Americans nationwide (blacks, whites, latinos, Asian, natives etc) came out in protest after the brutal police killing of George Floyd, an unarmed African American man, in Minneapolis Minnesota, and demanded justice . The anger and frustration of black people and other people of color expressed in the protests with respect to the lack of accountability in the criminal justice system of police violence, use of excessive force, and fatal shootings that are specifically targeting blacks and other people of color has been extensively covered in many major media outlets both in the US and internationally.
The youth of Bilal Community, in addition to from participating in the local protest of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement, have been hosting weekly Zoom meetings inviting many youths involving the DFW area Bilal community members to discuss the movement. Some youth sisters also baked varieties of cookies and sold to raise fund for the BLM in which all the proceedings was donated. During the meetings, the youths shared their feelings identifying themselves as African Americans or Ethiopian Americans alternatively and their experiences in racial identity as they understood it or as explained to them by their parents.
The youth group highlighted that there is parental misinformation or lack of historical understanding in the experience of African Americans, the legacy of slavery, and the struggle of the civil right era that resulted in the freedom we enjoy today. The youth expressed growing concern as the way they view race and race relations as second-generation Americans are completely different from that of their parents. The youth of Bilal convincingly argue that racial issues are understood differently when contrasted with the views of their parents causing less than nothing involvement with the struggle of Black people to bring about sensible reform to the justice system that disproportionately arrests, convict and incarcerates people of color. The youth of Bilal suggested in their meetings that parent and youth combined education and awareness programs may close the gap between parents and their youth concerning race-related issues. As many of the youth expressed their emotion-filled despair on how their parents are not fully grasping the reality of racial inequality and injustice in this country, they also expressed the hope that through education and awareness programs parents will come to understand and embrace the struggle and experiences of their children.
The youth program organizers and the board of directors of the Bilal Community are currently actively working to host especial educational dialogue that will include both youth and parents together and address the lack of understanding with historical education clarify misinformation and creating awareness in race relations and racial issues in this country.
It is believed that the dialogue and discussion topics will include African Americans and the legacy of slavery, the struggle for human and civil rights, current racial injustice and the need for criminal justice reform, and what our role should be to enhance change and be apart of the movement that lead to all freedom equal rights and justice.
Bilal Community will announce the date and time of the seminar as scheduling is completed.