Who are the muslim youth collective?
It all started in 2016…
In 2016, the American Friends Service Committee hired Muslims organizers to help launch and lead their “Communities Against Islamophobia” (CAI) campaign in Indianapolis. The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) is a Quaker peace and justice organization that mobilizes work around immigration justice, prison abolition, queer justice, Islamophobia, and more. To learn more about AFSC, visit them here: afsc.org
About a year into the campaign, Muslim organizers all across the country working on AFSC’s CAI campaign gathered in Indianapolis to review their progress on the project. After several hours of discussion, these organizers collectively realized that as Muslims they were pouring more effort and resources into training allies (or non-Muslims) on how to identify and resist Islamophobia while their own Muslim communities didn’t have access to the same political education. Simultaneously, they noticed that most of the resistance against Islamophobia in Indiana and the country was being led by non-Muslims, rather than the affected community.
The Muslim organizers in Indianapolis decided to reorient the Communities Against Islamophobia campaign to focus on empowering the Muslim community to resist against all manifestations of injustice. It was then, at the end of 2017, that the Muslim Youth Collective (MYC) was born.
MYC is an anti-racist, anti-capitalist, and anti-imperialist organization that works to make inclusive spaces and empower Muslims to resist Islamophobia, racism, and all manifestations of injustice.
In 2018, the Muslim Youth Collective did considerable work, including but not limited to:
Training over 100 Muslims on resisting, identifying, and historicizing Islamophobia
Resisting unjust surveillance of Muslim, black, and brown communities through trainings, workshops, and film.
Leading rallies to protest the illegal occupation and colonization of Palestine, including acknowledging Nakba Day, protesting the U.S. embassy’s movement to Jerusalem, and mourning the Palestinians who have been killed in the Great Return March in Gaza.
Facilitating Bystander trainings for the community
Conducting Islamophobia trainings for students and staff at University of Notre Dame, Indiana University – Bloomington, and DePauw University
Meeting with Congressman Andre Carson to talk about BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions), surveillance/policing, and Islamophobia
Offering community trainings around the Muslim Ban, Palestinian allyship, and understanding colonization.
Showcasing the first Muslim-only art exhibit titled “Muslims Aren’t Interested in Being Afraid” featuring artwork by Muslims who are poets, writers, filmmakers, visual artists, fashion designers, and more
In the beginning of 2019, the Muslim Youth Collective launched its fellowship program, in which five Muslim youth are selected to be trained as organizers to lead the resistance against Islamophobia in Indianapolis. To learn more about who the fellows are and what we have all been up in since January of 2019, check out the rest of the website!