Reckoning with Jefferson: Race, Religion, and the America We Want to Be


Join us for a Living Room Conversation at American Islamic College on the topic of Reckoning with Jefferson: Race, Religion, and the America We Want to Be.

Please see the conversation guide for this topic. Some of the questions explored include:

  • As you reflect on America’s founding aspirations, what are your thoughts and feelings about our country today?

  • What role, if any, do you believe our history should play in America today?

  • What does your ideal modern America look like, in terms of its aspirations and past?

Please only sign up for a place in this conversation if you are 100% certain that you can join. If you need to cancel please return to Eventbrite to cancel your ticket at least 24-hours ahead of time so someone on the waitlist may attend.

Additional details will be sent to you by no later than the day before the conversation. You will need to be able to receive the information sent via email through Eventbrite. If you unsubscribe from EventBrite emails you will be unable to receive the essential information for this conversation.

This year on April 13, Thomas Jefferson’s 276th birthday, Americans from all backgrounds, including those from communities impacted by anti-Muslim bigotry, will gather for in-person and online video conversations to reflect on the America we want to be.

Jefferson was a complicated man. He was the primary author of our Declaration of Independence and a spokesman for democracy. Remarkably, Jefferson owned a copy of the Qur’an. He also enslaved Black men, women, and children.

Jefferson’s copy of the Qur’an would later be used during the congressional swearing in ceremony of Keith Ellison, one of the few African Americans elected to Congress and the first-ever American Congressman of Muslim faith. For the first time, in 2019, two Congresswomen of Muslim faith were also sworn in on copies of the Muslim holy book.

Although Americans of Muslim faith now occupy some of the highest positions in U.S. politics, a majority of Americans still claim to have seldom or never spoken to a Muslim person (Public Religion Research Institute, 2017). In small towns and even diverse metropolitan communities, we rarely take the opportunity to speak with our neighbors.

In the face of this challenge, Living Room Conversations and America Indivisible invite Americans of all backgrounds to join us for a discussion about the America we want to be. We invite those who have been impacted by anti-Muslim bigotry (which may include South Asian, Arab, Sikh, Black, and other communities) to join their allies and neighbors in small-group conversations. All you have to do is sign up to join, and we’ll do the conversation matching to ensure that a rich mix of diverse experiences are represented in each group.

April 13, 2019 at 1pm - 2:30pm Central Time (US & Canada)
American Islamic College (AIC)
640 W Irving Park Rd
Chicago, IL 60613
United States
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