During the next month, IMAN leaders will be hitting the pavement to register the community to vote. Six days a week, leaders will be stationed in and around three of our Muslim Run corner stores. As we continue to push to transform corner stores across Englewood and West Englewood into sites of community education and engagement, we believe that voter education and empowerment centered in and around these stores is a key tool to ensure that voices from the community are heard.
While registering voters, our leaders will be connecting with the residents on two key issues around which IMAN has been actively organizing: tax credits and minimum wage. Alongside community partners, IMAN recently helped to pass state legislation that provides incentives in the form of tax credits to companies that hire formerly incarcerated individuals. This piece of legislation greatly impacts many leaders from within IMAN and our Green Reentry program, and several have made the commitment to be a part of educating the community on this issue through voter engagement. In addition to the tax credit piece, leaders will be educating voters on the issue of raising the minimum wage to a level that could more realistically support working families in Illinois.
IMAN’s voter registration and issue education efforts are an opportunity to empower a historically disenfranchised community by encouraging residents to recognize that their vote, whether for a person or an issue, can create change. If you are interested in getting involved with registering voters and providing education around these issues, please contact Sara Hamdan (firstname.lastname@example.org).
IMAN’s voter registration and issue education efforts are supported by the Marguerite Casey Foundation and Equal Voice for America’s Families.
If you’ve never heard the saying that health is not just the absence of an illness, then we welcome you to the world of behavioral and mental health. Behavioral health is about addressing mental health needs which range from severe mental illness to supporting people to grow in their own lives.
April, 2014 marked two years since six community mental health centers closed in the City of Chicago. These community clinics served as vital resources for maintaining the stability of the under or uninsured who needed assistance with mental health. You can check out what’s being said about the community mental health clinics closures here.
Throughout all of this, the IMAN Health Clinic remains committed to the health and wellness of all, and seeks to strengthen its behavioral health capacity. The Clinic has staffed a clinical psychologist, Michelle Anderson, PhD, to offer direct services and expand the program. Dr. Anderson has an extensive background in community mental health needs. She has worked with youth (age 10 and older), as well as adults and families in different locations.
The behavioral and mental program at IMAN’s Health Clinic offers services including individual therapy, career and life sessions, marital/couples sessions and family sessions for families with children ages 10 and older. The program is also seeking to collaborate with other organizations in the area to address issues related to violence and safety. The behavioral health program will provide group events to give the community the opportunity to learn new ways to reduce stress and increase positive emotions. Eventually the behavioral health program will expand to include more counselors and professionals seeking specialized training in community mental health. Behavioral health service hours at the Clinic are currently: Tues and Wed from 9:30-4 and Thurs from 1-4.
The behavioral health program at the IMAN Health Clinic is supported by the Chicago Community Trust.