September 14-15, 2013 marked the dates of another successful IMAN Organizing Training. Now, IMAN staff and leaders are gearing up for another full year of intense work on our organizing and advocacy campaigns. This year’s training could not have been possible without the support and leadership of longtime community organizer and political analyst Don Washington. The IMAN organizing team brought Washington on to help us through the process of continually refining our organizing training curriculum and technique, and staff and attendees were not disappointed. Twenty-six adults and young folk attended the training, many of whom were already active participants in IMAN campaigns, or volunteers at various IMAN events in the past. All of them came to learn the basic tenets, tools, and language of community organizing.
Over the years, IMAN has been actively engaged in the process of developing a community organizing curriculum that grounds the basic principles of conventional organizing within the rich and parallel moral and action-centered framework of the Muslim spiritual tradition. Each year, we have taken the feedback and commentary of training participants back to the organizing table and sought ways to distill and sharpen our training modules and techniques to best emphasize key points, and to draw the clearer and more emphatic connections between spirituality and the spiritual imperative to act on critical issues of social justice.
Though IMAN organizers have had the opportunity to present iterations of this training to groups across the country over the past few years, this year’s training marked another step towards completing a curriculum that aims to train Muslims and others across the globe on how to make meaningful impact on issues that matter to them in a way that merges action with their spiritual, moral center.
IMAN organizers have already begun to reach out to training attendees to incorporate them into the process of working to transform their communities. Their participation and leadership will lead to more successful and impactful organizing and advocacy campaigns for IMAN and other communities over the coming years.