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We’ve Come Together With the Tayba Foundation to Launch Project Homecoming, a New Transitional House!

Islam in the U.S. is often associated with stories of redemption and renewal, of repentance and merciful second beginnings.

Since the early 1900s, hundreds of thousands of people battling incarceration have found the life-giving message of Islam as their path toward a better future. But many of those same individuals have found it difficult to maintain their faith and practice once dumped back into the challenges of everyday living.

We believe that if we can, together, provide a safe home—with opportunities for continued Islamic education, life skills training, job development and more—we can ease the transition for brothers returning home from prison and increase the likelihood that they’ll never go back.

That’s why we’ve come together with the Tayba Foundation to launch Project Homecoming, a new transitional house!

 

Metro Detroit has more than 5,000 Muslim inmates in jails and prisons, but very limited infrastructure or resources to support these brothers and sisters as they rejoin society.

Without a positive support structure, many are forced to return to fitnah-filled environments, face a high rate of recidivism, relapse into poor decisions, and return to the prison industrial complex (or worse, lose faith).

Cities like Chicago, Atlanta, and Flint have made progress in setting up infrastructure for Muslim parolees. This project is the next step in setting up a similar support system in Metro Detroit: a safe home operated by DREAM, close to the Muslim Center mosque and community center, with counseling and health services from the local, Muslim-run HUDA Clinic, along with economic assistance (from zakat), and other resources.

Perhaps most importantly, the home will be supported by programs in Islamic education, life skills, and specialized re-entry assistance provided by the Tayba Foundation, an institute that’s been serving Muslims impacted by incarceration for a decade.

We can’t stress how important this project is for the Muslim community in Detroit. Ever since we began rehabbing homes here on the Westside, brothers have asked for a resource and an opportunity like this.

“How many Malcolm X’s remain in prison as Detroit Reds, unable to escape the vicious cycle of the prison industrial complex because their Muslim community is not ready to help them reach their potential on the outside?”

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Breakfast with Imam Zaid Shakir

Dear DREAM Supporter,

As salaamu alaykum! Peace be upon you.

Will you join us next Sunday at 11am for breakfast with Imam Zaid Shakir? We’ll have a conversation about building a prophetic ‘hood—values-based community development in a neighborhood like ours.

Click here if you can join us at the Muslim Center next Sunday (RSVPs are required).

You can also text BUILD to 313-214-2870 to RSVP.

As Imam of Masjid Al-Islam in New Haven, CT from 1988 to 1994, Imam Zaid spear-headed a community renewal and grassroots anti-drug effort, and also taught political science and Arabic at Southern Connecticut State University.

Then, for seven years in Syria, and briefly in Morocco, he immersed himself in an intense study of Arabic, Islamic law, Quranic studies, and spirituality with some of the top Muslim scholars of our age. In 2003, Imam Zaid moved to Hayward, California to serve as a scholar-in-residence and lecturer at Zaytuna Institute, where he taught courses on Arabic, Islamic law, history, and Islamic spirituality, eventually co-founding the country’s first Muslim liberal arts college.

Imam Zaid counseled Muhammad Ali in his later years and also co-founded the Lighthouse Mosque, in Oakland, CA in 2007. He has translated several classical texts in addition to his original writings.

Please join us for this special conversation with community builder, leader, and renowned Islamic scholar, Imam Zaid Shakir.

Click here to RSVP now
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Building A Prophetic Hood

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From Stephen Colbert to the Muslim Center

Dear DREAM Supporter,

As salaamu alaykum! Peace be upon you.

We’re excited to bring Zeshan B., fresh off a performance on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert, to the Muslim Center for the “DREAMing of our Future Together” dinner this coming Saturday.

Check out this clip of Zeshan’s performance and then buy your ticket for the dinner today:

Zeshan B Performs 'Cryin' In The Streets'

Born in Chicago to Indian Muslim immigrants, Zeshan Bagewadi’s musical identity was formed at the junction of two different worlds. His parents’ nostalgic yearning for the sounds of their native land gave him a profound exposure to Indo-Pakistani music. However, his father, having been one of the few journalists in India to cover Black literature and music in the 1960s and 70s, was immensely fond of Black artistic expression. As such, Zeshan grew up with the sounds of his father’s blues, soul, and R&B collection as well. Additionally, his mother—a retired social worker at Chicago’s Cook County Hospital—imbibed Zeshan with a sensitivity and awareness of the plight of disenfranchised minorities. Those two worlds collide on his debut album ‘Vetted’. Produced by Lester Snell (the legendary arranger for Isaac Hayes, Al Green, Mavis Staples), ‘Vetted’ is a mixtape of Zeshan’s originals and lesser-known 1960s and ‘70s deep soul gems. The album was recorded in Memphis at the famed Ardent Studios with a wrecking crew of Stax Records’ sidemen.

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Eid Mubarak & Thank You!

EID MUBARAK!

And thank you for all your support

To our volunteers, our vendors, our artists, our partners, our attendees—to everyone who made the Dream of Detroit Street Fair a success—thank you! As they head back to school, we especially want to acknowledge Samina Saifee, Khalil Escoe-Brown, and Riyah Basha, our intern and summer fellows who worked tirelessly for DREAM—on the street fair and much more—over these last few months.

We made this collage below to give you a reminder of the fun, but you can also see our Facebook page for photos and live recordings from last Saturday. We hope you’re enjoying a blessed holiday weekend!



Check Out More on Facebook

DON’T MISS OUT

The Street Fair is over but you can still support local businesses!

Check out our DREAM Muslim Business Association business directory.

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Our DREAM Makes Headlines

Dream of Detroit featured in the latest issue of The Nation!

Can This Muslim Community Create a Model for Rebuilding Detroit?

Dear DREAM supporter,

Assalam Alaikum! Peace be upon you.

By the grace of God, we’re excited to share this profile of our organization in The Nation magazine!

The story touches on everything from our housing development program, to entrepreneurship trainings, to the rich history of the Muslim Center community we’re grateful to work with. We ask God to accept and increase these efforts.

This is still, though, just a snapshot of our vision for this beautiful neighborhood. We’re building community and transforming these streets, for both folks who live here and everyone who could one day call this area home. And with this Saturday’s community meeting on the 1967 rebellion, our upcoming trainings, and of course the August 19 Street Fair, we’ve still got so much in store this summer.

So while we thank God first, we also know none of this could be possible without our venerable team of organizers, volunteers, and supporters—and that includes you.

Can you make a contribution today to keep the DREAM going?

Illustration by Louisa Bertman

Donate Today

Click above to make a donation and support the stories we’re sharing with you today.

 

Peace and Blessings,
The Dream of Detroit team

 

p.s. while we’re excited about today’s article, we’re also lifting up one of our most dedicated volunteer leaders, who was recently hospitalized after a serious bike accident. We’re seeking your prayers for their quick and complete recovery.

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Help Us Launch Good in Detroit

As Salaamu Alaikum! Peace be upon you.

Our goal with Dream of Detroit is to transform an entire neighborhood. No less.

But en route to that goal, it’s critical that we’re also building community—building community among our volunteers, with the folks who live here currently, and with everyone who we want to see this area as a potential home for them and their families.

With that in mind, we’re planning a special event this August—and we hope that you can be involved. We’re calling it the Dream of Detroit Street Fair.  It’ll be an all-day event shutting down two blocks of a local main street for an outdoor fair featuring vendors from the community, a free health fair, games for children and adults, and live performances.

To make it happen though, we need to raise at least $15,000 before the end of June—so we’re kicking off a crowdfunding campaign to hit our goal. Can you make a contribution today?

In a crowdfunding campaign, every single donation matters, no matter how small or big. So if you can donate $5 today, it’d make a big difference. And if you could donate $500, well, we’d happily accept that too. 🙂

We believe the Dream of Detroit Street Fair will be a one-of-a-kind community building event.

And while we finish our next homes, and prepare to send our next entrepreneur training graduates out into the business world, we think this is exactly what’s needed to get and keep the community excited about what’s ahead for our neighborhood.

Click here to chip in to our campaign on LaunchGood.com today. The next 30 days are going to fly by, and we know that the most successful crowdfunding campaigns all have a strong start.

Peace and blessings,

The Dream of Detroit Team

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Motor City Makeover 2017 Another Successful Cleanup!

On Saturday, more than 50 volunteers gathered to clean up the neighborhood adjacent to The Muslim Center. We boarded up 10 vacant homes, collected 50 bags of garbage, and threw out 20 tires that had been dumped in our neighborhood. Our volunteers also worked to cut 15 lawns to beautify the landscaping around the vacant homes, as well as help some of our neighbors.

 

On the same day, youth interested in joining the medical field participated in “Doctor for a Day” at the HUDA Clinic, while the HUDA Urban Garden was filled with volunteers building raised garden beds, planting seeds, and more. It was a lively day in the neighborhood. Thank you to everyone who came out to support!

Peace and blessings,

The Dream of Detroit team

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Clean Up Day + Open House

Dear DREAM Supporter,

July is shaping up to be a busy month for DREAM. We wanted to make sure you knew about three important events coming up.

Join us to keep beautifying the neighborhood surrounding the Muslim Center. There’s garbage to remove, buildings to paint, overgrown lawns, and weeds to chop down. Everyone’s welcome and all hands are needed!

 

Our first class of entrepreneurs from the ProsperUS Detroit Entrepreneur Training Program is graduating. Come out and celebrate with them, and learn about the businesses they hope to start!

 

Interested in moving into the neighborhood? Want more details on how to buy a house? Just want to learn more about the vision of Dream of Detroit? Join us for our first Neighborhood Open House.

Peace and blessings,

The Dream of Detroit team

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The Mayor Has Seen Your Work

Asalaamu alaikum! Peace be upon you.

Last week, when Mike Duggan, the Mayor of Detroit, visited the Muslim Center Mosque and Community Center for a special iftar, he spoke passionately about the importance of bringing our neighborhoods back and of DREAM’s upcoming neighborhood Open House.

He talked about the difficult balance of removing blight in the city, while still preserving the beautiful homes that once defined Detroit’s landscape. In short, Mayor Duggan showed a real understanding of the challenges of a project like ours—and voiced a commitment to helping us succeed.

Our neighborhood is looking better than it has in some time. And yet, we know there are still many houses to fill—and, God-willing, many more homes to build one day.

However, this project has always been about more than fixing a few homes. And it’s about more than creating community service opportunities. Dream of Detroit is about community building—with all the complexities, frustrations, joys, and accomplishments that comes along with a goal like this. And that’s why we’re committed to this project for the long haul—because, by its very nature, it’s an ongoing process, in need of deep care and attention to sustain.

At one point during dinner, a member of the Muslim Center asked our District Manager—the mayor’s appointee to oversee our area of the city—what was the city’s plan for this neighborhood. The manager responded quickly and succinctly, “Dream of Detroit.” The next day, we held a special community meeting for our local neighbors, where many came out to express their appreciation for and support of DREAM’s work. We don’t seek politicians’ validation, but it’s important to note that the work of our community so far has been neither unseen nor unappreciated.

As this blessed month comes to a close, we want to say thank you. Your gifts—of financial support and of prayers—are what allow us to do this work and are appreciated more than you know. May your reward be with The Most Generous, The Giver of Gifts. Early prayers for a blessed Eid to you and your families.

Peace and blessings,

Mark Crain
Project Director

The Dream of Detroit team

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Muslims Building Bridges

Asalaamu alaikum! Peace be upon you.

From its inception, Dream of Detroit has been a vehicle for bridging communities in the metro Detroit area. Ever since Neighborly Needs first joined with the Indus Community Action Network to give rise to the DREAM project, we’ve welcomed Muslims (and people of other faiths) from all over the area—and indeed, the country—to come together in re-building our neighborhood and creating a healthy community.

That’s why we’re excited to partner with Muslims Building Bridges for tonight’s iftar dinner at the Muslim Center. MBB’s vision is to break down barriers that are keeping the mosques in our communities from realizing we are all living under the same roof. We share a goal of a more unified community and so we’re proud to co-sponsor this event.

On Wednesday night, we welcomed more of our local neighbors into the Muslim Center for a special community meeting to get them excited about where we’re headed with this initiative. They were engaged, inspired, and several said they were ready to get to work. Then they stayed for dinner as we broke our fasts.

Tonight, we have another opportunity to share a meal with the growing community of people who are going to be key to the long-term success of this initiative. We hope to see you there!

Peace and blessings,

The Dream of Detroit team

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"The true life that God wants for all people—not one people—their true life is a life of cooperation… community life!"
- Imam W.D. Mohammed