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Muslim Wellness Foundation + Sapelo Square Presents:

ELECTION WELLNESS

TOOLKIT

Election Wellness For American Muslims. Resisting. Healing. Building. Thriving

“Proud Boys, stand back and stand by!”

This was a declaration made on Tuesday September 29, 2020 at the first presidential debate of this election. Within minutes, members of this  alt-right white nationalist extremist group begin to rejoice online, celebrating this legitimizing moment of recognition by the Commander in Chief. 

 

Did that statement, that WHITE SUPREMACIST CALL TO ACTION send a chill down your spine? Did your jaw drop? Did you turn to the person sitting next to you, mouth ajar, trying to find words to express your horror? Did you feel a tightness in your chest and a knot in the pit in your stomach? Did you roll your eyes and steady yourself to push through anyway?

 

What do you say when it feels like, in just the last 6 months of this pandemic nightmare, you’ve exhausted all of your words? That the onslaught of violence, corruption, incompetence, oppression has nearly robbed you of the ability to express the depth of despair, anger, resentment and fear?

What do you say?

You speak the truth.

And so here’s the truth.

Everyday we are dealing with racist violence and anti-Muslim bigotry while ALSO coping under the weight of a global health crisis that is disproportionally killing our communities and the current election season has only amplified these pressures.. So what does this all mean?  It means that we must be prepared in every way possible for days, weeks and months to come. 

Anas ibn Malik reported: A man said, “O Messenger of Allah, should I tie my camel and trust in Allah, or should I leave her untied and trust in Allah?” The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Tie her and trust in Allah.”

So we, first and foremost put our trust and faith in Allah as the all-knowing, merciful Creator. And then we tie our proverbial camel. 

We get prepared by naming and acknowledging the source of oppression: white supremacy. 

We get prepared by acquiring the knowledge and resources to help us make the most well-informed decisions for ourselves, families/loved ones and communities.

We get prepared by grounding ourselves in the healing practices which fortify us and enable us to weather any storm. 

We will need healing in order to continue to resist. 

Build. 

Thrive. 

What fortifies you?

What inspires you?

What brings you joy?

Let’s get prepared.

HOW TO USE

THIS TOOLKIT

This toolkit was developed by Sapelo Square and Muslim Wellness Foundation for American Muslims. The goal of the toolkit is to provide our community members with the tools that can help them prepare, across multiple spheres of wellness, for the days, weeks and months to come during this challenging election season. The toolkit is not about supporting particular candidates nor is it a specific Get Out The Vote effort, but it names the concerns that our communities have from voting to personal safety and then offers practical guidance to address those concerns as we navigate this unprecedented moment.

 

The toolkit takes a holistic approach to wellness and covers seven wellness domains (adapted from The 8 Dimensions of Wellness by Dr. Li Ping Su-Kubricht). Each wellness area can be accessed solely or alongside other areas. The discussion of each wellness area will provide an overview of the issues (ex. voter suppression ), a clear articulation of the community concern (ex. how do I vote safely?), a series of suggestions to address that concern (ex. have a voting plan) and a reflection question to guide you in building your own strategy around the issue. Each wellness area discussion also provides links for more information. 

 

 

Our 7 Dimensions of Election Wellness include:

Political, Emotional, Environmental, Spiritual, Financial, Social & Physical

Learn more about the DEWs below!

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POLITICAL

WELLNESS

Political wellness is the ability to accurately and insightfully evaluate the questions of power that impact your life and make informed decisions. From fake news to Russian meddling and vote suppression, its important we understand what's on the ballot and what's at stake in this 2020 Presidential Election. Learn more about political wellness! 

EMOTIONAL

WELLNESS

Emotional wellness involves your ability to cope with life stress and being aware and accepting your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors by managing them in a healthy way. Between COVID and Zoom fatigue, racial trauma, election anxiety and doom-scrolling, we might all be feeling a bit overwhelmed. This is absolutely normal. Yet, we CAN and MUST develop a self-care plan to cope with these stressors. Click the button below to learn more about emotional wellness.

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SPIRITUAL

WELLNESS

Spiritual wellness consists of personal beliefs and values that provide a sense of meaning in life. As Muslims, we turn to Allah (swt) and our religious tradition to help us find purpose amidst tragedy and challenges. The Holy Qu'ran says: "Verily, with every hardship, comes ease" [94:5]. While our ability to gather together for communal worship has been greatly impacted by COVID-19 restrictions, Muslims have developed creative ways to engage in remembrance of God and deepen spiritual practice? How has your faith changed over the last several months? What strategies have helped deepen your connection to the Creator? 

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FINANCIAL

WELLNESS

Financial wellness consists of a clear understanding of the economic pressures you are facing, any opportunities before you and devising plans in coordination with family and community to address them. According to the 2018 American Muslim Poll, about one-third of American Muslims make less than $30,000/year. Black Muslims are more likely than any other racial group to earn this annual household income, which is considered at or below the federal poverty line. In addition to our health, COVID-19 pandemic has put a great financial burden on families and communities. For those communities already stressed by income inequality, this burden exacerbates financial concerns. Moreover, the current election season brings more potential instability in the economy. Do you have a plan to address the financial burden you might be facing? 

SOCIAL

WELLNESS

Social wellness consists of having positive, healthy, and meaningful relationships with friends, family, and the community. Maintaining social wellness also facilitates establishing a support system and increasing your sense of belonging, identity and self-esteem. COVID Quarantine. Social isolation. Physical distancing. Pandemic podding. This has all become part of a new world we must navigate, while trying to stay connected to our loved ones. Incredibly overwhelming at times, yet also a time to deepen our connections and commitment to one another. How are you staying close while distant?

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PHYSICAL

WELLNESS

Physical wellness consists of healthy habits towards nutrition, sleep, exercise, stress reduction, and overall physical health.  This also includes self-awareness regarding the ability to learn to listen to your body while creating physical activity routines that are balanced with daily needs and responsibilities. With the forced sedentary lifestyle of working at home, virtual schooling, and social distancing inherent to the pandemic, it becomes increasingly important to make intentional effort in maintaining physical wellness. How have you managed to stay active?

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Muslim Wellness Foundation [MWF]

Muslim Wellness Foundation is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization dedicated to promoting healing and emotional well-being in the American Muslim community through dialogue, education and training.

SAPELO SQUARE

Sapelo Square is an online resource and award winning blog on Black Muslims in the United States which creates new understandings of who they are, what they have done, and why that matters.​

ABOUT Us

Muslim Wellness Foundation + Sapelo Square