The COVID-19 pandemic has fundamentally altered our lives in profound ways. Since March 2020, Black Muslim communities across the continent and the African diaspora have been navigating the financial, physical, emotional and spiritual toll of a health crisis that has resulted in substantial losses of life and wealth. In just one year, 73,236 Black Americans have died of the Coronavirus and in a nationwide survey conducted by the Black COVID Survey project, Black Muslims reported significant strain due to this novel disease. There was also expressed recognition that the pandemic alone was not the cause of stress and anxiety; white supremacy and anti-Black racism were the larger systems responsible for health-related disparities, economic inequalities, racial violence and overpolicing of Black communities. One thing has been made abundantly clear during this health crisis - we must imagine a different kind of existence if we are to survive AND thrive.
“... the conditions of daily life, of everyday oppressions, of survival... render much of our imagination inert.”
- Robin D.G. Kelley
The 2021 Black Muslim Psychology Conference (BMPC) explores the Black Muslim imagination as a site of what scholar Robin D.G. Kelley has called “freedom dreams”: those imaginative spaces of creativity and cultural expression that create “maps of the future, of the world not yet born.” Islam has long been a source of liberation and healing for Black people, an expression of our freedom dreams. We will celebrate the incredible ingenuity of Black/African Muslims in the United States, and consider how these creative processes allow us to develop deep and life-affirming ways of knowing, healing, and believing.
“Art...makes us take a journey beyond price, beyond cost, into bearing witness to the world as it is and as it should be... Art invites us to know beauty and to solicit it, summon it, from even the most tragic of circumstances.”
- Toni Morrison
Creativity and artistic expression is a positive force in all aspects of Black Islam from fashion, to music, Quranic recitation and worship. We are inviting community members to share their Black Muslim freedom dreams - to summon in and though art, poetry, film, or literature; education; entrepreneurship; health and wellness; community development; and the everyday inventiveness of Black Muslim life.
For BMPC2021, Muslim Wellness Foundation is proud to collaborate with Bayan Islamic Graduate School and Chicago Theological Seminary (CTS)
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