by Dallas Wright
On Saturday, December 12, hundreds of Inner-City Muslim Action Network (IMAN) supporters gathered at the historic South Shore Cultural Center for the organization’s Annual Fundraising Dinner. The evening focused on continuing to deepen IMAN’s impact and increasing its relevance, less so through words and more so through direct action.
Ms. Ilyasah Al-Shabazz delivered a powerful keynote speech stressing the importance of upholding the value of justice. Ms. Al-Shabazz drew connections between the human rights movements led by Black Americans and the difficulties Muslims are currently facing in this country. She called on guests to remember her father, Malcolm X, as an example of how struggles for justice must unite in order to build true power. IMAN, according to Ms. Al-Shabazz, is the vehicle that community members need to effect such positive change.
Longtime IMAN Board Member Mr. David Kelly began the night with an impassioned appeal. Mr. Kelly—who also serves as Vice President and General Counsel for the NBA Champion Golden State Warriors—reminded those in attendance that doubling down on the work of changing, serving and inspiring is the best way to counter hostile mainstream media narratives.
Furthering the themes of interconnectedness and justice-oriented expression was local ensemble band Bassel and the Supernaturals. Led by Mr. Bassel Almadani, the group captivated the crowd with stirring rhythms and piercing lyrics. Mr. Almadani has several family members still in Syria and his expression speaks deeply about the difficulty of that situation.
Throughout the night, individual guests, families and community sponsors demonstrated extraordinary generosity. IMAN thanks all of its supporters in the Chicagoland area, across the country and across the world. To contribute to IMAN’s Year-End Fundraising Drive, visit their website today.
IMAN is a community organization that fosters health, wellness and healing in the inner-city by organizing for social change, cultivating the arts and operating a holistic health center.