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Black Collegiate Forum
BMPC2017 - DonnaAuston
BMPC2017 Dr. Quaiser A
BMPC Ilhan


Leading with Compassion - In Search of Healing Justice & Collective Well-Being

Philadelphia, PA | July 21-22, 2017 | #BMPC2017


The unique vulnerabilities of being Black and Muslim in the United States are significant. However, in the face of anti-Black racism and anti-Muslim bigotry, Black Muslims often draw upon faith and deeply rooted spirituality, ancestral knowledge and cultural identities to strive towards restoring meaning, health and balance in their lives. The Black Muslim Psychology Conference (BMPC) was established in 2015 and is the only conference in the country to center the voices and experiences of Black Muslims with respect to race, religion, trauma and healing. BMPC grew from a gathering of 75 in its inaugural year, to 125 in 2016. 10 days before the 2017 conference, demand for registration exceeded our capacity and we had to move to a larger venue! There was a 300% growth in attendance as we brought together 375+ organizers, community members, mental health professionals, youth leaders, religious scholars and multidisciplinary experts to discuss the role of leaders in facilitating community healing and addressing issues related to racial violence, trauma, and emotional well-being. In addition to 40+ incredible speakers and amazing workshops, our two-day program also included these exciting highlights:  

  • Keynote presentations by MN State Representative Ilhan Omar, the first Somali-American legislator in the US, Dr. Arthur C. Evans, Jr. CEO of the American Psychological Association (APA) and Ustadha Ieasha Prime, a Black Muslim scholar, activist and educator

  • Awards & Recognition Luncheon – honoring those who are Pioneers, Trailblazers & Emerging Leaders in the community: Imam Hanif Malik of Flint, MI, Sr. Laila Muhammad (daughter of Imam WD Muhammad), Mark Crain, Project Director of Dream of Detroit, Dr. Su’ad Abdul-Khabeer, Founder & Editor-In-Chief of and author of Muslim Cool: Race, Religion and Hip Hop in the United States, Azza Altiraifi, Social Justice & DisAbility Rights Activist and Young Muslim Collective, a MN-based youth led grassroots organization. 

  • Black Muslim Collegiate Forum for Black Muslim undergraduate students and emerging adults from UPenn, NYU, Tufts, Stanford, Harvard and Howard to share their experiences #BeingBlackandMuslim at predominantly white institutions (PWI) and historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU).

  • Artist Showcase featuring poetry and music from Tariq Toure, Sadiyah BashirYouseff KromahAamaal Abdul-Malik, Philadelphia Youth Poet Laureate Husnaa Hashim, and Aja Graydon & Fatin Dantzler of Kindred the Family Soul


The Imam Roundtable was lauded as one of the most groundbreaking and transformative dialogues many attendees had ever experienced.  The Imam Roundtable was an historic gathering of 35 Imams and spiritual leaders of Black Muslim institutions from across the country in a space that offered the opportunity to dialogue with one another as well as with an audience composed of the community members they serve. These Imams represented a total of about 12,000 constituents in congregations in nearly 30 American cities. This forum included such notable leaders as Imam Siraj Wahhaj of Brooklyn NY, Imam Tariq El-Amin of Chicago, IL, Minister Carlos Muhammad of Baltimore, MD and Imam Sulaimaan Hamed of Atlanta, GA. The Roundtable was designed using a “fish bowl style” format  to facilitate substantially interactive conversation between the invited Imams and the listening audience--a safe, productive space in which all present were empowered to learn, reflect and deepen the understanding of the relationship between leadership and collective healing. These discussions were intense, emotional, raw and honest. We also provided a small intimate alternative space facilitated by Dr. Halim Naeem & Dr. Mona Masood for those men and women who may have been triggered or emotionally overwhelmed and needed to process their feelings with a trained and qualified mental health professional.

We cannot express the depth of our gratitude for the Imams who took a risk, to be vulnerable, to open themselves up in this way for both praise and criticism. The Imams who were willing to listen, to apologize, to ask for clarification, to correct a fellow Imam who may have been unaware of the impact of his words on the community, especially the women assembled. May Allah reward these leaders for "trusting the process" and making history in such a profound and incredible way!

Click HERE to read more reflections and articles about #BMPC2017!


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