(October 6, 2018, Baltimore, MD) – “The largest Muslim convention in the US brought 22 thousand attendees from 41 US States and over a dozen countries to Baltimore” said Al Hutchinson, President and CEO of “Visit Baltimore”.
ICNA was recognized as the best customer of the year of Baltimore city in 2018, where it has held its conventions since 2014. ICNA’s Vice President Imam Khalid Griggs accepted the award on behalf of the organization from the Mayor of Baltimore Catherine Pugh at a special event on September 25th, 2018.
The convention, held this year in March, was the 43rd annual convention by ICNA which was founded in 1968 and is observing its 50th year of formation.
According to city officials ICNA’s convention generated about $56 Million of economic activity in Baltimore. ICNA will hold the convention next year in Washington D.C. but will be back in Baltimore from 2020 to 2025.
“You came you served and held the convention despite the situation in 2015” said Mayor Pugh.
ICNA’s convention team was appreciated by Laurie Nelson-Choice, Director of Diversity National Sales, Visit Baltimore who said “It’s been a pleasure working with the entire team”.
ICNA is known for services in areas like outreach, social services and social justice. The host city gets to witness these services during the convention not just as a showcase but actual projects undertaken around the city during the convention. “What’s really important to us is the great work that ICNA does, not only meeting here, staying in our hotels and eating in our restaurants but the great community outreach, touching our communities, helping families in need, talking to some of our young folks and giving them great leadership advice. I think that’s most critical.” said Hutchinson. He added “Baltimore is in a better place because of ICNA’s presence.” ICNA Relief distributed over a thousand meals in downtown Baltimore and over 750 “Mercy Bags” to senior homes and an outreach booth at the Inner Harbor.
Imam Griggs touched upon the humble beginnings of the ICNA convention in the 70’s when he said “We have grown from have our gatherings on college campuses and staying in dorms to having 22,000 people.” He added “we are grateful that we are attracting so many people of different ethnicities, different socio-economic background. ICNA tries to reflect the divine mandate to be kind and serve humanity and serve our neighbors.”
ICNA’s convention this year attendees came from 30 different ethnicities, making it the most diverse Muslim event in the country and representing the entire spectrum of American Muslims and become an opportunity to unite the community.
Today marks the 20th anniversary of the tragic events of September 11, 2001. It serves as both a reminder of one of the most traumatizing occurrences to unfold on American soil and as a testimony to the resilience of every community living here in America.