Canvassing Against Islamophobia

by David Oh

Following Manzoor Cheema's talk on Dismantling Racism and Islamophobia, I felt moved to make a difference. I was glad to learn that exactly one week after Mr. Cheema's talk at ERUUF, I had an opportunity to canvas with the Jewish Voices for Peace (JVP) and the Movement to End Racism and Islamophobia (MERI).

On Sunday, February 7, after Kathleen McTigue's social justice reflection, I joined 6 other Durham community members to discuss with local business owners what they could do to challenge the anti-Muslim and anti-refugee narrative here in Durham to show that Durham was a welcoming and safe space for all identities.

The experience was heart warming. I was impressed with how many business owners invited us to hang signs in their windows and store fronts and by how many bystanders thanked us for our work and cheered us on from the sidelines. We also came across several Muslim business owners who were grateful for the community response of support and love.

I know there will be more canvassing opportunities throughout Durham and beyond and I know I will see many ERUUFians there. Stay tuned!