(April 17, 2015) – Muslim leaders and community development workers in the Greater Toronto Area held a networking meeting on Sunday, April 12 in Toronto to learn about each other’s work and to identify areas of cooperation.
The Olive Tree Foundation, a public endowment foundation that promotes community development and which funds projects for the benefit of the community, organized the meeting.
“This is the 5th year that we have been holding a networking meeting,” Muneeb Nasir, President of the Olive Tree Foundation, told the participants. “This meeting is an opportunity for us working in the non-profit sector – organizations and activists – to connect and engage with each other and look for opportunities to collaborate.”
“We have found it to be of great benefit to the Olive Tree Foundation and to all of the participants who took part in previous meetings.”
The event was held at Emmanuel College, a theological college of Victoria University in the University of Toronto.
The meeting consisted of presentations and a roundtable discussion among the participants.
According to the Olive Tree Foundation, the annual meeting provides a platform to discuss the priorities and challenges faced by non-profit groups working within the Muslim community.
Faith & the Common Good (FCG), a national interfaith network, made a presentation on its current initiative, the Faith Community Resilience Hub project.
“The project’s objective is to find out if faith communities are interested in taking care of the vulnerable during the next extreme weather event,” said Donna Lang, Toronto Coordinator for Greening Sacred Spaces.
Greening Sacred Spaces (GSS) is program of Faith & the Common Good.
GSS assists faith communities with both the educational and spiritual dimensions of greening as well as the “how to” side of audits, retrofits and generally reducing a faith community’s footprint.
Dr. Nevin Reda, the Director of Master of Pastoral Studies and Master of Theological Studies at Emmanuel College provided an overview of the Muslim Studies Program at the institution.
Dr. Reda said, “the Muslim Studies Program strives to meet the changing needs of the growing Muslim population in Canada.”
The Muslim Studies Program is an initiative that stems from Emmanuel College’s goal to foster dialogue between Muslims and Christians, and others within the larger community.
During the final roundtable session, all organizations presented a summary of their work and upcoming projects.