(Octopus Books Community Classroom) Being Muslim, Becoming Black: Navigating the Intersection of Islamophobia and Anti-Black Racism in Canada

2017 21 Feb
6:30pm - 9:30pm

In collaboration with Muslim Link, Ottawa's online Muslim community newspaper, this community classroom is to explore the resistance and resilience of Black Muslims in Canada as they face discrimination and erasure in the mainstream narratives of "Canadianness", the Muslim narratives of "Muslimness", and the Black narratives of "Blackness".

We will challenge participants from all communities to address the lack of inclusion of the Black Muslim Canadian experience in their workplaces, religious organizing, interfaith organizing, media coverage, and community mobilization. We will also explore the complexity of "Becoming Black" in Canada as refugees and immigrant communities, particularly from Sub-Saharan Africa, learn to build solidarity outside of the previous boundaries of ethno-cultural identity to achieve a Black Muslim Consciousness.

Speakers include Halima Abdisamed, Sharmaarke Abdullahi, Roua Alijed, Chelby Marie Daigle and Gilary Massa.

6:30 PM
Tuesday, February 21 2017
25One Community
251 Bank St. 2nd floor

Registration:  $6

REGISTRATION is required.

To REGISTER, please use one of the following methods:

Your payment of $6 reserves a spot for you and is non refundable. We appreciate your cooperation! Please register BEFORE Monday, February 20 2017.

If you have any questions regarding this event please phone 613-233-2589 or e-mail events@octopusbooks.ca. Thank you.

About the 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.

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