Atlanta ReEntry Work Making Holistic Impact

Along the way toward transforming its first construction project into what will be IMAN ATL’s new headquarters, the Atlanta Green ReEntry cohort enriched their program experience through career development workshops and weekly gatherings dedicated to spiritual nourishment.

In keeping with Green ReEntry’s core values of financial stability and empowerment, the cohort attended trainings at Tarchitects LLC, an established architecture firm in the heart of Atlanta. The brothers participated in daylong sessions focused on the ins and outs of project management, learning best practices regarding budgeting, proposal developments and collaboration strategies.

This past year’s long days of work and study were balanced with weekly gatherings geared toward spiritual growth. Following Saturday morning prayers, the Green ReEntry brothers joined fellow community members to reflect upon reminders of the importance of embodying genuine, noble character traits. Breakfast and continued conversation follow each weekend’s sitting.

On May 21, IMAN staff, Advisory Board members, and supporters from the larger Atlanta community gathered to celebrate the accomplishments of this first Green ReEntry cohort as they graduated from the program. Their hard work has laid a sturdy foundation for future participants returning home to beautify their communities and realize success in their individual lives.

Be sure to follow IMAN Atlanta on Facebook for the latest news and updates, and keep the entire Green ReEntry cohort in your prayers as they continue to change, serve and inspire!

IMAN ATL Breaks Ground, Leads Interfaith Efforts

IMAN Atlanta has been extremely active as it continues to carve out its place in the larger metro area. The Atlanta Green ReEntry cohort broke ground on its first renovation project along with dozens of local volunteers. In addition to launching the reentry work, IMAN ATL staff and leaders played key roles in several interfaith efforts that successfully highlighted the importance of health, wellness and healing in an inner-city context.

IMAN Atlanta played a key organizing role during a well-attended rally held in downtown Atlanta. Alongside allies from Redeemer Lutheran Church and other organizations, they called on residents to band together in support of groups targeted by proposed federal policies.

In conjunction with the Interfaith Children’s Movement, IMAN Atlanta staff and leaders also traveled to the state capitol for an important Advocacy Day. They pushed local legislators on several critical issues affecting the state’s youth, from increased job opportunities to more equitable, accessible public services for young people of all backgrounds.

On February 25, Director Mansoor Sabree and Atlanta Green ReEntry Coordinator Jermaine Shareef organized a “Hands On” community event, which served as a public groundbreaking for the IMAN ATL team’s first renovation project. Nearly 50 community members joined the first-ever Atlanta re-entry crew for a tour of the new property. After the tour, many attendees also rolled up their sleeves and chipped in to help beautify IMAN ATL’s soon-to-be headquarters.

IMAN Atlanta continues to establish itself as a vehicle for Georgia residents to engage the issues most directly affecting them. Be sure to follow IMAN ATL on Facebook to support their work, and for all the latest news and updates.

Green ReEntry Work Taking Root in ATL

IMAN Atlanta is primed to launch its first direct service as 2017 gets underway. After months of preparation, fundraising, securing community partnerships and acquiring property, Green ReEntry will soon begin working with formerly incarcerated Muslim men in the ATL Metro Area. Participants will enter IMAN’s unique and holistic regiment of transitional housing, spiritual development, basic education, life skills instruction, on-the-job construction training, and job placement support.

One of the newest additions to the IMAN team is Atlanta Green ReEntry Manager Jermaine Shareef, a licensed master plumber. Shareef embodies the model of transformation that the program seeks to replicate. As a young man, he was incarcerated for 9 years. While inside, Shareef was recognized as a model inmate: he dedicated his time to both self-help and helping others, took full advantage of his time, and earned various plumbing certifications.

Shareef also owns his own plumbing company, Najee Plumbing, which is widely respected in the state of Georgia. No stranger to the IMAN ethos of relationship-building, he has also organized as a criminal justice reform advocate and a committed mentor to other men returning home from prison. Be sure to stay updated on the latest Green ReEntry progress and all IMAN Atlanta projects by following them on Facebook.

Imam W.D Mohammed and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Living Memorial Project

The Martin Luther King, Jr. Living Memorial Project is currently under construction inside Chicago’s historic Marquette Park. This memorial commemorates the 50th anniversary of the 1966 Chicago Freedom Movement that included a daring march led by Dr. King and nearly 700 other activists, organizers and community residents through the park to challenge the city and country to end oppression and bigotry and live up to higher ideals.

wdmohammmad_1 (1)On August 6, 2016, thousands of people will gather to recall the powerful legacy of that march, and to take lessons from it as they confront today’s urgent struggles for justice, equity and dignity.
I’m excited about the MLK Living Memorial’s potential to raise public consciousness about Dr. King’s lesser-known work in alliance with poor and working people, and my enthusiasm is just as great for the recognition of the work of other fearless, devoted human rights leaders. One of those leaders is my teacher, America’s Imam, the Muslim-American Spokesman for Human Salvation, Imam Warithuddeen Mohammed.

The Imam’s words, image and leadership will be memorialized alongside Dr. King and several other icons.
Folks may ask about the connection between an imam and a reverend, a Muslim and a Christian, Dr. King and Imam W.D Mohammed. Our imam addressed this during his final “Ramadan Session”, with Dr. King’s message and memory clearly weighing heavily on his heart and mind. He said “Dr Martin Luther King, a great speaker, great man, a man driven by a human spirit, the same human spirit that was in Muhammad the Prophet (SAW). It is one human spirit for all of us and it wants excellence. Someone may think he’s the son of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad and he’s calling Dr. King our leader? Yes, I am. Wake up! Our leader Dr. Martin Luther King a great, powerful man of moral determination and moral spirit to do away with injustice to people. Dr. King was a man of excellent character and a man with a spirit for justice who came from his human sense of value and nobility. We don’t have those leaders popular anymore!” (Oct 7, 2007 Ramadan Session)

As a student and indebted admirer of Imam W.D. Mohammed, I am proud to see his name and works being acknowledged alongside Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Imam W.D Mohammed died in 2008, however for his hundreds of thousands of students, he continues to live in us. Thus, this memorial is a great honor and tribute to the community of Imam W.D. Mohammed.

The MLK Living Memorial project is led by The Inner-City Muslim Action Network (IMAN). Imam W.D Mohammed praised and celebrated this organization for its social justice work, primarily in inner-city Chicago and now also in Atlanta. This memorial will be at the epicenter of one of the largest, most inclusive outdoor festivals in the country: Takin’ It to the Streets. This urban international festival attracts over 20,000 people with its inspiring workshops, performances and calls for community action.

“There are two things I will never give up”, Imam W.D Mohammed said “ Al-Islam and my African-American identity”. For generations to come, Muslims, Christians and all people of faith will benefit from the legacy of Dr. King, Imam Mohammed and others who worked tirelessly for the establishment of freedom, justice and equality for all people. Let us show our support by coming out in the thousands to witness for ourselves the power of faith, joining together in goodness and forbidding what is evil and putting our trust in G’d. Join us Saturday, August 6th at Chicago’s Marquette Park for a day we will never forget. . Visit www.streets2016.com