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Naazish YarKhan
919 followers -
Creative, Passionate, Committed, Energetic, Honest, Thought Leader, Visionary, Compassionate, Fun, Tenacious
Creative, Passionate, Committed, Energetic, Honest, Thought Leader, Visionary, Compassionate, Fun, Tenacious

919 followers
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Dear Parents of Sons,
As a mother of a son, and as a community member seeing the uptick in both divorces and early marriages, I have a request to make. Are we teaching our sons how to respond when they come home after a tough day at work and are greeted with a wife who may say, "I've had the worst day and I can't take it anymore!" because she's been changing diapers all day?

Our sons need to know that empathy and consideration is what makes marriage work. Are we teaching our sons to be good empathethic listeners to their ( potential) wife and others? That girls will have bad days and mood swings and that does not make them "difficult", "moody", "crazy".

Are we teaching them that being a husband is about being there emotionally and are we discussing what being emotionally "available" actually looks like? That avoidance doesn't solve problems? Are we teaching them to be considerate, caring, romantic, unafraid to show their affection (and making sure they know what that looks like)?

What you teach them today is what can make or break their marriages. I see so many of our young girls who are so eager to tie the knot and have such dreams and expectations. Are we teaching our boys that being a good husband is also about a girl's emotional needs and fulfilling those? That buying your wife flowers, complimenting her or joining her for a chick flick ( for instance) is the stuff of good marriages.

Or are we raising our sons with a sense of #MalePrivilege that our generation of men were raised with? I sure hope we are having these conversations because being a partner is as much about those things as it's about raising kids together or sharing a roof. And I sure hope we are giving our sons plenty of opportunities to practice these behaviors well before marriage, because they aren't going to become empathethic, considerate, caring over night!
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Chicago Humanities Festival - a Gift to Chicagoans!

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Ask me about word of mouth marketing and I'll tell you about the DuPage United Solidarity Event. The result: an event planned, developed, organized and executed  by volunteers belonging to more than 25 organizations. Our rate of success: Through the roof ! Our cost: Less than $2200 (including our venue).

Get to Know Your Muslim Neighbor, we said, and we heard an Amen! Enough with the political hate talk, we said, and we heard an Amen! Enough with the demonizing, we said, and we heard an Amen! And 850 folk, across faith lines, walked the talk on Sunday Feb 28th , as we packed the Shalimar Banquet Hall, in Addison, IL.

We intended to replace 'us' and 'them' with 'We the People'. We aimed to bring Jews, Muslims, Christians, those of other faiths and those who didn't belong to a faith group, to talk to each other and not at each other. And boy, did we succeed! 

Yes, there were speeches but interspersed between them were our golden nuggets : one-to-one meaningful conversations between Muslims and those of other faiths ( our seating plan ensured that we had the right pairs). Seating partners asked each other: "When have you taken a stand knowing it might not be popular…or when do you wish you had taken a stand.  Why?" Secondly, "What have you learned or noticed here so far?  What do you hope to learn?" and finally, "What do you want your neighbor in the circle to know and remember about you? Why is that important?" The buzz in the room was electrifying. People who had never met before bonded within a span of 1.5 hours. The conversations stirred them to get to know each other beyond the stereotypes, as people. As members of DuPage United we know relational conversations oil the wheels of relationships between strangers. They give folk a chance to truly hear, and connect, with one another. 

How did the Event Succeed Beyond Expectations?

1) We tapped into vested interest. Muslims were tired of being demonized. Those of other faiths were tired of not really knowing who their Muslim neighbors were and were done with speculating about them. 

2) We spotted a vacuum, a dire need - the lack of dialog between Muslims and non-Muslims, and we filled it. 

3) It was collaborative. Folk had a voice at the table. A core team with representation from different faith organizations and associations were involved in every decision whether it was a flier, a press release or the choosing of a venue.  It was excruciating but it gave folk a reason to own the outcome. And we sure did !

4) We divided and conquered. We were all volunteers and we knew for success all hands needed to be on deck. We asked and folk stepped up to deliver. From the flier to this video to the press release to the circle leaders and floor volunteers on D- day. This was our collective cause and, collectively, we'd have to make it a success.
 
5) We had a core team but not a hierarchy. It was not top down. Ideas as to what the event should look like, what its elements should be, bubbled up from the grass-roots. 

6) We truly cared about the message - #Stand TogetherDuPage and #UnitedWeStand, #WethePeople are one- We were foot soldiers working to deliver a message we all truly cared about.

7) We tapped into curiosity. So just who were all these Muslims and Jews and Christians who were planning this huge solidarity event and why were folk volunteering en mass for it? What was all the buzz about? The event was free but we still had to close registration when we hit 850 names!

8) We used every free means possible to get the word out. What'sApp groups we belonged to, mentions in e-newsletters by every organization that was planning this, hand-delivered letters, mentions in study circles and more.

The Solidarity Event was just the kickoff event. Over the course of the DuPage United sponsored "We the People Solidarity campaign", we hope to build a critical mass that will be able to push back against political and media hate talk. With our neighbors, we will stand together in solidarity against hate and fear. We have taken a stand. We will take back the narrative. Join us. And yes, donations welcome! Details at www.dupageunited.org #StandTogetherDuPage   #DUSolidarityCampaign  

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