From Muslim Community Network <[email protected]>
Subject See What's Happening at MCN - April Newsletter
Date April 12, 2023 1:29 PM
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We kicked off March with our youth mental health bootcamp which is a 6-part series curated in conjunction with the Coalition for Asian Children and Families (CACF) to help teens understand and address their mental health issues. The exercises ranged from mapping ones cultural and ethnic heritage to learning how to seek help for one self and others. We had 45 youth participate in this series and they are now all trained in helping their peers address mental health challenges in their respective schools.

Our Muslim Women's Empowerment Program saw preparations by the women to clean up and organize their local mosque as part of their community service project. The women in our cohort not only learned the importance of civics, but their put it into action by raising funds for their local mosque to purchase cleaning products to help prepare the mosque for the holy month. We are so proud of them and their achievements. The women also all came together to donate 5+ bags worth of clothing to donate to Muslim women at the women's transitional home at ICNA Relief.

Congratulations to our fourth cohort of the Muslim Women's Empowerment Program who graduated from the MAS Ibn Sina Center in Queens, NY. Check out what they had to say:

“My sons teacher gave him a low grade unfairly. In the past, I would have done nothing. But after the program I went to the school and even threatened to go to the department of education. This is from learning my rights from this program and feeling I can stand up for myself” -Sr.Hiedi

"It was amazing for me to join this class because I learned about things I wanted to learn about. Like my rights and hate crimes. We did not know what to do or who to talk to about our issues.” -Sr. Gehan

“I used to live in New Jersey and moved here. I felt alone. This program gave me friends and a community.” -Sr. Hazera Haque

Our Hate Crimes Prevention work continued with workshops throughout the city. Starting with an Immigrant Rights Workshop held at the Yankasa Masjid in the mosque where more than 50 congregants learned about their rights as immigrants; followed by a self-defense class held for the NYU Muslim Student Association. We even had our local council members show up for our workshops!

We were also able to participate in Senator Kirsten Gillibrand's sponsorship of a bill in Congress to help prevent Hate Crimes. Our team delivered remarks at her press conference at John Jay College.

Our Team was also present this year at the annual SOMOS Conference in Albany that helped community groups connect with our State representatives and leaders. Our Advocacy Program Manager, Ms. Ajifanta Marenah was there to advocate for Resolution 476, a religious diversity education bill and educate our representatives on its importance for hate crimes prevention.

In addition to this, our Muslim Women's Empowerment Program Coordinator, Ms. Musfika Moshahid led an inspiring panel at MALIKAH'S Annual Women's Summit where she shared her insights into the challenges facing Muslim women in our communities and how community groups are positioned to address them. We even got to meet Rep. Rashida Tlaib, one of the first Muslim Congresswomen to be elected.

Our Advocacy wasn't only being led by our staff, but our Muslim Women's Empowerment participants too. Here's a letter written by one of our participants who is asking their Councilmember to support Resolution 476 using our advocacy toolkit.

We are so proud of our Advocacy Program Manager, Ajifanta, for being recognized at NYU's Black Muslim Initiative for her work on advocating for our communities!

We welcomed the holy month of Ramadan by putting our elected officials to work, starting with the Manhattan Borough President, Mark Levine, and then with our Comptroller Brad Lander and Rep. Jerry Nadler. As we partnered with Islamic Relief USA and the 96th mosque this year to deliver 200-250 Iftar meals every Monday. Thank you to all of our volunteers for making this happen!

We continued to serve our community by handing out hygiene kits to newly arrived migrants at the Port Authority. Together, we distributed over 1,000 kits, thanks to the generous donations by the Herricks Muslim Families.

Our interfaith work continued as we co-sponsored and took part in the Freedom Feast hosted by Lab-Shul which celebrated the three faiths coming together this month and celebrating their holy days. We emphasized our advocacy work around the importance of maintaining our shared security in the Holy Land ([link removed]) , a letter penned and supported by over 143 faith advocates around the world.

And finally, a big shout out to the Herricks Muslims Families for volunteering at our March soup kitchen! They brought alot of joy and happiness to the occasion cooking and serving 100+ meals at the Church of Holy Trinity, a true show of interfaith solidarity.

As you can see, we are building community and advancing the needs of Muslim New Yorkers on a daily basis. Our team works hard to ensure that our communities are served and represented in important forums that need our presence.

As we near the last couple of days of this Holy Month, please consider a donation to help us continue building this community, that is inclusive of the voices of our community!

MCN is a trusted organization in our community as detailed by Charity Navigator and Guidestar.

It is with your support that we can build a Muslim civil society-based institution advancing the narrative for Muslim Americans.
Please consider a donation of $50, $100, $250, $500 to help us continue building a Muslim institution that empowers our community!

With Gratitude,

The MCN Team
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