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Relational and Responsive Inclusion

Contexts for Becoming and Belonging

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Edited By Mere Berryman, Ann Nevin, Suzanne SooHoo and Therese Ford

Socially unjust circumstances continue to perpetuate inadequate classroom, school and system-level responses to longstanding social justice imperatives, shutting out power-sharing solutions to educational disparities and marginalizing populations of Indigenous and minoritized peoples. To address these educational disparities, this book proposes a relational and culturally responsive framework, from within a critical and indigenous paradigm that is designed to foster one’s sense of becoming and belonging in the world with all people, and thus promotes inclusion. Praxis such as this challenges traditional paradigms that marginalize or dehumanize those with whom we seek to work. Social justice in education must be concerned with recognizing, respecting and being inclusive of the diversity of all students. Social justice is about valuing and including all children for the potential they arrive with and for the families that stand beside them, rather than on what we might aspire to change and mold them into being.
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Chapter Seven: Muslim American Conscientização: A Primer on Engaging Muslim American Students

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← 126 | 127 → CHAPTER SEVEN

Muslim American Conscientização1

A Primer on Engaging Muslim American Students

AHMED YOUNISCHAPMAN UNIVERSITY



“You Mankind: We have created you from a single pair of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes that you might come to know and cherish one another (not to despise one another). Verily the most honorable of you in the sight of God are the most righteous.” (Qur’an, 49:13)

As translated by Hassan Hathout in Reading the Muslim Mind (Hathout, 2005, p. 21)

EXPERIENCES OF BELONGING

I met Nelson Mandela for the first time at the age of 16. He was in Los Angeles on a visit and asked to meet with a collective of interfaith youth. I had the honor of attending with an invitation from the Muslim Public Affairs Council. During our session he told of an agreement that the prisoners of Robin Island had among themselves. On the day of the Sabbath for each religion, leaders and community elders would come for visits to the prisoners and bring along food for the inmates of their respective religions so that they would have some comfort on one day of the week. Mandela told us, a group of youth from all over Los Angeles of differing ← 127 | 128 → faiths, that their pact was as follows: When the Christian leaders came to the prison and asked, Who here is...

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