Collective struggle, enduring trials, and transcendence: The legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. exemplifies all of these qualities and continues to inspire IMAN’s work today. In a recent DeenTV appearance, Executive Director Dr. Rami Nashashibi shared some big news about the planned MLK Memorial in Marquette Park: The memorial will be unveiled on August 5, 2016 during the Takin’ It to the Streets festival — on the 50th anniversary of King’s historic march through the park (pictured here) — thrusting IMAN and its allies in this effort onto the national stage, inshaAllah. Once known as a community where Neo-Nazis demonstrated, Marquette Park will become the site of an interfaith, multicultural celebration like no other.
As a result of the sacrifices that Dr. King and local activists in this area made, and the struggles of those who have continued their legacy, today’s Marquette Park community is vibrant and diverse. Embodying this progression, renovation work at IMAN’s Youth & Arts Wellness Center has kicked into high gear. As walls come down, the vision of a new focal point of creative expression on the Southwest Side builds up. “Art is not just about entertainment. Art is about powerfully, radically re-imagining the world,” says Dr. Nashashibi.