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What is the Muslim Community Fellowship?
The Muslim Community Fellowship is a year-long experience that will further the personal and professional development of emerging leaders from across Metro Vancouver’s Muslim community.
The fellowship focuses on understanding community and social change, building relationships, and learning the skills needed to work within complex social systems.
Fellows will leave with a deepened knowledge of self and others and the capacity to affect mindful, positive change in their communities.
Where did the idea of a Muslim Community Fellowship come from?
Over the course of 2017-2018, the SFU Centre for Comparative Muslim Studies hosted a series of “Being Muslim” community dialogues. These dialogues, including “Being Black and Muslim in Metro Vancouver”, “Being Muslim on Unceded Land”, “Being a Muslim Artist”, created a space for self-identified Muslims from various backgrounds to engage with one another around their lived experiences.
What emerged was the importance of spaces like this where Metro Vancouver’s Muslims could gather and reflect on their different experiences (as documented by researcher Laura Kapinga), and deepen their relationships with each other.
The idea of a cohort that would meet regularly to build relationships and share in a learning journey has a long tradition in various settings. It was important when designing this program that we had a team with diverse backgrounds and experiences. A diverse Fellowship Design Team, comprised of young Muslim leaders living in Metro Vancouver, began to meet and think about their own experiences, what type of learning had served them and what would be useful to share with others. Part of the intention behind the design team approach was to recognize the different experiences and to learn together through difference.
In addition to regular meetings, the design team received funding from the Contemplative Justice Network to undertake a retreat. At this retreat, together they created the Fellowship structure, envisioned the potential outcomes and began the process of building a relationship between the Muslim Community Fellowship and the Indigenous peoples.
The Muslim Community Fellowship Structure
Muslim Community Fellows will:
- attend a kick-off retreat to get to know one another and map out their community experience;
- gather for evening cohort sessions twice per month;
- attend two mid-point retreats before and after the Summer break to reflect on learning;
- receive readings, lectures and support from community leaders and professionals;
- build relationships across communities;
- be supported to pursue individual growth opportunities;
- be supported to initiate a community-based project.
Are you a Muslim Community Fellow?
- is involved in and cares about community;
- Is open to learning from others with respect and openness;
- Subscribes to the Centre for Comparative Muslim Studies’ commitment to diversity and inclusivity;
- Is between the ages of 18-35;
- Is able to attend all the retreat and session dates.
Applications open: 27 Nov
Applications close: 22 Dec
Announcement of fellows: 19 Jan
Meet and greet: 25 Jan
Opening retreat (overnight at Camp Fircom): 8-10 Feb
Spring Midpoint Retreat (full day at the end of term 1): 28 April
Fall Midpoint Retreat (full day at the start of term 2): 15 Sept
Closing celebration (tentative): 30 Nov
Fellowship sessions: downtown Vancouver from 6-9 pm, every other Thursday from 7 Feb-25 April and 19 Sept-28 Nov.
Average 10-15 hours per month
If there are any anticipated barriers to your full participation please indicate these in your application and we will do our best to accommodate your needs.
The Centre for Comparative Muslim Studies is able to offer this opportunity at no cost to participants.
A community project that reflects the learnings of the Fellowship and aligns with the values and vision of the Centre for Comparative Muslim Studies.
If you have any questions, email the Community Engagement Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org