#SolidarityIs In Action is a series of multiracial and cross-community acts of solidarity. Please contact us if your organization is participating in solidarity efforts and would like to be featured in this series.
#TAKEONHATE - RACE & IDENTITY SERIES
The National Network for Arab American Communities (NNAAC) and Muslim Anti-Racism Collaborative have launched a six month Race and Identity Series in Dearborn, MI to explore anti-black racism, racism, and inter-community conflicts as part of NNAAC’s #TakeOnHate campaign.
Anti-Black racism is prevalent in all communities. NNAAC, #TakeOnHate and Muslim ARC are addressing anti-Black racism head-on with the Race and Identity Series. The goal is to foster solidarity between Arab, Muslim and Black communities. After the deaths of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling in the beginning of July 2016, a meeting took place between the Arab and Black communities in Dearborn to center African American and Black voices. Asha Noor, Advocacy and Civic Engagement Specialist, says “There have been strides from the Arab American community and the Black community to address these issues here in SE Michigan, [for example] there are Arab Americans reinvesting in the communities they have shops in by creating youth leagues and really giving back to the community.” Learn more about the meeting here.
As a direct result of the Solidarity Summits, the Sikh and Native American communities reached out to each other for the first time to build a bridge between their youth.
Who: Sikh Coalition Youth Group and Shinnecock Nation of New York (Native American Rights Fund)
Speaking with each other at the Solidarity Summits, it became apparent that the Sikh community and the tribal nations share many philosophies and concerns in common. After two months of planning, the youth coordinators and youth groups came together on July 9, 2016 to talk about what it means to be Sikh and Shinnecock, to be the only person from your background at school, and having your identity taken from you as a process of being told to assimilate to a different society. From these conversations, cultural displays, and meals shared together, the youth realized that there were other communities very similar to themselves that were undergoing the same struggles.
As Sapreet Kaur, Executive Director of the Sikh Coalition, said, “the purpose here was to build a bridge and hand it over to the local groups to figure out how to get to know each other better and how to call on one another to show up. There are issues facing Native American communities that we should be very concerned about, and they should know that they can count on us to show up for them, to lend our voice to their efforts and vice versa. That’s hard to do when you don’t know one another.”