A Black Muslim Mental Health & Healing Initiative
Black/African Americans represent 25% of the American Muslim population, the single largest racial group in this religious community. However, Black Muslims experience intersectional or “acute” invisibility as they are not perceived as typical members of the American Muslim community, with Arab and South Asian Muslims viewed as the norm; or of the Black community, in which Christianity is the dominant religion. Black Muslims also experience marginalization due to anti-Black sentiment within the Muslim community. The Deeply Rooted Project will focus on addressing the “acute social invisibility” which affects the mental health of Black Muslims, particularly in light of rising anti-Muslim bigotry and ongoing racial violence and trauma in the Black community. It will also seek to enhance protective factors which mitigate these stressors and promote positive psychological well-being.
In addition to the Black Muslim Psychology Conference, other Deeply Rooted activities include:
The Deeply Rooted Emerging Leaders (DREL) Fellowship centers the challenges, strengths and well-being of Black Muslim Emerging adults (18-25 years old) and is grounded in the belief that building power and sustainable grassroots movements cannot occur without healing and introspection. Our goal is to nurture cohort of emotionally intelligent social justice activists and leaders who will more assertively and constructively engage in spiritually grounded, justice oriented advocacy within the Muslim community. We received over 50 incredible applications for this year's inaugural fellowship and selecting from amongst these phenomenal applicants was difficult. Our 2017 cohort of DREL Fellows are bright, passionate advocates and we were impressed by their level of insight, awareness and vulnerability.
Read more about each DREL Fellow here.
A tool-kit and resource guide for Black Muslims coping with racial trauma and religious bigotry. Despite the challenges that Black people generally, and Black Muslims specifically face, we are also a resilient and vibrant community with limitless potential. Donna Auston, scholar, activity and PhD Candidate in Anthropology offered this brilliant Ramadan reflection on Sapelo Square (an online resource on African American Islam): "We, Africa’s displaced children, see ourselves in Musa. The very land that engineered our captivity, received the stolen bodies of our ancestors, and continues to enact violence upon us, leaving scars we can see and many more that we cannot, is also our source of strength. It is our home. We are the parable of the goodly tree, the seed of Word and prayer planted by our foremothers and forefathers, a tree whose roots have been firmly fixed, in bitterness and toil, whose branches reach to the heavens (14:26). Through the hard work of cultivation in our individual selves, in the various collectives to which we belong, and faith in a hopeful future that we cannot always see, we are transformed".