Journal Entries | University of Portland

Journal Entries

By Brenna Chapman '19

photo of Brenna talking

Each day, Brenna chose a word to reflect upon during her visit at the Inner-City Muslim Action Network (IMAN).

Day 1

text says "genuine kindness"

Upon entering IMAN’s office I was amazed by the love and kindness all of the staff members poured onto us. They welcomed us with open arms, and their willingness to open up to us was incredible. The IMAN staff wanted to know more about us as well, which I believed showed how genuine they are. Their whole staff you can tell that everything they do, they do in love. IMANs founder, Rami’s presence lights up a room. He is kind, compassionate, and driven. Able to connect to everyone on a personal level, its evident that he cares about each and every person uniquely. IMAN focuses on a holistic approach, which I really like. They have a health clinic, dental service, therapy, their very successful green re-entry program, and more. I met a man named Ishmael today who’s been volunteering for IMAN for several years, he said, “I’m half black, half white, living in a mainly secular society as a Muslim, who didn’t know where I belonged… IMAN provided a place where I belong.”  

Day 2

text says "hope"

The people of IMAN are a source of hope for our world, our country, a genuine light source. This is our country; one that has all of this corruption and injustice, where kids can’t even play outside of their homes because of gang violence- it’s devastating. The children in this area are growing up in an incredibly difficult area, with a hard and terrifying path laid out for them. Today, we got to hear stories from some of the participants in the Green Re-Entry program. I was incredibly moved. These people have made bad decisions, however, they are not letting their lives be determined by these mistakes.  Rami was also incredibly moved hearing the stories from the participants, he was very humbled. He is so proud of everyone involved in IMAN. The world needs more of these programs, because they work.

Day 3

text says "mercy"

Today we got to hear more from the the leaders at IMAN. We got to ask them any questions and learned more about Rami and why he decided to create this incredible organization. IMAN is impacting the city of Chicago as a whole. They are connecting with local Rabbis, Pastors, Priests and religious leaders. All of which have seen a need for change and want to work in unison with IMAN. It as incredible to see these people from all different religious backgrounds together in a room praying for peace upon the city while breaking fast during Ramadan. Those who have been impacted by IMAN’s work are sticking around to help other, and that I believe speaks volumes. IMAN is a force of good.