What is power? Who has it? How do you get it? How do you organize a community around an issue to impact change? These are all questions that were answered at last Saturday’s (4/9) Community Organizing training at the Islamic Foundation in Villa Park. CIOGC was pleased to collaborate with DuPage United to offer this training as part of our civic engagement focus in the month of April. Over 30 community members of different backgrounds attended the training, some of whom had committed to this training at the DuPage United Solidarity with Muslims event in February where over 800 Muslims and people of other faiths gathered – an event that had CIOGC and Mecca Center members taking the lead.
One of the most eye-opening parts of the workshop was the breakout session where groups were given a scenario of a faith-based organization running into zoning problems. The teams were asked to come up with a plan to help this institution get zoning rights and address neighbor hostility. After a presentation session by the groups, the scenario turned out to be the real-life example of what happened to the Mecca Center and how the situation was resolved, by leveraging relationships and analyzing the power dynamics. The training was led by DuPage United’s Lead Organizer Ms. Amy Lawless. The next community organizing training will be on May 7.
After the three hour workshop, attendees were invited to stay for an Illinois Muslim Action Day (IMAD) 2016 Issues Agenda & Logistics training. The training was led by CIOGC’s Programs & Graphics Manager, Ms. Reem Hobeldin. A summary of the legislative issues that CIOGC is bringing to IMAD can be found below:
- Addressing the budget crisis and supporting sustainable solutions
- Extending the ALL KIDS Act & Protecting our Kids
- Removing the ‘Invisible Bars’ on Parolees and Helping Our State Save Millions
- Supporting Illinois Promotes Unity & Peace by Taking on Hate Resolution sponsored by Senator Iris Martinez and Senator Mattie Hunter
- Reinstating the Illinois Muslim American Advisory Council Bill sponsored by Senator Jackie Collins