On Thursday, April 10th, Senior Communications Coordinator Agnieszka Karoluk presented a lecture on Muslims in America at Dominican University in River Forest.
The class is taught by Dr. Jane Hseu, who is the author of the essay,”Teaching Race and Space Through Asian American and Latino Performance Poetry” which appears in Asian American Literature: Discourses and Pedagogies . The class, entitled “Life in Community: Multicultural Chicago,” helps students understand issues of: personal identity, inequality, diverse communities and cultures. Dr. Hseu assigned the class a project focusing on the case study of the Irshad Learning Center. CAIR-Chicago’s Litigation Director Kevin Vodak represented Irshad in their lawsuit against DuPage County which was won in April 2013.
CAIR-Chicago Senior Communications Coordinator Agnieszka Karoluk was invited to Dr. Hseu’s class to discuss the case, provide an overview of the work CAIR-Chicago does, and present on misconceptions of various Muslims communities in the US. Karoluk screened CAIR-Chicago’s 2014 documentary, “FORWARD” to the class and later gave two lectures. The first presentation focused on negative representations of Islam in the media and how these negative portrayals subsequently affect Muslim-Americans. Next, Karoluk spoke about Shia Islam and Muslims in the US which included demographics, historical background and geo-political contexts of various Muslim societies’ relationships with the U.S.
Karoluk’s presentation was met with various thoughtful questions and comments from the class; highlighting the students’ research skills and ability to ask critical and engaging questions regarding portrayals of Islam in the media and diverse communities with the faith tradition.