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IMAN’s Principles of Change

1)  Spiritually Grounded & Broadly Informed

IMAN’s work and vision is driven by Islam’s emphasis on mercy, compassion, service and justice as transformative forces for positive social change. IMAN also looks to the rich and diverse organizing traditions in the US and across the world for inspiration. IMAN seeks to infuse the best of those models with an understanding of the Muslim spiritual tradition as a way of effectively reaching and mobilizing its own base of leaders across Chicagoland, state of Illinois and the country.

 2)  Led By the Most Affected

IMAN passionately believes that work towards social change should be conducted with those of us most directly affected by the issues, our families and those that live with immediate social consequences.   

3)  Across Socioeconomic Divides

IMAN believes in leveraging the resources, relationships, skills and expertise across socio-economic divides in addressing the challenges and struggles confronting marginalized urban communities. Furthermore, IMAN believes in leveraging these relationships to stimulate socially-conscious business development and to generate jobs, revenue and social capital in service of its larger vision.    

4)  Intergenerational

IMAN believes in advocacy and organizing work that is intergenerational. The dynamism and drive of young adults combined with the wisdom and experience of our elders allows for efforts that take into consideration larger social context and historical continuity. Within the larger Muslim community intergenerational-driven efforts that provide a genuine space for youth leadership while showing deference to cultural elders speak to a strong sense of holistic community.   

5)  Multiethnic, Multiracial and Inter-religious Alliance Building

IMAN believes strongly in the need to create long-term alliances that bridge cultural, racial, ethnic and religious divides and that are deeply grounded in a sense of mutual trust for one another and in a commitment to a common vision for change.    

6)  Change through Service

IMAN believes that providing a range of direct services effects positive change not only with those who use our services but with those who provide them as well. It is awareness of the potential of this mutually transformative process that is an integral part of a holistic approach to social change. IMAN’s organizing efforts are led by our broad base including those who access our key services such as health care, economic and professional development courses and transitional housing for returning citizens. In turn, many of our victories and policy changes positively affect those of us who need them the most.


7)  Inspire: Art and Culture as Vehicles of Social Change

IMAN believes in the power of the arts to inspire and directly influence broad based social change.  For IMAN, leadership by artists continues to play a critical role in educating, galvanizing and inspiring our base.  Art infuses organizing efforts with a type of cultural relevance that can make the work more dynamic and cutting-edge.  IMAN seeks the synergy between the ability of art and culture to reach large and broad audiences while remaining grounded in grassroots community efforts and working for change.

IMAN Sustainers