Teaching Acceptance

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Long Island Wins has worked tirelessly over the past several years in helping to make Long Island work for everyone, immigrant and native alike. We’ve highlighted the contributions of what community members and leaders have done to make Long Island more welcoming, now we’d also like to let our readers know about the great work that our board of directors has been doing as well to help us achieve our mission.

Dr. Isma Chaudhry, executive committee president of the Islamic Center of Long Island and Co-Chair of the Long Island Wins board of directors, has been committed to advancing our mission, both as a supporter of our work and also in her own work spreading acceptance to our youth. Like all of our board members, she is an active leader in the community and is a strong proponent of social justice.

For more than 15 years, she has been helping to teach young students the importance of accepting all of our neighbors, regardless of their background or religious beliefs. She has been helping students across Long Island learn about the Islamic faith as well as Islamic art and architecture, teaching at schools in Herricks, Jericho, Syosset, Westbury and Carle Place.

“It’s unbelievable the commitment the teachers have to their students in helping them learn about different cultures,” Dr. Chaudhry told us.

She most recently conducted a presentation teaching Carle Place High School students about Islamic culture and about her own life as a Muslim.

During the 80-minute presentation to the World History class, which included visuals and a group discussion, students learned about the historical development of Islam, Islamic architecture, life as a Muslim in a post-9/11 world and, most importantly, accepting others. She also touched upon basic Islamic beliefs, the difference between sharia law and the Five Pillars of Islam, dietary customs, holidays, architecture, the role of women and misconceptions about Islam.

The students came away from the presentation with a better understanding of the Islamic faith and a newfound appreciation for the culture.

“The details Isma provided helped me to better appreciate the faith and its beliefs,” said student Ariel Salerno. “She spoke in a very engaging manner and I liked how she kept us interested with facts about the religion.”

Long Island Wins is thrilled to have such a strong proponent of diversity and acceptance on our board of directors. We’ll continue to work together with our board and the community in helping to make Long Island work for everyone.


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