Muslim Women’s Organizing Institute (2019 Spring Cohort Application Open)
Theme: Organizing Against Institutional and Structural Islamophobia in the Greater Washington Area Through Building Community Power
Justice For Muslims Collective is a grassroots organization whose mission is to dismantle institutional and structural Islamophobia through raising political consciousness and shifting narratives, community empowerment and organizing, and building alliances across movements with a focus on the Greater Washington region. Our vision is to build a world where radical inclusion leads to collective liberation for Muslim communities and beyond
As part of our Community Organizing and Empowerment program, we are thrilled to announce the launch of the inaugural Muslim Women’s Organizing Institute. The Muslim Women’s Organizing Institute offers an opportunity to Muslim women in the greater Washington region to further develop their leadership skills as Muslim organizers, activists, and community-builders in the Greater Washington/DMV region who seek to fight Islamophobia through building long-term Muslim power in the area. Please note this cohort will have a specific focus on fighting structural and institutional Islamophobia in the greater Washington region.
What Is Institutional Islamophobia?
By structural and institutional Islamophobia, we are referring to the ways that anti-Muslim animus is embedded in state policies and systems that effectively create a differential system of justice which criminalizes and discriminates against Muslim communities and those racialized as Muslim.
Spring 2019 Application
We invite Muslim women who are 18 – 28 who have at least 1-2 years of experience in activism, community organizing, or community-building to apply. We will select a cohort of 8-10 incredible leaders to join the Spring 2019 cohort. We will host meetings in Washington, DC.
Please note we are focusing this cohort on applications from Muslim women who live in the greater Washington region, including Northern Virginia, Montgomery County/PG County.
The core areas of the program will focus on the following:
- Political Education and Analyzing Root Causes: We cannot fight and dismantle a system of oppression without having a clear definition of what we are fighting against and placing the oppression our communities face within a broader context of power, control, and systemic oppression. We will focus the first session on defining, analyzing, and understanding the manifestations of structural Islamophobia in our current political content. Then, our cohort will build a working definition of Islamophobia that we will utilize for the rest of the cohort.
- Skills-building: We will focus on learning about tactics, tools, and strategies for community organizing and systems-level change with a focus on local work. We will also learn from base-building groups across the country who are building power among communities of color, especially Muslim communities, on how they have built power and moved impacted individuals to create a base of organized individuals in order to influence systems-level change.
- Organizing Lab: During the program, participants will create teams and will design/implement a project that focuses on tackling structural Islamophobia in the region.
- Mentorship and Relationship-Building: As part of the program, JMC will provide mentorship and will facilitate opportunities to hear from other organizers, activists and leaders in the Muslim, Arab, and South Asian communities, as well as local leaders working for social change. We will also facilitate connections with our network of organizers, organizations, and community-builders.
- Political Home: One of the reasons we are intentionally focusing our efforts on local Muslim communities is to offer our organization as a political home for Muslims who are committed to dismantling structural Islamophobia for the long-term.
Time Commitment: In order for this program to serve as a valuable experience for you and because each session builds off the previous session, participants must commit to the entirety of the program unless there are extenuating circumstances.
In order to make the program more feasible time-wise, we are only hosting 3 in-person training sessions over weekends, 2 online sessions and 1 in-person session on a Wednesday evening. Please see below for dates.
- Saturday-Sunday, February 23rd – 24th (10:30am-5pm)
- Wednesday, March 13th (6-8:00 pm) – online session
- Wednesday, March 27th (6-8:00 pm) — in – person
- Saturday-Sunday, April 27-28th (10:30am – 5pm)
- Wednesday, May 29th – (6-8:00 pm) – online session
- Saturday – Sunday, June 15-16th – (10:30am-5pm) in-person session and graduation
Please note these aren’t overnight trips. All meals will be covered. We will also cover materials for the training. In order to make this program accessible, we are offering this program for free. Please see the schedule below for the dates. We will host a cohort celebration in the end of June where you will share your projects with the broader community.
Instructions: Please submit your online applications or direct your questions to Darakshan@JusticeforMuslims.org. deadline is January 30th, 2019 at 11:59 PM. Please complete the application HERE or below. We will make our decisions for this cohort by mid-February. Please note finalists for this program will be invited in for a short online/in-person interview.
*Note: Priority consideration is given to individuals who are rooted in the greater Washington region or are committed to building Muslim power in the DC-metro area for the long-term, which includes Northern Virginia, Montgomery County and PG County.