CHICAGO—Sondra Muhammad and Parents United to Build a Future for Our Children hosted their annual Youth Day at the Nation of Islam’s National Center, with the theme “Stop the Violence, Increase the Peace.”
The daylong event started with a strong and timely spiritual message delivered by Student Minister Ishmael Muhammad, National Assistant to the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan.
During his message to the captivated audience, which included children and young adults, Student Min. Ishmael Muhammad shared a positive message of empowerment. “Wherever you are in your life, you are reaching for greatness, reaching for the stars. You’re reaching and trying to pull your life up to higher heights. That is the nature of God in the human being,” he said.
“Just as Jesus was nailed to a cross, Black folk and the Indigenous and the Native people of our planet have been nailed to European thought, European ways, European traditions, European customs,” he added.
Shortly after the spiritual message was delivered, attendees went next door to the gymnasium of Muhammad University of Islam, to participate in a talent and entertainment showcase and were also treated to food. The showcase featured youth dance teams, poetry, rap, and singing as part of the April 24 program.
Marloe Alexander was a first-time visitor to Mosque Maryam. She stated, “I thought the message was very informative and it was a different perspective. I’m still wrapping my head around everything that was said.”
Hosting the showcase after the spiritual program was Student Minister Abdul Muhammad, who is also a high school principal. “I am motivated to assist with these events to try and reach our young people, to introduce them to the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan,” he said.
Barbie Jones, owner of MBM Dance Company stated, “We’ve been performing at these events thanks to Sister Sondra for a few years before COVID. I loved everything Minister Ishmael was saying, and I’m glad my dancers were here to experience this.”
Sister Jackie X is sister and organization partner to Sister Sondra Muhammad. She stressed the need to address depression and overall mental health regarding young people.
“Many of our youth say that adults do not listen to them or give them attention, and they become depressed. Especially the last two years during the shutdown, they were stuck inside their homes, and had nothing to do, besides trying to keep up with virtual school,” stated Sister Jackie.
Sister Sondra and Sister Jackie are already planning for the next gathering. Both stressed that the event planned for 2023 will be special, and the youth will have an opportunity to express themselves.
“I want to thank everyone for attending; the parents, teachers, students, this is your home. You don’t need an invitation to come here, it’s open to the people and we’re happy to have you here,” stated Sondra Muhammad.
—Shawntell Muhammad, Contributing Writer