Being Muslim, Becoming Black: Navigating Islamophobia & Anti-Blackness in Canada

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Location: 
Octopus Bookstore. 251 Bank Street, Ottawa, ON
Date: 
Tuesday, 21 February, 2017 - 18:30 to 21:30
Event Details: 

For Black History Month, Muslim Link is hosting this session to explore the resistance and resilience of Black Muslims in Canada.

This session will challenge participants from all communities to address the lack of inclusion and recognition of Black Muslim Canadian experiences and achievements in our workplaces, religious organizing, interfaith organizing, students associations, community mobilization, and community media coverage. It will also equip participants with the tools, language, and stories, including those based in Prophetic tradition, to go back into their spheres of influence to address these issues.

Admission: $6 Purchase tickets and get more information online here (All Proceeds go to Octopus Bookstore)

Sponsored by Muslim Link with the support of Octopus Book Store, rabble.ca, the National Council of Canadian Muslims, and the Carleton University Muslim Students Association (CUMSA)

Confirmed Speakers:

Roua Aljied is a Carleton University biomedical engineering student and spoken word poet. Born in Sudan and raised in London, Ontario she is currently living in Ottawa, Ontario. Her poetry focuses on issues such as anti-blackness, human rights abuses, gender-based violence, and Islamophobia. Roua will discuss her own journey of "Becoming Black" in Canada.

Sharmaarke Abdullahi is the vice president of Awakening: Reviving the Spirit of Somali Youth. Awakening is an annual conference organized by young Somali-Canadian professionals in Ottawa.In 2015, he was appointed to the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers. Sharmaarke will discuss his own journey "Becoming Black" while growing up in Ottawa and the need for communities to better understand the particular challenges and discrimination faced by men who are both Black and Muslim.

Gilary Massa is a proud Afro-Latina Muslim with a long standing history in community activism. Gilary has been an active member of student and labour movements for over a decade. In 2016, she joined the National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM) as its GTA-based Advocacy Coordinator where she will work to create spaces for communities to unite for social justice and to promote civic engagement. Gilary graduated with a Bachelor's degree in political science from York University. Gilary will discuss her journey as an Afro-Latina Muslim in Canada and the need to recognize the presence of Black Muslims who follow other branches of Islam.

Halima Sogbesan is a Nigerian international student studying in Carleton University's Masters of Journalism program. Halima completed her undergraduate studies in Communications at the American University of Nigeria. Halima read Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's Americana in order to prepare her for the experience of being Black in North America, but it didn't prepare her for the added challenges of also being Muslim. Halima will discuss how Muslim Students' Associations and local Muslim organizations can better welcome and support African international students.

Halima Abdisamed is the co-founder of Somali Youth 4 Change. While studying at the University of Ottawa, Halima and a group of her friends created a video exploring their experiences with anti-Blackness from Muslims on the university campus. Halima will discuss the challenge of talking about anti-Black racism in the context of Muslim Students Associations, the way anti-Blackness manifests itself in Muslim racialized communities, and Islamic approaches to address anti-Black racism in the ummah.