The 2018 Black American Muslim conference "Empowerment Through Healing

March 17 & 18th, 2018 at the Institute of Knowledge, 1009 Via Sorella in Diamond Bar, California 91789

Conference Schedule


9:00 – Registration Opens

9:30 – 9:35 Qur’anic Recitation

9:35 – 9:50 Welcome & Opening Remarks (Abdullah bin Hamid Ali)

9:50 - 10:15 Opening Lecture

Title: “Where are we? How did we get here? Where are we going? (Imam Jihad Saafir)

Imam Jihad Saafir

10:15 – 11:25 pm

1st Panel: “A Conversation with Los Angeles’ Gatekeepers”

Over the years, change in the Black American Muslim community has been affected by several events: the assassinations and deaths of several luminaries; transitioning from a movement to a masjid model, and from centralized to localized autonomous leadership; greater exposure to classical as well as academic Islamic literature; mass incarceration; and a reemergence of black consciousness. Reflecting on these changes, this panel endeavors to showcase the insights of a few of Los Angeles’ notable elders whose who many view as local “gatekeepers.” What lessons can be gathered from these changes, and what affect might they have on the future direction of the Black American Muslim community?

Moderator: Jihad Saafir

Panelists: Ayman Abdul Mujeeb, Naim Shah Sr., Amin Omar

1130 – 1:00 pm

2nd Panel: “Brain Drain: Have Our Leaders Abandoned Us?”

The black economic success who leaves the community never to look back or contribute to the improvement of his people is a popular trope in the black American community. The same stigma exists regarding the black educational success who leaves the “hood” to work for the “immigrants.” What is it that makes them leave? Is it the mere pursuit of money? Is it a hatred and disdain for one’s own people? Is it possible that the masses themselves contribute to their flight?

Moderator: Sulaiman Hamed

Moderator-Imam Sulaiman Hamed

Panelists: Talib Abdur-Rashid, Ieasha Prime, Aisha Adawiya, Abu Qadir al-Amin

(Counter clockwise: Imam Talib Abdur Rashid, Ustadha Ieasha Prime, Imam Abu Qadir al-Amin, and Aisha al-Adawiya

1:00 – 2:30 Zuhr and Lunch

2:30 – 3:55

3rd Panel: “Marriage, Family & Relationships: Making Peace Between the Sexes”

Black American women, more than any other race, have the greatest chance of reaching their 30’s and 40’s without being married. Black men are more susceptible to being killed, incarcerated, or arrested by the age of 20 than any other race of men in the US. Black women proportionally achieve more economically and educationally than black men. These factors are believed to contribute greatly to the rifts between the sexes. The insights of womanism further strain male-female relations in the black American community. But, abuse, abandonment, and exploitation by black men also bear accountability for lighting the fuse of black feminism. Why are so many black women viewed to be so undesirable? How have black men contributed to this stereotype? Is it possible to reestablish trust where it has been lost?

Moderator: Ubaydullah Evans

Moderator: Ustadh Ubaydullah Evans

Panelists: Zaynab Ansari, Jamillah Abdul-Karim, Jihad Saafir

l tor Dr. Jamillah Abdul-Karim, Ustadha Zaynab Ansari, and Imam Jihad Saafir

4:00 – 4:30 Lecture

“Beneficial Knowledge in a Perfect Storm” (Imam Talib Abdur-Rashid)

Imam Talib Abdur-Rashid

4:30 – 4:50 Asr Prayer

5:00 – 6:05 Lamppost Special Presentation-Brief Fundraiser (Abdullah Ali, Zaynab Ansari, Ieasha Prime)

Dr. Abdullah bin Hamid Ali, Ustadha Zaynab Ansari, and Ustadha Ieasha Prime

6:05 – 6:10 California Islamic University Presentation (Mustafa Omar)

6:10 – 6:15 Institute of Knowledge Presentation (Nomaan Baigh)

6:15 – 6:45 Lecture

“Honoring the Legacy of Imam Warith Deen Muhammad” (Imam Sulaiman Hamed)

Imam Sulaimaan Hamed

6:45 – 7:15 Break & Maghrib

7:15 – 8:30

4th Panel: “Faith, Practice, and the Spiritual Path”

Much of the African American religious experience in America has contained elements of social activism and the fight against various forms of racism. Despite many legal successes, the black American has not always boded well under integration, especially with respect to the health of the black family. With the removal of legal barriers to black social ascendancy, why do so many black Americans continue to struggle to live a dignified existence? Is racism or other extrinsic factors to blame black American underachievement and disenfranchisement? What role might a personal commitment to spirituality and moral rectitude play in improving our plight? Whose spiritual remedies are the most effective in healing the wounds created by centuries of oppression and demoralization?

Moderator: Zaynab Ansari

Ustadha Zaynab Ansari

Panel: Dawud Walid, Bilal Ware, Ieasha Prime, Dawood Yasin

Imam Dawud Walid, Dr. Rudolph Bilal Ware, Ustadha Ieasha Prime, and Imam Dawood Yasin

8:35 – 9:00 Lecture

“Preserving Healthy Black Muslim Manhood” (Dawud Walid)

Imam Dawud Walid

9:00 – 9:10 Closing Remarks (Jihad Saafir)


6:30 – 7:00 Fajr Prayer

7:00-7:45 Shaykh Fode Drame

Imam Fode drame

7:45 – 8:30 Break

8:30 – 9:00 Arrival & Registration

9:00 – 10:15

1st Panel: “Islam & Black American Identity: Our Problems, but Whose Solutions?”

Most Muslims would agree that the race doctrine of the Nation of Islam under the leadership of Elijah Muhammad contravened the Prophetic teachings, while acknowledging the many benefits produced by their social program of uplift crafted specifically for the socioeconomically challenged members of the black community. Many have suggested adopting similar methods employed by the NOI to help heal the black American family and to improve psychological health. Some have taken a colorblind approach to matters of racial import, and look to the Middle East for determining what is most meaningful in the lives of black Americans. Others have attempted to reconnect with Sub-Saharan African Muslim spiritual and mystical traditions to solve their problem. And, another group gravitates to the historical legacy of liberal black protest to achieve a sense of empowerment. How does one remain dedicated to any ideological perspective and avoid contravening the prophetic mandate? What is the prophetic mandate? And when does one know that his/her commitment to “blackness” is being given priority to one’s Islam?

Moderator: Dawud Walid

Imam Dawud Walid

Panelists: Jamillah Karim, Aisha Adawiyah, Faheem Shuaibe, Marc Manley

Jamillah Karim, Aisha Adawiyah, , Imam Marc Manley, and Imam Faheem Shuaibe

10:15 – 11:30

2nd Panel: “Crime, Sin, and Inclusion: Making Space for Social Outcasts”

Black Americans constitute a very small percentage of the American population, but make a larger percentage of incarcerated persons in US prisons than other races. Many of these people are Muslims. And, upon their release they often struggle to reintegrate into the community. What are some of the success stories of recovery? And what can we learn from their lives and experiences?

Moderator: Abdullah bin Hamid Ali

Dr. Abdullah bin Hamid Ali

Panelists: Abu Qadir Al-Amin, Amin Rafiq, Sundiata Rashid, Faheem Shuaibe

(clockwise)Imam Faheem Shuaibe, Sundiata Rashid,Imam Abu Qadir Al-Amin, Amin Rafiq,

11:30 – 11:55 Lecture

“Obstacles to Women’s Empowerment” (Aisha Adawiya)

Aisha al-Adawiya

11:55 – 12:20 Lecture

“Racism and Dr. King’s Other Two Evil Triplets” (Zaid Shakir)

Imam Zaid Shakir

12:20 – 12:45 Aminah McCloud (Recorded Message)

Dr. Aminah McCloud

12:45 – 2:15 Zuhr and Lunch

2:15 – 3:30

3rd Panel: “Our Bodies or Our Souls? Negotiating Space Between Moral Conservatism & Liberalism”

If conservatives represent threats to the physical security of Muslims, their places of worship, and their freedom of movement within the borders of the country, it appears that liberals represent a spiritual threat to Muslim faith. That notwithstanding, many Muslims have joined a coalition of people on the left who pressure Muslims to advocate for morals that conflict with the Prophetic teachings. What degree of compromise is tolerable and acceptable by Islamic standards? What impact will such compromises have on the national community and the future of Islam? Is it ever permissible for Muslims to advocate for the right of others to act on their non-Islamic morals?

Moderator: Marc Manley

Imam Marc Manley

Panelists: Sherman Jackson, Bilal Ware, Zaid Shakir

Dr. Sherman Jackson, Imam Zaid Shakir, and Dr. Rudolph Bilal Ware

3:30 – 4:45

4th Panel: “The “Indigenous” and the “Immigrant”: The Politics and Pressures of Integration”

Even though most of them are latecomers to the US, recent immigrant from the East have succeeded in erecting a number of institutions, and are often showcased in the media as authentic representations of “American” Muslims. Naturally, because this has rendered the black American experience invisible to the nation, many of them have grown very frustrated. Is this turn of events the fault of “immigrant” Muslims? Is it due to the failings of the black American community? Or are there other factors to consider in helping to bridge the divide between “indigenous” and “immigrant” American Muslims?

Moderator: Abdullah bin Hamid Ali

Dr. Abdullah bin Hamid Ali

Panelists: Margari Azizah, Sundiata Rashid, Ubaydullah Evans, Jamilah Karim

Margari Azizah, Sundiata Rashid, Ubaydullah Evans, Dr. Jamillah Karim

4:45 – 5:15 Lecture

“A West African Paradigm of Pluralism & Coexistence” (Dr. Rudolph Bilal Ware)

Dr. Rudolph Bilal Ware

5:15 – 6:00 Final Lecture

“Islam Between Political Protest & Spiritual Empowerment” (Sherman Jackson)

Dr. Sherman Jackson

6:00 pm Closing Remarks (Abdullah bin Hamid Ali) & Dua (Ieasha Prime)

Dr. Abdullah bin Hamid Ali and Ustadha Ieasha Prime

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