Obama Administration Awards MPAC Grant for Building Resilient Communities

January 13, 2017


Dear Friend,

Investing in the health and resilience of our communities is a critical part of our preparation for what lies ahead. Today, the Obama Administration awarded MPAC a nearly $400,000 competitive federal public grant through the Office of Community Partnerships within the Department of Homeland Security. The funds will be used to provide local American Muslim communities in six pilot cities with the tools, staff, and resources to uplift and support their members, and enhance their overall safety, health, and resilience.

Our efforts require community-wide participation, the implementation of thoroughly researched strategies, and the carrying out of well-planned programs led by trained professionals to build informed, aware, and prepared communities that are able to discuss and address a wide range of challenges.

We’ve revamped our Safe Spaces Initiative, a community-led program, to help mosque and community leaders organize programs that encourage open dialogue about political, religious and social issues through “Let’s Be Honest Forums” and “I Am Change” activism workshops. We will partner with local leaders to create community resource teams with imams, youth leaders, educators and mental health professionals to provide training in enhanced spiritual care and counseling, and support community members as needed.

We are proud to stand among the other awardees including Life After Hate, an organization dedicated to fighting violent extremism by white supremacists, and other American Muslim organizations, like Masjid Muhammad, Inc., Unity Production Foundation, and the Claremont School of Theology, who will use their funding to challenging anti-Muslim and Islamophobic narratives and building capacity among community leaders to address and support community members. Our advocacy efforts to reorient local municipalities and the federal government’s approach to a public health framework has led to federal funding recognizing community-led initiatives for community solutions. We are proud that our partners from the City of Los Angeles received funding for projects based on our advocacy efforts to reorient the city’s approach to a public health framework.

Over the past 30 years, MPAC has put enormous effort into building resilient communities through culturally and religiously nuanced programs, workshops, and opportunities for engagement. This funding will empower us to expand these programs even further, reach a much broader geographic area, and prepare our communities to take on the challenges ahead.

Sincerely,

Salam Al-Marayati

MPAC President




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