Change is Brewing in Simi Valley

“I Am Change” at Islamic Society of Simi Valley

August 29, 2014

Last Sunday, Aug. 24th 2014, MPAC President Salam Al-Marayati and I facilitated an MPAC “I Am Change” workshop with nearly thirty members of the Islamic Society of Simi Valley in Simi Valley, CA. I Am Change is an interactive three-hour civic leadership workshop created to educate and empower American Muslims with the skills to become responsible and active citizens.

Salam began the workshop by placing civic leadership within an Islamic context and suggested that American Muslims need to be leaders in their communities and advocate on issues of general welfare, not just “Muslim” issues. Next, the group shared the issues they care about. We heard everything from the California drought to Islamic holidays on public school calendars. The group worked on these particular issues during the interactive exercise portion of the workshop held in between the advocacy and framing sessions, which were led by me.

Before the workshop a number of participants said they did not know how to talk about the issues they cared about, but that after the workshop they felt more confident in their communication and advocacy skills. The true marker of success was the number of people who asked for a follow-up workshop around a particular issue.

MPAC has been across the country holding I Am Change workshops in a number of states, including New York, California, Virginia, Massachusetts, Ohio, Kansas and Texas. The goal is to establish teams of active citizens who care about the success of their communities and want to engage their public officials in that regard.

We pride ourselves at MPAC on being in communities day in, and day out. Abeer Gaber, our I Am Change Fellow is working with American Muslims communities across the country to schedule these workshops. If you or your community are interested, reach out. We will be there.

Omar Noureldin, MPAC Special Projects



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