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International Museum of Muslim Cultures (IMMC) receives W.K. Kellogg Foundation Grant

“Bridging Cultures: Working for Equity across Race, Class, Religion and Ethnicity”
Seated in the fertile south and in the heart of Jackson, the International Museum of Muslim Cultures (IMMC) is expanding its reach through “Bridging Cultures: Working for Equity across Race, Class, Religion and Ethnicity.”
            IMMC is pleased to announce a grant of $600,000 from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF) to utilize the power of museums as a mobilizer for cross-racial healing, justice and human dignity.  The Grant will cover a three-year period from May 2017 through April 2020, wherein IMMC will engage and educate the community nationwide in understanding that “human dignity is fundamental to combating injustice and achieving racial equity and healing.”
            Since its inception in April 2001, IMMC has worked across the divide of race, class, culture and religion to bring people of different backgrounds together to understand their “shared humanity.” It has accomplished these goals through its physical museum in downtown Jackson and its traveling exhibits which incorporate robust programming and education opportunities.
            IMMC targets issues faced by vulnerable children and families who are exposed to inequities, bigotry, racism, Islamophobia and Xenophobia, using history as a mobilizer of community to influence awareness, knowledge and action. The question to answer: “What does it mean to be human?”
            Over the next three years, IMMC will engage with local and national partners, including partners Tougaloo and Millsaps Colleges, launching its Islamic Thought Institute (ITI), to host a national conference in March 2-4, 2018 on “Race,  Class and Religious Intersectionality in America: An Ongoing Struggle for Human Dignity.”
            Its new traveling exhibit to premiere November 30, 2017, titled “Muslims with Christians and Jews: An Exhibition of Covenants and Coexistence,” will first debut in Jackson, and then travel to six major metropolitan cities around the country. It will introduce the “peace-building leadership of Muhammad, the Prophet and Head of State, who prepared the first Constitution in history for his multiethnic, multiracial, multilingual and multi-religious Commonwealth.”  The constitution, which may have influenced that of the U.S., will be on display as will the covenants of protection extended to Jews, Christians, and others.
            By the year 2020, it is anticipated that more than 250,000 visitors will have been exposed to these teachable moments, as the ITI develops curriculum to be used with students of all ages.
            The Covenants Exhibit will launch IMMC’s national traveling Exhibition Program, which will be followed in 2020 with the touring of the Legacy of Timbuktu Exhibition, currently featured at IMMC since 2006.  The WKKF funding will assist in the design of a traveling version of this exhibit.
This Exhibit emphasizes Islamic West Africa’s sophisticated, highly literate culture of great wealth and empire-building, which contrasts significantly with the predominant historic narrative that begins, most often, with African enslavement in America.
These two IMMC signature exhibitions will be featured at the national Race and Class in America Conference coming in March 2018.
            Co-founders of IMMC are Mr. Emad AlTurk, chairman, and Ms. Okolo Rashid, president, who is also director of ITI. To see “The Legacy of Timbuktu Exhibit,” visit IMMC at 201 E. Pascagoula St., Jackson, MS 39201. Call for opening times, 601-960-0440.

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