In The Wisconsin Muslim Project special Angela Fitzgerald visits the Fox Valley Islamic Society in Neenah to learn about their community while sharing stories of Muslims around the state. Angela sits down with President Mamadou Coulibaly to learn how the Fox Valley community was formed and expanding into a new, larger mosque down the street. She hears from other community members about what makes mosque such a welcoming, diverse, and special place for Muslims to gather.
We meet Brother Will Perry of the Milwaukee Islamic Da’wah Center who shares how he has helped uplift his community. He did so by leaving a legacy of service which included a weekly food pantry to help those who could not afford food. It has grown from being operated out of Perry’s minivan to now giving away over 10,000 pounds of food a week, helping curb hunger for everyone in this neighborhood.
Asifa Quraishi-Landes shows us how her teaching style is unique when compared to most. As a law professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, she encourages her students to participate in role-playing scenarios and act as Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Antonin Scalia, among others. She says it allows the students to see things from a different perspective that can help combat closed mindedness.
Then, Amal Azzam and Nayfa Naji their dedication to changing the art landscape piece-by-piece. They are the co-founders of Fanana Banana, an organization dedicated to featuring art that often goes unnoticed. The goal of their project began with attempting to minimize the disparity between artists, and centers around bringing art away from the major hubs while sharing under represented voices.
Finally, Isaak Mohamed’s work to foster community in Barron goes beyond small changes. He is the Somali district liaison for the Barron Area Schools, and his job is to help students while facilitating communication for the school and families. His experience as a refugee has pushed him to help those in need in whatever way that he can, both in and outside of his job.
This work is part The Wisconsin Muslim Project from PBS Wisconsin, a project supported by the Doris Duke Foundation through the Building Bridges Program. The mission of the Building Bridges Program is to support national efforts, working with U.S. Muslims, to increase mutual understanding and well-being among diverse populations for the benefit of building stronger, inclusive communities.