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2017 Black Muslim Psychology Conference: Leading with Compassion

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Commonwealth Chateau at Sugarloaf

Chestnut Hill College

9220 Germantown Avenue

Philadelphia, PA 19118

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3RD ANNUAL BLACK MUSLIM PSYCHOLOGY CONFERENCE:

LEADING WITH COMPASSION: IN SEARCH OF HEALING JUSTICE & COLLECTIVE WELL-BEING

"The problem facing our people... is bigger than all other personal or organizational differences. Therefore as leaders we must stop worrying about the threat that we seem to think we pose to each other's personal prestige, and concentrate our united efforts toward solving the unending hurt that is being done daily to our people here in America". ~ Malcolm X, (1964)

“..Tell me what material benefit is a "leader" if he does not, to some extent, devote his time, talent and wealth to the alleviation of the poverty and misery, and elevation of his people?" ~Ida B Wells (1903)

I have always thought that what is needed is the development of people who are interested not in being leaders as much as in developing leadership in others.” ~Ella Baker

In a world in which we witness continued BlackLivesMatter protests and rising anti-Muslim bigotry and violence in this country and abroad, it is vitally important to increase an understanding of how racism, Islamophobia, systemic oppression as well as daily microaggressions impact the emotional well-being of the largest racial group within the American Muslim community- Black Muslims. Post-election and inauguration, there has been an increase in hate crimes, discrimination as well as anxiety induced by uncertainty and feelings of powerlessness in the face of impending proposals and executive actions that threaten the safety and well-being of individuals and communities. We believe that racial oppression and religious discrimination are forms of violence which directly leads to increase in traumatic stress or racial trauma. The process of healing from that violence is critical to improving individual and collective healing and justice. Healing also leads to an improved sense of agency and empowerment which in turns leads to greater engagement in communal advocacy.

As Black Muslims living in post-9/11, post-Ferguson, Trump era, we must explore the role of leaders in facilitating community healing. This conference will examine the following:

  • Leadership in Action: Are there Black Muslim leadership models that integrate the sunnah/prophetic tradition and liberation theology?

  • Leadership Development: What skills and training are needed to nurture emotionally intelligent individuals and leaders?

  • Self-Awareness: How should leaders engage in self-care, address personal traumas and cope with burn-out and compassion fatigue?

  • Accountability: How do we hold our leaders accountable for providing appropriate pastoral care during times of upheaval and turmoil?

  • Power/Privilege: How do we effectively address intergenerational and gender related tensions which lead to feelings of disconnection, alienation and marginalization within our community?

  • Emotional Intelligence: How do we care for vulnerable and suffering members of the community in a compassionate, empathic manner?

The aim of this two-day conference is to gather grassroots activists, youth leaders, community organizers, community members, religious scholars and multidisciplinary experts in conversation about the role of leaders (formal and informal) in facilitating community healing and addressing issues related to race, gender, faith, power, privilege and emotional well-being. We will also brainstorm strategies and opportunities for solidarity and authentic allyship. This conference is also dedicated to expanding the conversation on self-love, self-acceptance and self-determination. We will engage in honest dialogue through didactic workshops, small group discussions and interactive group learning exercises. This gathering is open to all and people of all faiths (or none) and backgrounds are encouraged to attend and participate. Friday’s session will include an on-site Jumuah prayer service. Workshop materials as well as breakfast, lunch and snacks will be provided on both days.


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Commonwealth Chateau at Sugarloaf

Chestnut Hill College

9220 Germantown Avenue

Philadelphia, PA 19118

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