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In this Issue

Green Reentry Project - Progress Report

IMAN and JCUA Join to Address the Foreclosure Crisis

Asad Jafri: Reflecting on Morocco and Algeria

Cap D's Polymath a Top Ten Album

News About IMAN

The IMAN office was recently adorned by a new art piece from internationally known Artist and Architect, Uzma Mirza. We are incredibly grateful and humbled to house this beautiful piece and hope you can enjoy it in person soon!

Uzma Mirza is a registered and licensed Architect who has been practicing for 15 years in the USA and recently founded her own practice and consultancy; AYN Architect LLC. In addition she is an Islamic calligraphic Artist with a work unique to her approach and a writer/poet. Her Art is called Pen and Inkpot: a Spiritual Art.

IMAN organizers recently joined Food Justice activists from across the country at a convening hosted by Communities Creating Healthy Environments (CCHE), a project of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Organizers were able to connect with other community-based and indigenous groups striving to develop effective, culturally competent policy and program initiatives that solve health disparities at the local level. Read more about Muslim Run: A Campaign for Health, Wellness and Healing in Maytha Alhassen's "Liquor Store Wars."

An IMAN Update

Green Reentry Project - Progress Report

IMAN’s Green Reentry Project is an innovative social venture that showcases a multifaceted approach to addressing the entrenched and connected nature of issues facing urban communities. In particular, the Green Reentry Project recognizes that issues such as lack of decent housing, job skills, public safety, and effective reentry programs are all connected and that effective solutions to any of these challenges must address these connections.

The Green Reentry Project, funded by the City of Chicago, was launched at the beginning of 2010 and seeks to convert vacant/foreclosed and vandalized properties within the Chicago Lawn Community into vibrant, environmentally sound (green) transition housing. Read More

IMAN and JCUA: Partners in a Housing Initiative

IMAN, in partnership with the Jewish Council on Urban Affairs (JCUA) and the Southwest Organizing Project (SWOP), is sowing the seeds of a dynamic housing and community development initiative on Chicago’s Southwest Side. Together with community leaders, residents, and other stakeholders, IMAN, JCUA and SWOP are endeavoring to take on a piece of the massive foreclosure crisis that has plagued this part of the city for a decade. The relationship between JCUA and IMAN has been intentional and purposeful; for years, the two organizations have worked together on projects ranging from the arts to internal staff development. Furthermore, both JCUA and IMAN have a shared history in the Marquette Park neighborhood. Read More

A Fresh Staff Perspective

Asad Jafri: Reflecting on Morocco and Algeria

Throughout the month of July, I had an amazing opportunity to travel as a Cultural Envoy to perform, teach, and connect with artists in Morocco and Algeria. The U.S. State Department and U.S. Consulates and Embassies in Casablanca, Rabat, and Algiers sponsored the trip. The entire trip was a profound experience that allowed me to connect IMAN’s work with Hip Hop, the arts, and youth to thousands of people across the globe. In Morocco, husband and wife hip hop duo - The ReMINDers, B-Boy Super Inlight, and I travelled to six cities in two weeks. Our activities ranged from workshops and performances for over a thousand youth in summer camp to collaborative music sessions with recording artists. One thing was clear from our very first workshop; music, and the arts in general, really are universal in their ability to bring people together. Read More

Cap D's Polymath Among Best Chicago Indie Albums of 2010

IMAN Board Member David "Cap D" Kelly's latest solo album Polymath was recently rated as one of the top 10 independent albums of 2010 by Chicago Tribune critic Greg Kot.

Kot writes, "For more than a decade, this erudite MC has been forging his own path with his label and group (both named All Natural), as well as his solo projects. He is criminally under-recognized nationally, but he takes a back seat to no MC with his sharp mind, incisive flow and increasingly robust tracks in the Chicago dusties-soul tradition." Read More