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4-week course: Racism in America/Race & US Muslim Communities

By: | posted on: Jun 22, 2020

Date(s) - 06/22/2020 - 07/13/2020
8:00 pm - 9:30 pm

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$100-$200 USD
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MuslimARC and Muslim Wellness Foundation

This course addresses issues of race and ethnicity, primarily in the United States, but also beyond, as well as the role of race in U.S. Muslim communities. Race is one of—if not, the most—critical and contentious issues of our times; as we see, even a global pandemic cannot blunt the force of racism’s destructive force in American life. This is a topic of particular concern for US Muslim communities, insofar as: (1) it is the most racially and ethnically diverse religious group in the nation, (2) Islam’s history in the United States is deeply rooted in Black communities and culture, and (3) the non-Black Muslim presence in the US has been constituted through histories of immigration and citizenship that are steeped in racial logics.

Thus, we will explore the following questions: What are we talking about when we talk about “race” and “racism” in the United States? How do race and racism shape American identity and culture? What is “institutional racism”? And how do issues of race shape US Muslim identities, communities, and culture? Drawing from scholarly and activist discourses, the course offers participants a working vocabulary around race and racism, and frameworks for understanding and approaching our current moment of crisis. Some reading will be required in the form of scholarly essays, news articles, poetry, and literature, which will be provided as PDF’s upon enrollment. We will also watch some short films.

The course is a distillation of two courses Dr. Chan-Malik has taught for over a decade at Rutgers, UC Santa Cruz, and UC Berkeley: Race in America and Islam in/and America. It will consist of weekly recorded lectures which students can watch in their own time, and one class meeting over Zoom on Monday evenings, 6/22-7/13, 8-9:30 EST.

The cost of the course is a $100-$200 suggested donation for each participant/family, though you may give less, and you may certainly give more. All proceeds will be divided between Muslim Anti-Racism Collaborative (, Muslim Wellness Foundation (, and Insurgent Ecologies (, a BIPOC food justice initiative. MuslimARC and MWF are guaranteed 75 percent of every donation. However, any donation amount is welcome, and no one will be turned away for lack of funds.

NOTE: You only need to register for the first date to be enrolled for all four weeks.

In addition, participants must commit to two additional one-day trainings with MuslimARC and MWF following the completion of the course. Details forthcoming.

Dr. Sylvia Chan-Malik is Associate Professor in Departments of American and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Rutgers-New Brunswick , where she where she directs the Social Justice Program, chairs the Faculty Advisory Board of the Center for Islamic Life (CILRU), and teaches courses on race and ethnicity in the United States, Islam in/and America, social justice movements, and food justice. She is the author of Being Muslim: A Cultural History of Women of Color in American Islam (NYU Press, 2018). She holds a Ph.D in Ethnic Studies from the University of California at Berkeley, and is an advisory board member of the Muslim Anti-Racism Collaborative (MuslimARC).

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