Annual UCCRO Convention: Focus on Legislative Initiatives

IMAN staff and leaders recently participated in United Congress of Community and Religious Organization’s (UCCRO) annual convention at Madero Middle School. At this year’s convention, we focused on learning about and voting on the three issues that UCCRO will be focusing on during the Veto Session in mid-November and early December. These three policy priorities align with IMAN’s longtime commitment to working on issues of criminal justice, education, and youth.

The first piece of legislation, Prisoner Redistricting (HB 92), would require state and local governments to use census figures adjusted to reflect pre-incarceration addresses of Illinois’ state and federal prisoners in creating election districts and redistricting starting in 2020. The second piece, Local School Council Empowerment (HB5328), would strengthen the role of Local School Councils by giving them the necessary tools and governance to transform our most challenging schools. Finally, Fixing School Discipline (SB 3004/HB 4655), would limit the use of out-of-school suspensions, expulsion, and school-based arrests.

IMAN and other UCCRO member organizations will be mobilizing down to Springfield during Veto Session to meet with key legislators and encourage them to support these issues that directly impact our communities. If you are interested in learning more about IMAN’s policy agenda, or in joining us in Springfield, please contact IMAN organizers, Shamar ( or Sara (

Health Clinic: Behavioral Health Program Update

Last week, the IMAN Health Clinic restarted its training relationship with the University of Chicago’s School of Social Service Administration (SSA). After several exchanges and a brief field placement coordinator interview, SSA reactivated the IMAN Health Clinic’s status as a field placement site. The Clinic’s Behavioral Health program previously served as a field placement site for social work students interested in clinical work, as well as organizing and advocacy issues. The Behavioral Health program will take up to two Master’s level social work students for the 2015-2016 academic year and engage them in clinical work and advocacy.

Students in the SSA program will be able to read a description of IMAN’s Behavioral Health program and apply to be an intern in the Health Clinic beginning in January/February 2015. Following a similar process, the Behavioral Health program will also accept up to two graduate student trainees in clinical psychology from Chicago area universities. The Health Clinic is excited to resume training students for behavioral health, as we continue to address the overwhelming need for behavioral and mental health services in our communities.

Amir Sulaiman & The True + Living to Perform at Annual Dinner

Poet, artist and longtime IMAN Artist Leader Amir Sulaiman is returning to Chicago for a debut performance of his latest work, “Heavy Halo,” at IMAN’s 2014 Annual Dinner on Saturday, December 6  at the South Shore Cultural Center.  He will be performing with The True + Living.  “Amir Sulaiman is one of the most accomplished poets and artists performing right now, and it has been rewarding to see him perfect his craft over the years,” said Rami Nashashibi, IMAN’s Executive Director. “We are honored that Amir is joining us at the Annual Dinner this year for an exclusive performance of his latest artistic creation,” added Nashasibi.

Sulaiman is one of the most powerful and relevant voices among Muslim American artists.  You don’t want to miss this debut performance, specially curated and crafted for the larger IMAN family. This will also mark Sulaiman’s return to the Annual Dinner where he delivered a stirring guest performance last year.