Islamophobia and other Oppressions Highlighted at HKonJ 2016
MERI (Movement to End Racism and Islamophobia) members and allies participated in Moral March on Raleigh or HKonJ (Historic Thousands on Jones Street) People’s Assembly on February 13, 2016. Muslims for Social Justice mobilized many Muslims to participate in this rally that connects anti-racism, worker rights, women rights, immigrant rights, environmental justice, anti-Islamophobia and other progressive movements. Farris Barakat, brother of Deah Barakat who was murdered along with his wife and sister-in-law in Chapel Hill in early 2015, spoke at the rally. Barakat made connection between fight against Islamophobia and anti-racism movement. Check news coverage of the rally. http://www.technicianonline.com/news/article_f1055096-d39e-11e5-a186-8356f1eaf23c.html
Jewish Voice for Peace – Triangle had a wonderful banner expressing support to BlackLivesMatter, Palestine Liberation, Anti-Islamophobia and Queer Liberation movements. Jewish Voice for Peace – Triangle has organized canvassing against Islamophobia at Triangle-based businesses.
What is HKonJ?
For the past ten years, a fusion movement has been growing in North Carolina. In 2006, the Historic Thousands on Jones St. (HKonJ) People’s Assembly Coalition was formed under the leadership of Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II and the North Carolina NAACP. It has grown to include over 150 coalition partners. Each year this fusion movement comes together on the second Saturday in February to hold a mass people’s assembly to reaffirm its commitment to the 14 Point People’s Agenda and to hold lawmakers accountable to the people of North Carolina.
Learn more at: http://www.hkonj.com
BAJ Organizes a Talk Titled “Challenging Racism and Islamophobia”
Chapel Hill based BAJ (Balance & Accuracy in Journalism) organized a talk titled “Challenging Racism and Islamophobia” on February 10, 2016. This talk was hosted by the Community Church of Chapel Hill, UU and sponsored by Peace and Justice Committee of the Community Church of Chapel Hill Unitarian Universalist . This talk was given by Manzoor Cheema from MERI (Movement to End Racism and Islamophobia). This talk explored roots of Islamophobia, its connection to racism and other forms of oppression, and how to build a movement to end this oppression.
BAJ is a twenty-five year old organization with a dedication to reform media. It is headed by veteran social justice and human rights activist Jerry Markatos.
More information about BAJ and Jerry Markatos:
“Markatos, a native of Wilmington, N.C., has served for many years on the boards of the Carolina Interfaith Taskforce on Central America and the Southeast chapter of Witness for Peace and as a former board member of the N.C. Editorial Forum. He has arranged travel to Fort Benning, Ga., for the annual protest against the School of the Americas, now called the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation. He hosts and organizes fundraising events each year for Pastors for Peace “to help them carry much-needed medical, educational and construction supplies to Cuba.”
In 1991 Markatos co-founded Balance and Accuracy in Journalism, a co-sponsor of many programs that have focused on human-rights abuses in the Middle East and in Latin America. He continues to chair BAJ.
“Jerry grasps the deepest connections and contradictions inherent in governmental policies and practices,” said Tana Hartman of Chapel Hill. “And he sees the enormous obstacles to turning the juggernaut around before it destroys us all. But so do many others.
“What makes Jerry absolutely unique in my experience,” Hartman continued, “is that, despite his tremendous knowledge and utter abhorrence of the inequities and injustices that continue unabated around the globe, he remains one of the most genuinely positive, humble, good-natured and compassionate individuals I have ever met.””
UNC Chapel Hill Campus Y Hosts a Workshop on Islamophobia
Qasima Wideman and Manzoor Cheema from MERI (Movement to End Racism and Islamophobia) offered a workshop on Islamophobia and racism at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Campus Y. This workshop was offered on February 8, 2016 and explored roots of Islamophobia, its link to anti-Black racism and strategies to defeat Islamophobia.
MERI offers workshops on Islamophobia to educational institutions, non-profits, faith-based and other organizations. Learn more here.
About Campus Y:
For over 150 years, the Campus Y has been at the heart of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Its mission is the pursuit of social justice through promoting pluralism, and as such it is an organization that welcomes and supports a diversity of views, approaches, and activities in its agenda to drive lasting social change.
Since its establishment in 1860, the Campus Y has been one of the most vibrant organizations at UNC. With an estimated 2000 members each year, the Y remains the oldest and largest student service organization on campus, a leader in on-campus dialogue and discussion and in off-campus service and activism.
Over the past two decades, the Y has seen a significant rise in its international outreach, along with an increased emphasis on entrepreneurial and sustainable strategies for community empowerment. The organization has journeyed far from its origins as a young men’s Christian fellowship group, to become a pluralistic, diverse institution that champions civil and human rights not just in North Carolina but across the world.