The Launch of MPOWER Change

Building Online Political Power in the American Muslim Community

The script is about to get flipped. We will waste no time. Consistency will be the game, power will be the results. MPOWER Change is the name.

There are American Muslim organizers and organizations doing effective and impactful work across the country. From winning campaigns to passing landmark police reform legislations to incorporating Muslim holidays in public school districts in key municipalities — we are getting more strategic and more organized.

But something has been missing; that’s where we come in. We needed a more influential way for Americans Muslims to speak out on the issues we care most about and hold those accountable who attack, vilify and/or target our communities. MPOWER Change is what we have been waiting for. American Muslim communities are diverse and complex, and care about many issues, from human rights to voting rights to the environment. We were long overdue for an online organization that enables us to respond in rapid, nationwide, coordinated ways as a community. There has never been a more ample time.

We hope you are ready to build a strong, active, informed, and engaged online community. We will no longer be sidelined. They will expect us.

What is MPOWER Change?

MPOWER Change is a brand-new nonprofit online organizing, campaigning, and storytelling initiative to build grassroots power for American Muslims, while advancing social, spiritual, racial, and economic justice for all people.

Why Are You Organizing Online?

Nearly every community in the United States, and communities throughout the world are using the powerful toolset of online organizing to win political and culturally relevant campaigns. We have watched platforms fromMoveOn.org to ColorofChange.org and Presente.org organize progressives, African Americans and Latino Americans respectively while American Muslim communities have largely underutilized this powerful online space.

The Potential?

Colorofchange.org was just named the 6th most innovative company on Fast Company’s 2015 list of the world’s 50 most innovative companies because of its innovate online political campaigns using, “petitions, images to share on social media, or boycotts.” After launching Color of Change James Rucker co-founded the Citizen Engagement Laboratory in Berkeley, California to help build online platforms to serve a diverse range of communities. This civic incubator that has helped build such organizations as presente.org, and 18 Million Rising accepted us in January of 2015 for incubation to build the first ever online Muslim organizing platform. We have been working with CEL over the last 9 months to launch this platform.

Where is Your Website?

It’s coming! We were going to launch with our own website and petition platform on November 2nd, but we realized that we as a community are missing too many online organizing opportunities (we have witnessed at least one incident a week that has warranted a collective response) and we decided to soft launch now with our first petition in partnership and with the support of MoveOn.org (Sign our first petition here:http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/take-hate-out-of-the-1…). Our website will be live November 2nd, God Willing.

Muslims are in need of this type of platform all over the world, do you plan on expanding beyond the United States?

Initial stages of the development of MPOWER Change are to focus on building the political power of American Muslims. Indicators of success will be a sizable, engaged online community and financial health. If we meet our goals, we will explore expanding into a global online platform focused on mobilizing Muslims on social justice and important causes worldwide.

Can I Submit a Campaign idea to MPOWER Change?

Yes. MPOWER Change is a platform made by and for Muslims. We want to help amplify your local campaigns and the stories that impact you. Once our website is launched you will be able to submit campaign ideas. Instructions and support will be provided.

The need for Muslim grassroots organizing is much greater than just online. Do you have plans to expand beyond just a digital platform?

The founders of MPOWER Change are all grassroots community organizers and understand that the most effective organizing is within the communities and the neighborhoods in which we live. We see MPOWER Change as a platform that will amplify the work of local organizers and their respective communities — shining a light on campaigns and issues that are directly impacting American Muslims and other communities of color. MPOWER Change is one part of a larger vision to increase the capacity of organizing within Muslim communities. The vision includes a Muslim Organizing Training Institute that includes a curriculum rooted in islamic theology focused on social justice. With your support, we will be working towards realizing these critical components in the next phase.

Who is Behind MPOWER Change?

MPOWER Change is inspired by American Muslim organizers doing important work across the country. 16 American Muslim organizers have been in discussion for two years about strategies to build the capacity of the community to organize more effectively and through these powerful conversations MPOWER Change was born. Esteemed organizers include Ahlam Said (NY, NY), Fahd Ahmed (Queens, NY), Muhammad Malik (Miami, FL/Philadelphia, PA), Marya Bangee (Los Angeles, CA), Aliya Latif (Queens, NY), Faiza Ali (Brooklyn, NY), Ishraq Ali (Chicago/Los Angeles, CA), Imam Dawud Walid (Detroit, MI), Mustafa Abdallah (St. Louis, MI), Jamiah Adams (Washington D.C.), Dustin Craun (Berkeley, CA), Linda Sarsour (Brooklyn, NY), Mark Crain (Detroit, MI.), Imam Taha Hassane (San Diego, CA), Zahra Billoo (San Jose, CA), and Imam Zaid Shakir (Oakland, CA).

From the group, Linda Sarsour, Mark Crain and Dustin Craun took the initiative and committed the time and resources to launch MPOWER Change. They have been working on branding, building the site, content development, cultivating strategic partnerships and fundraising.

How can we get involved in MPOWER Change?

Sign our first petition on MoveOn.Org

(We will host our own petitions too when our site launches on November 2nd)

Like our Facebook Page, Follow us on twitter — @MPOWER_Change & Instagram — @MPOWERChange

Have questions or want to get involved you can email us at: Mpowerchange1@gmail.com

Can I make a donation to MPOWER Change?

Online donations will be accepted once website is live. In the meantime, you can send a check payable to: CEL Education Fund, 2150 Allston Way, Suite 340, Berkeley, CA, 94704. Individual donations are NOT Tax Deductible to allow us to engage in some c4 political activities.

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