by Lisa Robinson, News Anchor, I-Team Reporter
After the Freddie Gray uprising in 2015, organizers of the Conference for Peace wanted to do something for the community, so they agreed to keep the conference in Baltimore for a few more years and conduct community outreach.
“Every year, they do service to all of the people here in Baltimore — Muslim or non-Muslim, it does not matter. They are all our human family,” said Karim Amin with the Muslim Social Services Agency.
Attendees gave out more than 1,000 blessing bags to the homeless people around the city Friday.
“We have some granola bars, we also have some cleaning supplies. A lot of times, when people are on the street, they want to keep up their hygiene as well, just like anyone else, so we want to make sure to provide hygiene (products) as well,” Amin said.
“It’s very important to give back to the community, but to do it in a respectful way and come together as human beings,” said Sihrish Noureen, a volunteer.
One of the major sponsors of the convention is ICNA Relief USA, a national disaster-relief organization. Its members will be back on the streets of Baltimore on Saturday.
“Saturday, we will be giving out food to the hungry. We have 1,000 hot meals we will be distributing in partnership with the Islamic Society of Baltimore,” said Haris Qudsi, with ICNA Relief Maryland.
Organizations including the Council on American-Islamic Relations hope to get a dialogue going.
“We are able to show them that they are not alone, and there are a lot of things they can do to reach out to their communities and create a space where it’s safe to practice their religion,” said Jinan Shbat, with CAIR.
The conference is open to the public and it runs through Sunday.