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Life in a North Carolina Islamic community: An action-oriented community diagnosis

Aisha L. Moore, Emily M. Burrows, and Malea Hoepf. Department of Health Behavior and Health Education, University of North Carolina School of Public Health, 100 Stinson Street, B, Chapel Hill, NC 27516, 617-515-7312, aisha@unc.edu

From September 2004 to April 2005, six first year Master of Public Health students from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill completed an Action-Oriented Community Diagnosis (AOCD) of the Islamic Association of Raleigh (IAR). A purpose of the AOCD is to develop a partnership between the student practitioners and the community. This AOCD examined what life is like for Muslims living in the greater Triangle area. The AOCD used both primary data, collected through interviews and focus groups, as well as secondary data, to identify the strengths and needs of the IAR community. The strengths of the community included a highly diverse population, a wide variety of services available, a leadership body that is responsive to community needs, a very active core of volunteers, and a strong sense of identity and purpose. The areas of concern and several of the corresponding action steps were: Social and welfare services: create a resource booklet, increase awareness of the IAR food pantry, hire a full time psychologist, raise additional funds. Relations with non-Muslims: hold a workshop on how to relate to non-Muslims, volunteer in non-Muslim organizations. Youth: have Muslims youth spend time with other Muslims, hold parent-training groups. Volunteerism: formalize volunteer requirements. The findings were presented to the community at a community forum, held at the IAR on April 22, 2005, for discussion and to determine specific action steps. Since that time new developments have occurred in response to the action steps.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Community-Based Public Health, Religion

Related Web page: www.islam1.org

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Not Answered

The Faith Communities, Social Justice and Health Disparities

The 134th Annual Meeting & Exposition (November 4-8, 2006) of APHA