CAIR-Chicago interns, accompanied by Gerald Hankerson and Renner Larson, attended a Chicago & Global Family event hosted by Niagara Foundation last Tuesday. Brian Brady, the Executive Director of Mikva Challenge, spoke at the event which touched on youth civic engagement.
Brady discussed bringing civic empowerment and political awareness for young adults, particularly low-income youth who are unable to participate in democratic processes due to their circumstances. The Mikva Challenge focuses on giving students an opportunity to engage in civic involvement starting from their classrooms. Through this, Mikva Challenge encourages students to participate in local and national politics, and gives them an outlet to make a difference in their communities. Currently, the organization has gone from helping 120 students in eight schools to over 6,000 in 120 schools in the Chicago area. They are in the process of expanding their outreach to Los Angeles and Washington, D.C.
Just as Mikva Challenge concentrates on educating young leaders through political involvement, CAIR-Chicago takes on the role of teaching others about Islam. They actively work with media and political leaders to ensure an accurate portrayal of Islam and a safe environment for American Muslims. By facilitating open dialogues, CAIR-Chicago fights against bigotry and makes a difference in the political realm. Organizations such as Mikva Challenge and CAIR-Chicago understand the importance of community activism, and continue to break barriers day in and day out.
By Amena Tayyab
For more information on Mikva Challenge, visit mikvachallenge.org