The Mis-Education of the Black Muslim 

In The Mis-Education of the Negro, Carter G. Woodson writes, “When you control a man's thinking you do not have to worry about his actions. You do not have to tell him not to stand here or go yonder. He will find his 'proper place' and will stay in it. You do not need to send him to the back door. He will go without being told. In fact, if there is no back door, he will cut one for his special benefit. His education makes it necessary.”

The dialogue at the 2019 Black Muslim Psychology Conference will explore the impact of internalized oppression, notions of Black inferiority and assumptions of Islamic inauthenticity on identity, well-being and development of Black/African Muslims in the United States.  We will celebrate the storied legacy and influence of Black/African Muslim educational institutions, from the world renown University of Sankore, of Mali West Africa to Muhammad University of Islam, Chicago, IL. In the footsteps of educators like Clara Muhammad, Anna Julia Cooper, Nana Asma’u, Carter G. Woodson and many of our illustrious African Muslim scholars, we will challenge each individual to consider the most effective strategies to nurture a positive sense of self and promote health, resilience and community.  

  • How do we understand the importance of “knowledge of self”, amidst marginalization and erasure of Black Muslim narratives?

  • What does a holistic, integrated, deeply rooted education and learning process look like for the Black Muslim in today’s society? 

  • What is the role of faith, history, and identity in spiritual and mental liberation?

We will engage in conversation with spiritual leaders and religious scholars, children’s authors, sociologists, psychologists, lawyers, curriculum designers and homeschoolers, anthropologists, educators and principals to wrestle with the question of race and religion in education, scholarship, identity, socialization, and psychological well-being.  We will ask you to Re-Imagine Timbuktu. University of Sankore. Here in America. In 2019. We hope you will join us on this journey of self-discovery and empowerment.


This is a CALL FOR PROPOSALS for scholarly presentations, interactive workshops, panel discussions, posters, or artistic/creative performances for BMPC2019: The Mis-Education of the Black Muslim. Proposals may include, but are not limited to, the following topics:


  • Development and teaching of rituals of birth (aqeeqah), marriage (nikkah) and death/burial (janazah)

  • Pre-marital counseling/preparation and education for healthy marriages

  • Intimate partner violence education and prevention 

  • Fostering intergenerational understanding, trust and connection between youth and elders

  • Healthy communication and conflict resolution skills

  • Role/Rights of Husband and Wife in Islam


  • Examining the impact of school to prison pipeline

  • Prevalence of mis-diagnoses of Black children 

  • Exploring homeschooling and education co-operatives for Black Muslim children 

  • Developing rites of passage programs

  • Coping with Islamophobia and religious bullying

  • Engaging Black youth in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics)

  • #BlackinMSA: navigating Muslim spaces in college 

  • #BeingBlackandMuslim at Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCU) and Predominantly White Institutions (PWI)

  • Black, Muslim... and Greek? Representing Islam and the ‘Divine Nine’ (Black Greek Letter organizations - eg. Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc & Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.)



  • ‘Who Taught You To Hate Yourself?’ - Unlearning self-hatred and embracing self-love

  • Who Are You? Developing empowering narratives of self through genealogical research

  • Mental health and learning challenges in the classroom

  • Healing from trauma of anti-Blackness in Islamic schools 

  • Faith and sexual health education

  • Psychology of conversion and belonging

  • Spiritual abuse and the role of community accountability in recognition and reparation of harm

  • Intergenerational Trauma and Community Wellness

  • Developmental models of healthy Black Muslim manhood and womanhood



  • Continuing education for Imams and religious leaders (including intimate partner violence, sexual assault/trauma, child abuse, etc).

  • Study abroad experiences of Black Muslim students of knowledge 

  • Cultivating and sustaining Black Muslim-led Institutions of learning

  • Holistic convert care and education 

  • ‘Healing the Wounded Healers’: Self-Care for Clergy

  • History and future of Dawah in Black America

Proposals must include include a 500-word abstract or summary of the content you would like to present, and must directly address at least one aspect of the conference theme in order to be eligible for inclusion in the program. Please review the PROPOSAL SUBMISSION GUIDE for detailed suggestions on how to submit a winning proposal. Questions, requests for additional information, and other inquiries should be sent to


  • APRIL 1, 2019 – abstract/proposal deadline

    • Please complete the required information on the submission form and submit by 11:59PM EST, April 5, 2018, to be considered for this year’s conference.

  • APRIL 30, 2019 - Notification of status of proposal

    • You will be notified via email if your proposal has been accepted or not. Please make sure the email address you provide is correct and up-to-date.

  • MAY 15, 2019 - Presenter registration deadline​

    • *Please note: honoraria or stipends are not offered for selected presenters; all presenters must pay for registration and will be responsible for their own travel and hotel expenses. All presenters must register and pay to attend conference by this date and will be offered a 10% discounton registration.

  • JULY 19-21, 2019 - 5th Annual Black Muslim Psychology Conference | Chubb Conference Center, Lafayette, PA


The following tips and recommendations are designed to provide information which will enable you to submit the most effective, winning proposal. Download the pdf version of this guide HERE.


Four types of proposals may be submitted for BMPC2019: workshops, panels, posters and artistic performance.

  • Workshop sessions feature 1-3 individuals offering specific skills, research or training on a particular conference theme.

    • Workshop Structure: All workshops are 75 minutes long and must be interactive and provide attendees with new knowledge, tools, resources, and strategies related to the conference theme.

  • Panel sessions feature a maximum of three (3) presenters engaged in an open discussion with the audience of attendees

    • Panel Structure: All panels are 75 minutes minutes long. We recommend presenters allow at least 20 minutes for question and answer session.

  • Poster sessions provides the opportunity for viewers and presenters to engage in discussion and to have one-on-one interactions with one another. Posters should be eye-catching and include graphics, images, charts, tables, and/or text.

    • If your poster is accepted, you are required to be present by your poster at this time. You will be required to submit an electronic proof of your poster for review prior to printing and a final electronic version of the final poster 3 days before the conference (July 17, 2018).

  • Performance/Artistic expression: Zora Neale Hurston, renown anthropologist and novelist famously remarked: "If you are silent about your pain, they’ll kill you and say you enjoyed it." Poets, writers and artist will be offered an opportunity to facilitate a conversation on the value of art, creativity and spoken word to create space for healing. Presenters may do this through poetry, song, or other artistic expression.


Room Setup: 

  • By default, workshop rooms will be arranged in a theatre or classroom-style setting. If you anticipate needing a different room setup, please indicate so on the submission form under “additional information”. We will do our best to accommodate requests, but we cannot guarantee them.


Standard AV: 

  • An LCD projector, speakers, podium (in rooms with adequate space), and microphone (in rooms large enough to warrant one) are provided in each room. Laptops are NOT provided to presenters. You must bring a laptop if you intend to display a presentation on the projection screen. Those presenters using Apple computers must use their own adapter to connect to the LCD projector.



An abstract is a brief summary of the presentation you would like to offer at BMPC2018. It is designed to inform the BMPC Programming Committee about your presentation in a concise manner. Abstracts must be 500 words or less and provide a brief description of what to expect in your presentation and should indicate how it relates to the theme of conference (Love & Liberation: Lessons on Sex, Intimacy, Marriage & Family). This abstract should also include at least two (2) learning objectives (see below for a definition of learning objectives).



The following guidelines are provided to assist in the development of appropriate learning objectives for a proposed presentation. In order to develop appropriate Learning Objectives you MUST follow the format shown in the Example of Learning Objectives below.

Step 1. Describe the information, skills, behaviors, or perspectives participants in the presentation will acquire through attendance and participation.

Step 2. Clearly identify the outcomes or actions participants can expect to demonstrate as a result of attending your presentation. See the action words below.

Step 3. Write the learning objectives that relate to these outcomes and that reflect the content of the session. Objectives describe the behavior of the participant, and:

  • are stated clearly

  • define or describe an action

  • are measurable, in terms of time, space, amount, and/or frequency

Example of Action Words:

Explain     Demonstrate     Analyze      Formulate     Discuss      Compare      Describe      Name        Assess       Evaluate       Identify         Define         List



All abstracts are reviewed by at least 3 members of the BMPC Planning & Programming Committees. They will be considered for workshop, panel, poster or performance sessions. Abstracts are evaluated for their quality

and the degree to which their content is consistent with the theme of the conference. If your abstract is accepted for presentation, you are REQUIRED to present material as stated in your proposal; in other words, you are not allowed to present material that you have not submitted for review by BMPC.


When writing your proposal, keep these points in mind:

  • The description should be concise and coherent

  • Use a clear and direct style with an active voice

  • Include a statement on how you plan to engage the audience

  • Describe who will benefit from attending this session

  • Include a clear statement of what attendees will learn

  • Write so that conference reviewers and attendees will become instantly engaged in your presentation, knowing it will be valuable, interesting, relevant and unique

  • Make sure your proposed presentation will fit within the allotted time (75minutes for workshop, panel and 15minutes for performance/artistic expression)


Each proposal will be rated on a scale of 1-5 for:

  • Does the abstract capture the interest of a potential attendee/participant of the presentation?

  • Is the abstract well written in terms of language, grammar, etc.?

  • Does the abstract engage the reader by telling him or her what the paper is about and why they should read it?

  • How well do the title, abstract, and learning objectives align with each other? 

  • How likely is it that the format and delivery methods selected will allow participants to achieve the stated learning objectives, including audience engagement appropriate to the objectives? 

  • Are the presenter(s) knowledgeable in the topic area? 

  • Given the limited number of slots available for sessions and the high volume of proposals received, how likely would you be to attend or recommend someone attend this session if placed on the program?



The following proposal was selected for inclusion in the 2017 Black Muslim Psychology Conference. It is an example of an excellent proposal, which met the above-mentioned review criteria.


Being the Good Muslim Woman: How the Intersection of Race, Gender, and Faith Shape Black Muslim Women’s Experiences of Domestic Violence

Submited by Dr. Olubunmi B. Oyewuwo-Gassikia, PhD, LMSW

The purpose of this workshop is to disseminate findings of a research study on the domestic violence experiences of black Muslim women and to provide recommendations and strategies for ending domestic violence in our communities. Specifically, the purpose of the study was to examine the relationship between race, gender, religion, and the domestic violence coping process.  The study was guided by the overarching question, how does a black Muslim woman’s identity influence how she responds to domestic violence?  This question was examined through the investigation of the following sub-questions:  1) how does she experience domestic violence?  2) how does she cope with it?

The study was conducted using a qualitative methodology, grounded theory.  Intersectionality and coping served as theoretical frameworks.  Six black Muslim women survivors of domestic violence (4 African American, 2 West African) were recruited and asked to complete two in-depth, semi-structured interviews and a member check.

Findings revealed that participants’ coping strategies included seeking help, saying no, pacifying, and leaving, and their coping processes were shaped by individualized perceptions of what it means to be a “Good Muslim Woman” (GMW).  GMW was a contested

identity construction that varied in meaning among the women.  Participants’ interpretations of being the GMW influenced their understanding and recognition of violence, as well as their responses to violence (which included resisting it).  Additionally, GMW was reflective of sociocultural and structural influences; GMW was shaped by gender socialization, and this socialization was shaped by religious and cultural teachings as well as structural concerns of racism, sexism, Islamophobia, and their intersection.

There will be three parts to this workshop.  In part I, the presenter will provide an overview of current literature and knowledge of domestic in the American Muslim community.  Part II will be an overview of the presenter’s research on domestic violence and the experiences of black Muslim women.  In part III, the presenter will discuss implications of the research study as well as provide recommendations for community members, leaders, and Imams for addressing and ending domestic violence in our communities.



  • 500 word abstract submitted via submission form

  • Be sure to include the following supplemental materials:

    • Resume or Curriculum Vitae (CV)

    • Headshot - High resolution, professional picture

    • Biography (limit 500 words)




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