Every decade brings a new set of challenges for American Muslim youth. Our responsibility is to meet their needs by understanding the strengths and challenges of growing up Muslim in America. In order to make a difference, we must center their voices and ensure their sense of belonging and ownership within our Muslim communities and mosques. iBelong is a three-year national pilot intervention aiming to increase American Muslim belonging in their mosques. We invite you to explore this page and follow along with our progress!
Utilizing the Positive Youth Development (PYD) sciences, the iBelong project includes three overarching phases to be carried out over three years (Jan 2021-Dec 2023).
The iBelong project will complete a needs assessment in six representative communities across the nation, develop and host interactive workshops at each community, and create content to disseminate findings and recommendations to different audiences.
Please click each phase to learn more.
Data from open-ended questions included in a national survey was assessed and used to understand the Muslim young adult’s sense of belonging in Mosques. The insight gained from this analysis will also guide the development of the focused interview questionnaire.
– Minimum 200 young adult Muslims (between the ages of 18 and 29)
– Diverse sampling strategy
Our team will host webinars in each of the six mosques to confirm the results from our survey research findings are applicable to this community and provide an opportunity for community input.
The webinar will present and facilitate a community discussion reviewing:
– Most updated research on American Muslim youth needs within the masjid
– Analyzed results from the survey
– Community perspective/response to data
– Minimum 150 Community Members (30 individuals per community)
– Adolescents, Parents, Mosque leadership, Community Workers
The research team will conduct individual interviews (via Zoom) with members of the representative community to identify current barriers and opportunities for increasing a sense of belonging in mosques.
– 54 community members (9 individuals per community)
– Teens, Parents, Mentors/mosque leadership
The first phase of the project focuses on collecting data and identifying current opportunities and barriers to belonging in the masjid by engaging all stakeholders about their experiences. The estimated total sample size of this phase is 400 participants.
Three workshops Two days
Youth only workshops
Goal: Ability to voice needs and advocate for change
Adult only workshops
Goal: Knowledge of Positive Youth Development, ability to actively listen and empower youth
Youth + Adult joint workshops
Goal: Ability to use skills to facilitate strength-based change
The iBelong team will also lead the community in a discussion of the findings from the national survey and evaluate the effectiveness of the intervention using pre and post evaluations.
The second phase of the project aims to provide youth empowerment skills to adolescents and adults and facilitate positive connections between adolescents and adults. The intervention will be in the format of three workshops presented in-person to the communities over two days. A component of the workshops will also present the findings from the national survey to our community partners.
– Conference Presentations and Publications
– Final Report
The final phase of the project will be focused on creating and disseminating findings from the project in a manner easily interpretable by the intended audience. Various formats of the findings will be created for the project’s diverse range of stakeholders: youth, parents, mosque leadership, the broader Muslim community, the Muslim academic community, and the broader scientific community.
Meet the team
Please click on the team member’s image to read their bio.