Christchurch, New Zealand

On March 15, 2019, a white supremacist killed 51 people across two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, and was apprehended on his way to a third. We have been left shaken, angry, saddened, and disillusioned. We have also been left needing one another even more than before.

Our hearts, minds, and strifes are with those affected by these attacks. We are always with you and we always here for you. We would like to voice our love and support for the Muslim community everywhere and the people of New Zealand. Our program co-directors, Andrea Hodos & Tasneem Noor, have some words to share with you:

Amid the intensifying conversation taking place on Representative Ilhan Omar… We felt it important to host an event for our alumni to come together and share how they were feeling about the controversies surrounding  Congresswoman Omar’s comments. In these times, it is often easier to avoid the hard conversations, so it becomes essential to reconvene and keep ourselves from splitting off from one another.

We figured perhaps ten people would join us; it was last minute, and the middle of the week. We ended up with over 20 participants, barely fitting in the living room we were hosted in. At the moment when it might have been easier to avoid the conversation, our alumni came together to listen deeply to one another.

In the midst of our conversations, one of our alumni checked her phone and realized what was happening in New Zealand.

As we begin another week here at NewGround, our team is thinking of the families mourning in New Zealand. We are also thinking about how our emphasis on understanding and plurality becomes more relevant by the day. As Aziza reminds us, “Our destiny is intertwined and we should act like it.”

This work will not be as fast as we want it to be. It never is. Still, we are grateful that even in the midst of it all, our connections and solidarity are stronger than the forces of hatred, fear, and violence. 

Please take care of yourself, and know that your NewGround family is here for you. Please continue to reach out to others, and reach out to us, as well.

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