Thanks to all of you who were able to make it to our inaugural meeting of Sirat Chicago last Saturday, October 10th. We were so excited by the energy and enthusiasm of attendees. Below is the slideshow we presented during the meeting and notes from our meeting. We’ll be posting pictures in the coming days. Please check back or “like” us on Facebook for up-to-the-minute updates!
Notes from our 10/10/15 meeting
We were mutually encouraged by the turnout and the discussion. Saturday’s meeting demonstrated the diversity of experiences, age and ethnicity that greater Hyde Park is known for. Our community is made up of students — local and international — families at every stage of life, individuals representing many different races, professional backgrounds and worldviews. We were especially honored to have scholars, community leaders and esteemed elders join our conversation.
Here are the highlights of what we discussed, we hope this is helpful for those of you who couldn’t make it in person:
We introduced Sirat’s mission by underscoring the main objective of the organization, which is to provide sustainable infrastructural support to a variety of groups, programs, individuals and congregations around the neighborhood.
Maintaining and growing a vibrant healthy community that is of service to our diverse neighborhood is quite a challenge. Sirat’s main objective is to secure a space and maintain it through financially responsible and sustainable means. To this end we have, and will continue to, seek counsel from experts and community members. If you have an interest in joining the conversation around real estate, investment and fundraising please do contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
It is our intention that Sirat will set forth a confident Muslim identity while inviting broad participation from our friends and neighbors. This will be a curated space that houses current activities and events and encourages new community initiatives. We are looking at models like the Hyde Park Neighborhood Club and the JCC. Our definition of sustainability includes the ability to seamlessly blend our everyday lives, with an assumption of goodwill on the part of all those around us.
It is our belief that a brick and mortar center is the critical piece of missing infrastructure that many of us are in need of and hope to see.
This portion of the meeting was especially motivational as participants shared their backgrounds and why they felt we needed an organization like Sirat. Several people shared feelings of disconnect and isolation despite the large number of Muslims in the area while others were enthusiastic and encouraged by the potential of a shared space for diverse programs. It was reassuring to hear that some of our community members have be activists and organizers for well over 50 years and we as a community come from a proud history of Islam on the Southside.
While we are a 501(c)(3) organization, this initiative will depend on the ideas and creativity of each member of our community. We look forward to hearing from and working with you to make Sirat a reality.