The Imam Dream:
I’ve been admitted to Starr King School for the Ministry to pursue a double Masters in Divinity and Masters in Social Change degree for the 2013-2014 school year. Starr King is a Universalist Unitarian divinity school committed to theological education that is multi-religious and rooted in anti-oppression praxis. They are one of the few Christian divinity schools in the United States committed to training non-Christians to become spiritual leaders. Their faculty is composed of people from a wide range of faith based traditions, most notably Ibrahim Farajaje and Ghazala Anwar, two well know queer Islamic studies professors.
I have been given the incredible opportunity to attend Starr King School for the Ministry in the fall and work with Ibrahim, Ghazala, and other members of the Starr King family.
My ultimate goal for attending Starr King is to become an imam. I want the ability to lead prayers, hold spiritual space, and spiritaully support LGBT Muslims in a variety of ways. I’ve already started to do this via the queer muslims tumblr that i moderate, but I want the ability to do this in more than just an online capacity (and improve the online capacity that i do it in currently). I also want the ability to create more resources for LGBT Muslims that are spiritually affirming and are located in an anti-oppression praxis.
This isn’t an easy goal to accomplish. Many people believe traditional Islam maintains that Muslim women are not suited for spiritual leadership, let alone a queer Muslim woman like myself. Subsequently, finding people who are willing to train women and LGBT identified Muslims to have the necessary bodies of knowledge and skill sets to become an imam is a hard road to come by.
So finding faculty at Starr King who believe in support women’s spiritual leadership and queer spiritual leadership has been nothing short of amazing.
Yet making this dream come true has become complicated financially. After waiting two months for a financial aid package, I only received $5500 worth of institutional grants to put toward my $20,058 yearly tuition. I’m also not guaranteed work study because Starr King has a limited amount of work study grants to distribute.
This means I am left to take out loans for the cost of tuition, plus the cost of housing (Starr King doesn’t have on campus grad housing), and other non-tuition related expenses until I can find a job after relocating to the Bay Area.
Tuition at Starr King for a double Masters in Divinity and Masters in Social Change is $20,058 per year for four years. After receiving $5500 in intitutional aid with no guarantee of getting a federal work study grant, I still need $14,558 for the first year’s tuition.
The $14,000 will be going to helping fund my first year’s tuition.
The remaining 6,000 will help me put a down payment on an apartment and pay rent until i find a job in the bay area.
Why you’re nothing short of amazing for helping me out:
My family has no ability to help me finance my graduate school education ever since my grandmother’s apartment burned down in January.
Since my grandmother’s apartment fire my family has been pooling their resources together for the cost of her medical care related to carbon monoxide poisoning and the cost of restoring her apartment. On top of helping my grandmother get back on her feet my mother is already paying $100,000 in loans related to my undergraduate education at Hampshire College.
Whereas usually I can count on my family to help me off set the cost, that is not the case this time.
By donating to my campaign, you’re helping me achieve my dream in the wake of financial hardship and familial tragedy.
By donating to my campaign, you’re saying you believe in the power of women’s spiritual leadership and queer spiritual leadership. You’re saying LGBT Muslims deserve spiritual leaders who are committed to creating radically affirming, anti-oppressive spiritual spaces.
So while combing through the interwebs for .pdf books on unrelated subjects, I happened upon zinelibrary.info- an anarchist collective dedicated to the free distribution of radical literature. They have a lot of titles by authors mentioned in this post, as well as many others covering relevant topics. Here are a few that I think may be of interest:
- Custer Died for Your Sins- An Indian Manifesto by Vine Deloria, Jr.
- God Is Red: A Native View of Religion by Vine Deloria, Jr.
- Acts of Rebellion: The Ward Churchill Reader
- From a Native Son: Selected Essays on Indigenism 1985-1995 by Ward Churchill
- Since Predator Came: Notes from the Struggle for American Indian Liberation by Ward Churchill
- Struggle for the Land: Native North American Resistance to Genocide, Ecocide and Colonization by Ward Churchill
- Perversions of Justice: Indigenous Peoples and Angloamerican Law by Ward Churchill
- The Bloody Wake of Alcatraz- Political Repression of the American Indian Movement During the 1970’s by Ward Chruchill
- The Case of Leonard Peltier by Arthur J. Miller and Pio Celestino (zine)
- 500 Years of Indigenous Resistance (zine)
- Cultural Appropriation or Cultural Appreciation? (zine)
- Not an Indian Tradition: The Sexual Colonization of Native Peoples by Andrea Smith (article)
- Headdress (a small zine on native appropriation)
- Colonization and Decolonization: A Manual for Indigenous Liberation in the 21st Century (zine)
OP probably got it from her wiki page that says “Hayek’s paternal grandfather emigrated from Lebanon while her mother is of Spanish descent.” Mexican was added either way.