The village of Skokie, Illinois prides itself as “one of the most [welcoming and] diverse communities in the country.” Coming Together is an annual celebration, led by Skokie, in partnership with the villages of Niles, Morton Grove, and Lincolnwood — all of Niles Township.
Offering diverse programs, over a three-month period, usually focused on a single culture, the 2018 installment is Celebrating Muslim-American Cultures. Previously, Coming Together celebrated Asian-Indians, Filipinos, Greeks, Assyrians, Koreans, Chinese, Latinos/Hispanics, and interracial harmony (Voices of Race). This year’s exhibition features panel discussions, lectures, workshops, film screenings and a theater performance. Numerous discussions will focus on books including, Muslim Girl: A Coming of Age by Amani Al-Khatahtbeh.
We’ll talk with Coming Together chairperson and Skokie resident Susan Van Dusen. An education professional and former journalist, she conceived of the idea eight years ago. Joining Van Dusen is Coming Together co-organizer Habeeb Quadri, principal of the Muslim Community Center Academy in Morton Grove, Illinois. One of America’s leading Islamic educators, he’s written numerous books on Islamic education including, War within Our Hearts: The Struggles of the Muslim Youth and The Islamic School Resource Guide: Developing Schools and Educational Excellence. Quadri will discuss how schools in his district collaborate and share experiences to enhance community and cultural unity.
The Coming Together 2018 Opening Ceremony is on Sunday, January 28.