WHO WE ARE

 

Project REACH (Realizing an Effective Alliance for Community Hope) is a grassroots, Muslim-led community development and social justice organization seeking to address the challenges and struggles confronting marginalized urban communities in the DC area. Our organization is composed of a healthy mixture of persons representing different socioeconomic, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds, working together for a common cause: social transformation via efforts grounded in service and empowerment of local, marginalized inner-city communities. Our experience has taught us that this work requires vision, creativity, a dedication to teamwork, and a rootedness in core values. 

 

History

 

In 2009, the Chicago-based Inner-city Muslim Action Network (IMAN) launched the IMANDC Initiative as a part of a wider effort to study the challenges and opportunities that other urban centers could bring, drawing on its model of dynamic civic engagement. Following an indepth study of the realities and challenges facing DC's inner-city neighborhoods, volunteers with the IMAN-DC Initiative were inspired to develop programming to serve the needs of the city’s youth. The Initiative’s first project was the Summer 2010 Youth Development Program, which sought to cultivate community leaders among Muslim youth residing primarily in DC's inner-city neighborhoods. As many of these Muslim youth were recent converts living amid challenging circumstances, the IMAN-DC Initiative provided a valuable support system to guide them in becoming contributing members of their communities. In 2011, the IMAN-DC Initiative transitioned into an autonomous nonprofit organization known as Project REACH (Realizing an Effective Alliance for Community Hope).

 

Our Mission

 

Inspired by Islamic principles of mercy, compassion, service, and justice, Project REACH seeks to address the challenges and struggles confronting marginalized urban communities in the Washington, DC area by leveraging resources across socioeconomic, cultural, and religious divides, while inspiring and empowering residents to work for positive social change in their communities.

 

Our Vision

 

Sustainable systems of service and empowerment rooted in Islamic principles that drive positive social transformation in marginalized, urban communities in the Washington, D.C. area.

 

Our Core Values

 

Our work is guided by the following core values (adopted from IMAN):

 

• Spiritually Grounded & Broadly Informed

 

We believe that the Prophetic principles of mercy, compassion, service, and justice, informed by local and global organizing models, can be transformative forces for creating social change. We seek to infuse the best of these models with an understanding of the Muslim spiritual tradition as a way of effectively reaching and mobilizing activists and leaders across the DC area. 

 

• Led By and With the Most Affected

 

We believe that work toward social change should be led by and with those directly affected, specifically those who live with the consequences of economic and social disparities in the inner-city.

 

• Across Socioeconomic Divides

 

We believe in leveraging resources, relationships, skills, and expertise across socioeconomic divides to address the challenges and struggles confronting marginalized communities. Furthermore, in the future, we intend to aspire to leverage these relationships to stimulate socially-conscious business development and to generate jobs, revenue, and social capital in service of our larger vision.

 

• Intergenerational

 

We believe that providing space for youth leadership alongside communal elders creates relevant and rooted communities. The dynamism and drive of young adults combined with the wisdom and experience of elders allows for efforts that take into consideration larger social context and historical continuity, and speak to a sense of holistic community.

 

• Alliance Building

 

We believe in the need to create long-term alliances that bridge cultural, racial, ethnic, and religious divides. We seek to develop and work in alliances that are deeply grounded in a sense of mutual trust and commitment to a common vision for change using a grassroots human rights framework.

 

• Change through Service 

 

We believe that the process of providing services effects positive change not only with those who are served but also those who serve. It is awareness of the potential of this mutually transformative process that is an integral part of a holistic approach to social change.

 

• Inspire: Art & Culture as Vehicles of Change

 

We believe in the power of the arts to inspire and influence broad-based social change. Artists can play a critical role in educating, galvanizing, and inspiring our base. Art infuses organizing efforts with a type of cultural relevance that can make the work more dynamic and cutting-edge. We seek the synergy between the ability of art and culture to reach large and broad audiences while remaining grounded in grassroots community efforts and working for change.

 

Follow Us

  
Facebook: facebook.com/dcprojectreach

Twitter: @dcprojectreach

Instagram: @dcprojectreach

 


Watch the "About Project REACH" video to learn more about the organization and the work that we do.


 

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