock fresh foods.

Education Campaign

Apple salad demoWe understand that changing store owner practices is useless without altering residents’ desires.

Accordingly, our education campaign’s curriculum will reintroduce ideas of healthy eating and living through principles, programs and media.

Racial Healing

‘Food and liquor’ stores are commonly found in majority-Black, low-income neighborhoods. These stores are most often owned by Arab immigrants, many of them Muslim.Corner_Stores-1

Very real racial tensions exist between store owners and residents. As a Muslim organization located in a low-income neighborhood, IMAN understands the marginalization on both sides.

We believe that the work toward a solution to the food access crisis includes healing the relationships between Arab store owners and Black residents.

If you’re interested in joining the Muslim Run campaign, please contact Organizer Sara Hamdan at sara@imancentral.org

Media

Solidarity at the Liquor Store?
IMAN’s Muslim Run was featured in the national magazine on race and politics, Colorlines, produced by the Applied Research Center. The article explores immigrant-owned and run businesses in Black Neighborhoods. Download it here

Muslim liquor store owners get help with moral dilemma
A Muslim group is offering a grant to help store owners sell fresh foods instead of liquor, pork and other Islam-proscribed merchandise. Read it here

Fighting the Food Justice Fight, One Veggie at a Time
America’s inner cities are virtual food deserts, with nary a grocery store to be found. How one Chicago coalition is trying to change all that.