Screening, Discussion Set on U.S. Muslim Students

See Fordson: Faith, Fasting, Football free as part of panel on acceptance

A free event featuring a screening of the award-winning film Fordson: Faith, Fasting, Football, has been scheduled for Monday, April 11, at Kofman Auditorium. The forum titled “Muslim Students in America” is hosted by the Alameda Unified School District (AUSD) and the city’s Social Service Human Relations Board (SSHRB). Doors will open at 6:30 p.m., and the program will begin at 7 p.m. 

The documentary follows a football team from Dearborn, Mich. as it prepares for its cross-town rivalry game during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. The film shows how the football team and Fordson High School, which are composed primarily of Muslim students, work to both maintain their Islamic faith and traditions and be a part of mainstream America. 

After the screening, Gene Kahane, an English teacher at Encinal High School, will lead a panel discussion about the movie. Panel members will include 
several Muslim students from AUSD, as well as Sameena Usman, government relations coordinator with the Council on American-Islamic Relations, which is the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization. The panel will also take questions from the audience. 

The forum is part of the “Everyone Belongs Here” campaign in Alameda, which advocates for accepting people of all races, sexual orientations, faiths, gender identities, ethnicities and abilities. 

“We are excited to present this program in support of our Muslim families and the ideal of safety, inclusion, and diversity,” said Superintendent Sean McPhetridge. “Everyone truly does belong here in AUSD and our larger community. Events like this help to underscore and illuminate this concept.” 

Adds SSHRB President Doug Biggs, “This is an important movie to see and an important discussion to have. At a time of rising tension around who belongs and doesn’t belong in America, this kind of gathering helps communities find common ground and express their support for all their members.” 

The Alameda Collaborative for Children, Youth and their Families is co-sponsoring the event. Questions about the event can be directed to Jim Franz, city of Alameda Economic Development Department, at 747-6883.