On September 24, dozens of activists, educators, students, and other community members came together for a day long Training of Trainers (ToT) session to develop skills and knowledge to address interpersonal, institutional, and structural anti-Muslim discrimination and discuss ways to challenge Islamophobia at their schools, houses of worship, and in their communities. The ToT was hosted by the Boston Workmen’s Circle Center for Jewish Culture and Social Justice and co-sponsored by Eradicate Boston College Racism Movement, Muslims for Social Justice, Muslim Justice League, Movement to End Racism and Islamophobia, Defending Dissent Foundation/ Bill of Rights Defense Committee, Center for New Community, and Jewish Voice for Peace Boston.
Each attendee made a commitment to facilitate at least one Challenging Islamophobia workshop in their community, and many are also committed to help build a network to oppose Islamophobia in Boston. The reviews were overwhelmingly positive. “Thanks for the excellent training on Sat!” Cody J. Sanders, Pastor at Old Cambridge Baptist Church wrote on the event Facebook page. “I’m already imagining some exciting ways of bringing these tools to the congregation.”
The Challenging Islamophobia workshop was pioneered in North Carolina by Manzoor Cheema of the Movement to End Racism and Islamophobia with the support of BORDC/DDF’s George Friday and other anti-oppression activists. Both Manzoor and George traveled to Boston to help facilitate the Training of Trainers.
The workshop was filled to capacity, and was not able to accommodate all who wished to attend. Another training is being planned.
The Training builds on the work already being done in Boston to challenge Islamophobia by the co-sponsoring groups.
For more information about organizing to Challenge Islamophobia in Boston, contact [email protected].