At IMAN Arts & Culture, we are excited to welcome supporters and fans to another full season of Community Café. Next Saturday, April 19, will see the first Community Café of 2014 return to the historic Parkway Ballroom location in the Bronzeville neighborhood on Chicago’s South Side. Community Café: MIGRATIONS will feature Chicago’s own Grammy Award-winning spoken word artist/MC Malik Yusef, an exciting first-time appearance by the Black Monks of Mississippi, and the return of FEW Collective.
The story of human migrations is often a grueling but formative one for all our communities. From the Great Migration of African Americans out of the rural South to the immigration of Latinos and others out of the global South, migrations make our stories. This Community Café will explore where these stories connect, and disconnect, through powerful artistic performances. It will also call attention to the ongoing organizing and advocacy efforts around local issues, such as immigration reform, or global issues that lead to the painful displacement of our brothers and sisters.
This Community Café promises to be special, as it features the first ever appearance by Malik Yusef, also known as The Wordsmyth, Chicago’s own Grammy Award-winning spoken word artist, poet, musician, film producer and actor. “As a spoken word artist, poetry allowed Yusef the aesthetic freedom to comment on a wide breadth of personal and social issues while his lyrics remained commensurate with a global vision: to encourage the benevolence in all people.”
Community Café: MIGRATIONS
Featuring: Malik Yusef, Black Monks of Mississippi, FEW Collective and more
When: Saturday, April 19, 2012, 6 PM, All Ages
Suggested Donation: $5
Where: Parkway Ballroom, 4455 S King Dr, Chicago, IL 60653
IMAN and leaders of the Muslim Run campaign got the good news recently: IMAN has been selected as a delegate agency and partner of the City of Chicago through a Healthy Corner Store pilot project. The City Ordinance approving this partnership passed through two City Council committees earlier in the month. With this new partnership formed, we look to expand our efforts city-wide and strengthen relationships with store owners. We will also be able to introduce our partner stores to City resources that can be beneficial for them in the long run, as they create and run on alternative and holistic business models. In gearing up for the upcoming summer with our corner store initiative, IMAN will be looking to engage more volunteers and leaders to help us get closer to the ideal corner stores we would like to see in urban neighborhoods.
The Muslim Run Campaign developed as a visionary call to address the long history of harmful and unjust business practices, escalating racial and ethnic tensions, and unhealthy food options at corner stores throughout the inner-city. Since 2007, it has evolved into a campaign that focuses on four critical points: developing an alternative business model for Muslim-run businesses on Chicago’s South Side, using policy to promote lasting change in the food justice arena, launching an education campaign that stresses the benefits of leading healthier lifestyles and healing racial tensions between Muslim store owners and their patrons. As this campaign has gathered momentum in the past the three years, IMAN has created a set of principles-the 10-point Statement of Intent-that we want the corner stores to base their business practices on.
To get involved in the Muslim Run campaign, you can contact Shamar Hemphill (Youth & Organizing Director) firstname.lastname@example.org, or Farhana Arif (Organizing Fellow) email@example.com.
The expansion of IMAN Health Clinic continues. The Clinic is now open Monday through Friday 9 AM–5 PM, in addition to our original hours of Sunday, 10 AM–2 PM. This is a remarkable development in several ways. First, we are continuing to increase access to our community that is in the middle of a medically underserved area. Second, we have moved into uncharted territory with our Clinic being open 5 1/2 days a week. Third, this represents the largest expansion of the Clinic at one time, increasing from six half-days a week to 11 half-days a week.
This move is the culmination of a great deal of planning and deployment of resources and moves us further along our path toward a fully holistic and fulltime health center. IMAN’s Health Clinic began in response to the lack of access to healthcare on the South Side of Chicago, as a grassroots clinic providing health screenings two days a week. Over the last five years, IMAN’s Clinic has transitioned from a basic, grassroots clinic into a comprehensive health center that operates six days a week: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday.
As always, we will continue our best efforts to maintain the highest quality of care and standards of efficiency, and the commitment to a welcoming and culturally sensitive environment, on behalf of everybody involved with the Clinic. As we continue our journey, we will always need support and input from the communities that we serve and that support us. If anyone has any interest in health care and wishes to join our efforts, please contact us.
On Friday, February 21, Senator Dick Durbin, IL’s senior and the nation’s second highest-ranking senator, spent two hours with IMAN, directly engaging its leaders and projects. Key IMAN allies and leaders from the Multifaith Housing Reclamation Campaign that IMAN led with the Jewish Council of Urban Affairs and the Southwest Organizing Project (SWOP) were also present for a brief lunch with the Senator before he took a tour of IMAN’s various projects. Senator Durbin was moved by the way leaders, residents and clergy from different faith traditions in the area have successfully mobilized to build power and demand change.
The Senator showed great interest in the current work being done on the second Green ReEntry home, and, in particular, discussed and shared ideas for how to take Green ReEntry to scale, and how this unique approach to tackling lack of decent housing, job skills, public safety, and effective reentry programs is needed in communities across the country. The Senator was also presented with plans for the future IMAN Health and Wellness campus, which IMAN hopes to have completed by its 20th Anniversary in 2017. The Senator showed particular interest in the planned Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) building, which will grow out of IMAN’s current Health Clinic and which will anchor the Health and Wellness campus centered. He was very impressed to learn of the larger Muslim community’s support for the work of the Clinic over the years and to discover how organizations such as Islamic Relief USA, the Mosque Foundation and Muslim families across Illinois and the country have been the primary funders of an effort that has touched thousands of uninsured and under-insured residents over the years.
Senator Durbin also took time during his visit to address congregants gathered that day for a special Jum’ah service led by Usama Canon. We hope that these visits from and contacts with the Senator and his office will continue, and that this cooperation will translate into a broadening of IMAN’s model of service and change in inner-cities.