CAIR-LA Congratulates LA Graduates of Muslim Gamechangers Network
Anaheim, CA: The Council on American-Islamic Relations Greater Los Angeles Area office (CAIR-LA) June 26 congratulated the graduates of its second Muslim Gamechangers Network (MGN) program hosted in the greater Los Angeles area. On Thursday, June 25, around 30 Muslim high school students celebrated the successful completion of the four-month social justice training program at a graduation ceremony hosted at the Islamic Center of Hawthorne (ICH).Friends, family and community members attended the graduation ceremony.
SEE: MGN LA Culmination Ceremony Photos
CAIR-LA MGN founder and organizer Zienab Abdelgany welcomed the graduates and attendees with opening remarks. She described how each of the participants has grown and had so much to offer from unique experience and skills set. "I am so proud of each one of the graduates today who underwent this program with so much passion and dedication. Remember that the journey does not end with the completion of the program; being a Muslim Gamechanger means making a life-long commitment to social justice."
From February to June, students attended weekly interactive sessions hosted at ICH to learn the tools that would equip them to become better community advocates and leaders. They delved into subjects including:
- understanding American Muslim history,
- learning how to deconstruct and combat stereotypes,
- examining their family histories,
- learning about economic justice and injustice,
- organizing a political campaign, building coalitions,
- and engaging government and media effectively.
During the program, participants shared reflections of how it transformed their worldview and opened their hearts to service and engagement with the greater community.
The graduation ceremony's keynote speaker was Hammad Alam, a 2014 graduate of the UCLA School of Law and former Chaplain of Harvard Divinity School. In his address, Alam talked about the essential characteristics of a Muslim Gamechanger. He referenced many great Islamic leaders who triumphed and strengthened their communities through service with strength, humility, generosity, bravery, and loyalty.
"At the core of community-building and service is the underlying principle of taqwa (God-Consciousness)," said Alam. "You must be loyal to the people and to the cause you are advocating for."
CAIR-LA would like to thank the Islamic Center of Hawthorne and all of the MGN facilitators and volunteers for making the program possible.
NOTE: MGN is a four-month social justice training program for Muslim high school students that equips participants with the tools to critically understand their world, effectively challenge injustice, and build legacies of positive change in their communities. The rotational program consists of weekly interactive sessions and field trips centered on themes of identity, history, social responsibility, and organizing tools, all grounded in an Islamic worldview. The first rotation was held at ICOI in 2014. CAIR-LA will announce the location of the third rotation in the near future. For details, please visit the MGN website at http://www.muslimgamechangers.com/