"Honored to give the #BMPC2017 keynote speech today. We must lead with compassion & advocate for wellness within the black activist community. It’s truly an honor to be at the 3rd annual Black Muslim Psychology Conference. How amazing is it that we have such an event? We have a great opportunity before us: Discussing this idea of leading with compassion. I feel blessed to have that conversation with all of you. Now, more than ever, we need honest conversation rooted in community and healing. And we have that today thanks to the Muslim Wellness Foundation. MWF does such important work with education, trainings, community conversations, and events like these. It’s so inspiring to see an organization dedicated to mental health advocacy for this community."
-MN State Representative Ilhan Omar
We love hearing from our BMPC family about their thoughts, emotions, and overall experiences attending our annual gathering. It is with joy and gratitude that we create this opportunity which gives Black Muslims (and their allies) space and permission to heal from racial trauma and violence. Check out what our attendees have to say about what they discovered and learned this year!
If YOU attended BMPC2017, we would love to hear from you as well! Submit your feedback and reflections HERE:
Back home from Philly & reflecting on my amazing weekend. Thanks to #BMPC2017 for such an uplifting experience & these beautiful new friends. @KameelahRashad thank you + your whole team for your amazing work. #BMPC2017 is hands down one of the best experiences of my life! As young Black Muslims we felt represented, loved, and cared for, which is so important. May Allah reward you all for your tireless efforts!
-Tesay Yusuf, Undergraduate Student, Stanford University; Ethiopian-American
A bunch of somali american young people from around the country convened at the Black Muslim Psychology Conference in Philly and presented on the somali american experience, successful models of community organizing, and were recognized as emerging leaders for protecting their hometowns. we were dope. don't sleep on the youth, there's so much talent and brilliance. all this blackness and genius mixing to give y'all life. give all of your mashallahs. send duas to protect the people doing the work to remember the most marginalized in an already vulnerable community. #BMPC2017 #BlackandMuslim
-Yasmin Yousof, Somali American
I attended the 2017 Black Muslim Psychology Conference, and felt proud and moved to be in a space with other Black Muslims who are unapologetic about their love for Islam and to hear on several occasions, "I love being Black!" This kind of affirmation is much needed and deserved. #beingblackandmuslim
-Sajdah Nubee, Pharmaceutical Associate, Black American
There is so much that I was given at the Black Muslim Psychology conference, it's hard to put it all into words. What I can't stop thinking about today after returning home from the conference is how Black Muslims are completely unapologetic and self-actualized. Growing up in a predominantly South Asian Muslim community, I was made to feel like Black Muslims needed our pity. I've always felt that was wrong, but now I'm seeing how it was wrong on so many levels.
Black Muslims are proud of themselves and their Muslim identity in a way I've never seen from any other Muslim community. Many times at this conference people proudly proclaimed "I love being Muslim." I can honestly say I have never heard that said in non-Black Muslim spaces, let alone said with so much confidence and conviction. Many non-Black Muslim communities and spaces I've been in are more concerned with appealing to the masses and white-washing themselves than really embracing their Muslim and cultural identities. Going to this conference, I got to see what it looks like to be 100 percent yourself while fully embracing Islam.
One of the most impressive sessions at the conference was a panel of collegiate youth. These young Muslims were so self-aware and comfortable in their own skin and, from my perspective, years ahead of non-Black Muslim youth in accepting and loving themselves.
South Asian, Arab and other non-Black Muslim communities have for years separated themselves from Black Muslim communities, probably thinking that they're better off. But I think what those communities, my own included, don't realize is that by separating and disassociating from Black Muslims they have deprived themselves of learning how to be wholly Muslim and connected to Islam in America. #BlackMuslimPsychology #BMPC2017
Disclaimer: I'm not writing this to be self-hating or hate on non-Black Muslim communities. These are simply my honest and sincere reflections.
-Aysha Jamali, South Asian Muslim woman
I love this sister (Kameelah Rashad) dearly. Please, please make dua for her and her family. She spent countless hours, days, months and sacrificed so much to make her idea become a reality. The first year she started Black Muslim Psychology Conference in 2015 there were around 75 attendees. This year there were over 300! As her hubby said, this is our ISNA, this is our ICNA. Our community is seeing the value and need of this conference and we showed up and showed out (we definitely know how to dress lol). This conference was everything I could have imagined and more. I met so many Beautiful Strong and Incredible Black Women and Men. I also met beautiful allies from other ethnic backgrounds. I felt so empowered, welcomed and loved. I cried, I laughed, I was angry, I was emotional and I loved. This is what the sessions do to you. They were real, direct and no sugar coating. This is how we do. We face things head on and then try to find solutions. This is the only way we can grow and enable change. I love my people. We also had healing sessions for people who may have become triggered and needed comfort and closure.
The theme of this year's conference was "Leading with Compassion." What I heard and saw caused me to reflect, think about how I am currently doing things in regards to my work and everyday affairs. I realized I am losing that mercy, that compassion, that RAHMA, which is what I named my organization after. It's time to work towards getting that back. We can't have Rahma towards others if we don't start with ourselves. I look forward to building with all the beautiful people I met. Only together we can make things happen. Please stay in touch y'all.
Please keep Sr. Kameelah Mu'Min Rashad and her family in your prayers. She is what our community has been waiting for. She loves her people and it shows so so much. She has become a mentor and a big sister to so many, including me. Love you sis, May Allah reward you. Please say ameen. If you haven't met her or attended #BMPC before, you betta start making plans. #NotUpForDebate You have a whole year, no excuses :). I know many of you can agree <3. #BMPC2017 #BlackMuslimPsychology #ILoveBeingBlack
-Khadijah Abdullah, Black American, Founder & President of RAHMA
It's an interesting experience to be a racial minority. It's uncomfortable. I encourage all white folks to experience this.
It's an interesting experience to learn more about Islam and Muslim's lives. It's different. I encourage all Jewish folks to experience this.
It's a beautiful experience to bear witness to marginalized individuals living joyously, loudly, and proudly in their community. I wish for more representation of their strength, not just their sorrow.
The more we learn, the more we open our minds, the more we open our hearts, the closer we are to healing and peace.
-Mira Shore, Jewish-American, PhD Student Clinical Psychology
Every non-Black Muslim I spoke with this weekend has told me this is the best Muslim conference they ever attended. I agree. #BMPC2017.
-Hind Makki, Sudanese-American Interfaith Activist, Founder, SideEntrance
-Suroor Raheemullah, Muslim Women’s Alliance, Chicago, IL
“It's a huge family reunion. The MOST affirming space I've ever been in. It's a beautiful gathering of people who are unapologetically Black, Muslim, and who are openly celebrating and loving each other. The sense of community is what will bring me back each year. Also, the Imam Roundtable/Fishbowl was historic, incredible, and we need more of that. What a phenomenal idea!
“I loved the intergenerational participation on all levels (volunteers, presenters and attendees). I loved the convenience of the location (PA is close to home). Also...the people (organizers, presenters AND attendees) were amazing. It's not uncommon to see organizers' frustration (rushing around frantically, getting snippy with each other and/or attendees); I'm happy I didn't witness any of that during this conference. Everyone exuded warmth and sincerity. The presenters were knowledgeable and well-prepared. The workshops and topics were amazing. The Imam Roundtable was extraordinary and so necessary (as exemplified by many of the responses); overall, the Imams handled that experience with more grace and courage than I anticipated. Attention to details such as the istinja bottles in the restroom.
I made it my business to "be in the moment" this entire weekend! Not a bunch of pics and Facebook posts....but lots of listening, reflections, conversations, and brother/sisterhood being built. The Black Muslim Psychology Conference was an EXPERIENCE! It was Healing, Relevant, Raw, Inspiring and the passion and love this conference was created with was felt! Each session carefully chosen, each of the presenters carefully chosen! Every detail of the conference down to the breakfast, lunch and snack set up was felt.... you felt the countless hours of preparation and thought put into this conference and it was A-1! I left feeling hopeful in positive change and forward progression! Thank you Kameelah Mu'Min Rashad for your vision and for this conference! Thank you Halim Naeem for everything you put into orchestrating the Michigan crew (we rolled deep lol)! Thank you Asha Mohamood Noor and Fatima Kébé for coordinating the rooms and transportation for the sisters. Thank you to the entire team who created the conference and thanks to the entire group for supporting each other the entire trip! #BMPC2017 #JustThankYou #NothingShortOfAmazing #LotsToBeGratefulFor #Alhamdulillah
-Tariqah Abdur-Rasheed, Black American, Detroit, MI