Honoring Martin Luther King, Jr. - 10 Social Justice Movements /Causes to Support
Posted on Jan 16, 2019
Anas (May Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “If the Hour (the day of Resurrection) is about to be established and one of you was holding a seedling, let him take advantage of even one second before the Hour is established to plant it.” (Authenticated by Al-Albani.)
What can we learn from this hadith? How important is it for us to enjoin good and forbid bad, to get involved in charity, service projects and social justice work, especially during times when we may feel adrift or discouraged by the world around us? It’s more important than we all realize.
With Martin Luther King Jr Day (Monday, January 21) nearly upon us, we here at Haute Hijab are drawing from the examples of the great social justice activist as well as prophetic advice to encourage you and ourselves to fight for what is right and put more good out into the world.
Some of us are are already involved in various social justice and charitable projects and work. But, some of us need gentle encouragement to make the time for what we are passionate about and try and make a difference -- and then stick to our commitments. Sometimes the hardest part is discovering what gets you fired up, finding what causes you want to support or what organization you want to get involved in.
There is no shortage of hard, challenging work to do. Maybe you are meant to be bridge builder, front-line activist, or a behind-the-scenes supporter. Maybe (like me) a storyteller. For some of us, helping out with donations is where we can make a difference. The point is - let’s all try and find somewhere where we can give back.
Here are some suggestions of social justice movements you can join, charitable projects you can support and organizations with which you may want to get involved. There are so many out there - this list doesn’t even begin to cover everything!
Islamic Relief USA
For more than 25 years, Islamic Relief USA has been one of the leading Islamic charity organizations in the United States, sponsoring numerous much-needed emergency and ongoing campaigns in the United States and around the world. You can pick any one of their projects to donate to, start your own crowdfunding project through them, sponsor an orphan or sign up for their list to be informed of volunteer opportunities you can get involved in where you live.
Muslim Anti-Racism Collaborative
Based in Detroit, the Muslim Anti-Racism Collaborative (MuslimARC)’s primary mission is to provide training and education resources to advance racial justice in our Muslim communities and beyond. You can support their work by donating, applying for an internship, taking part in volunteer opportunities or even applying to join their Board of Directors.
Muhsen - Muslims Understand and Helping Special Education Needs
I have a special place in my heart for Muhsen, having a son with autism and serving on their Board of Advisors for several years. Muhsen, founded by Shaykh Omar Suleiman, works to create a more inclusive, “special friendly” environment for Muslims with disabilities through a variety of programs. They also work nationwide on making our masaajid more accessible and are always looking for more volunteers, donations and partnership opportunities!
Habitat for Humanity
Habitat for Humanity has chapters across the nation, helping families build and improve places to call home. They believe, “affordable housing plays a critical role in strong and stable communities.” You can get involved in a number of ways, from getting a team together to help building houses with your local chapter to donating and more.
HEART Women & Girls
Working out of Chicago, HEART promotes sexual health education and sexual violence prevention in Muslim communities. They work on health education, research, advocacy and training. You can talk with a virtual educator, request and help organize workshops and trainings in your community, donate, build collaborations and more.
National Diaper Bank Network
You may be surprised to learn how many mothers struggle to provide diapers for their babies. The National Diaper Bank Network connects and supports more than 200 community-based diaper banks around the nation that collect, store and distribute diapers to families in need. You can get involved by volunteering at a local diaper bank, hosting a diaper drive, donating leftover diapers to a diaper bank and so much more.
Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)
CAIR is one of the leading civil rights advocacy groups working for justice and mutual understanding in the United States. It’s mission is to “enhance understanding of Islam, promote civil rights, promote justice and empower American Muslims.” Whether working to end the Muslim (travel) Ban, Know Your Rights workshops or numerous civil rights legal cases, CAIR is on the forefront of civil rights and social justice. There are numerous ways to lend support, volunteer and get involved at chapters around the country.
Black Lives Matter
Black Lives Matter has become a rally cry and social justice movement amid a never-ebbing wave of racial injustice. With established chapters across America, there are many ways you can get involved and take action in working to advance civil rights, equality and racial justice.
Be The Match
There are so many worthy cancer organizations and causes to support that it’s hard to single one out. Be The Match is one such group that can use your help to end blood cancers. You can support their work by signing up for their bone marrow registry, donating, becoming a volunteer or partaking in numerous fundraising events.
This international NGO is a Bangladesh-based organization working to provide life-saving humanitarian aid to the more than 1 million Rohingya Muslims who have fled to Bangladesh. Haute Hijab partnered with BRAC last fall to donate one-third of all sales from several days to BRAC. There are many ways to be involved with BRAC, through donations, partnerships and more.
There are so many social justice causes you can get involved with, organizations you can support in ways big and small. Many of you are probably already planting that seedling. Please share in the comments below the causes you support and ways our community can be more active in the spirit of MLK day and prophetic tradition.