Rabbi Robert Marx, JCUA’s founder, and Jane Ramsey, longtime executive director, were among the honorees yesterday at “A Celebration with Soul,” the 2011 end-of-year dinner sponsored by the Inner-City Muslim Action Network.
In honoring Marx and Ramsey, IMAN said “JCUA is a long-time partner of IMAN and is currently working to combat the foreclosure crisis as part of the Multifaith Housing Reclamation Campaign.”
In honoring Marx and Ramsey, IMAN called JCUA an outstanding long-time partner. JCUA’s work to promote social justice, said IMAN, is profound and bold.
An audience of more than 250 supporters and friends attended the event, held at the Harold Washington Library in Chicago’s Loop. A key purpose of the annual event was to report on how IMAN has deepened its impact on such pressing social issues as fair housing, food justice and access to healthcare.
Ramsey praised IMAN for its monumental impact in Chicago Lawn and Marquette Park, and lauded the organization for its remarkable leadership and vision. She said:
The common vision we recognized when we began 10 years ago has grown and deepened over time, transcending the challenges of two faith communities who at times are better known for seeing differences rather than building upon the opportunities inherent in our powerful commonalities.
What we have learned is that our close and shared traditions, the similarities of our prophetic faiths, family and community traditions, guide each of us to a belief in community responsibility, zakat in the Muslim tradition, tzedakah in the Jewish tradition. Our faiths, rather than creating divisions, have provided the foundation for strong bonds, friendships, and a common vision for the future.
Rabbi Marx was unable to attend the event; Ramsey accepted the honor on his behalf.
The evening included a specially curated art installation by eL Seed, whose art is a mixture of street art and Arabic Calligraphy (see the artwork online). Kenny Gamble (also known as Luqman Abdul Haqq), architect of The Sound of Philly, was the keynote speaker and special honoree. Imam Suhaib Webb, a contemporary American-Muslim educator, activist and lecturer, was special guest and speaker.
JCUA and IMAN have enjoyed a unique relationship over the past several years. Rami Nashashibi, the group’s executive director, has said IMAN’s organizational structure was patterned, in part, on what he and other IMAN leaders had observed from JCUA. Nashashibi and Ramsey frequently have shared the speaker’s podium at events co-sponsored by the two organizations.
In 2011, JCUA and IMAN, along with other groups, launched the Multifaith Housing Reclamation Initiative to address the foreclosure crisis affecting many Chicagoans. (Learn more…)