The recent tragic deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Jacob Blake and too many others are a clear sign that our country still suffers from racism. Racism divides communities and divides hearts. The Atlanta Muslim community is not immune. We, too, struggle with understanding each other’s experiences of systemic racism. This division has kept us from becoming one Muslim community.
We are taught that the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon Him) said, “The Muslims in their mutual love, kindness and compassion are like the human body where when one of its parts is in agony the entire body feels the pain, both in sleeplessness and fever.” (Bukhari and Muslim).
We need to heal our divided heart.
What is the One Heart Initiative?
The One Heart Initiative (OHI) seeks to build a community where Atlanta Muslim leaders forge bonds of brotherhood/sisterhood and mutual respect by understanding our histories and biases with the goal of dismantling racism and amplifying harmony.
One Heart Program Overview:
The goal of OHI is to unify hearts by developing meaningful interpersonal relationships. The One Heart Initiative is a three- month program based on universal Islamic values to bring out the tough discussions between leaders of different ethnicities, backgrounds and races in an effort to identify areas of improvement, develop an action plan for dismantling racism and promote a unity of purpose.
We want to develop deeper relationships within our community and unify the hearts of all of our communities. We believe you are part of that equation.
The cohort will meet one Saturday a month for three months. Each of these Saturdays will cover key topics with in-depth and open conversations in an effort to develop deeper relationships with one another.
Participants will also be assigned a smaller Study Group where they will meet after the workshops to talk about what they have learned. Participants will be working on a joint project to benefit the community
As leaders of our community, participants are expected to use their new understandings and strong friendships to influence others, change attitudes and actively continue the work of healing.