Community competition held to help prevent Islamophobia in Indianapolis

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A community competition is underway to help prevent Islamophobia across Indianapolis.

Officials will hand out $1,000 grants to 10 individuals or groups who come up with the best idea on how to prevent anti-Muslim prejudice in the community.

Projects can include performance, social media, debate, dialogue, the production of objects, sound, consciousness-raising, teaching, websites and so on.

The project is being spearheaded by Edward Curtis at IUPUI, who based it off a competition that took place to raise awareness about pollution in the river around Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

“Since 2015, we’re seeing a wave of anti-Muslim attacks, so it’s particularly important right now to stop those attacks,” said Curtis, Millennium Chair of the Liberal Arts at IUPUI. “I’m trying to find a creative way of making this country a better place to be for all of its people, whether they’re Muslim or not.”

All individuals who are not currently employed by or enrolled at IUPUI are eligible to apply. Applicants must submit three to four-page, double-spaced, carefully crafted proposals that outline (1) what the project is, (2) who will be involved, (3) who the audiences will be, (4) how the project will be accomplished, (5) where it will take place, (6) how it will be marketed, and (7) why it is likely to reduce anti-Muslim prejudice and discrimination. A timeline should be included.

“Rather than telling people what we should do to prevent anti-Muslim attacks, I wanted to ask people what we should do,” said Curtis. “I think that artists, people who perform, people who dance, people who write poetry and essays, sometimes they come up with art that reaches us at such a deep and emotional level that it can really challenge our very sense of who we are and who we want to be and that’s the kind of deep questioning we need to challenge anti-Muslim prejudice.”

Proposals are due by Sept. 1, with notification of awards expected by Sept. 15. All projects must be implemented sometime between Oct. 1 and May 1. Inquiries and/or final proposals can be sent to Prof. Curtis, Proposals must be sent as a Microsoft Word file or PDF attachment to an email. The email must include the applicant’s address and phone number.

Half of the award will be payable immediately, with the other half contingent upon completion of the project.