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About Us

Cultivating Unity, Empowering Communities:

Our Story at Ojala Foundation

Our Story

Ojala Foundation stands as a beacon for Latino Muslims in Chicago, embarking on a continuous journey of growth and empowerment. The declaration of “la Ilaha Il Allah, Muhammad Rasul Allah” is found not only at the root of the organization but also in the founders’ hearts. The allure of Islam’s message – the simplicity of one God, the significance of messengers and prophets from Adam to Jesus, and the emphasis on family and personal values – resonated deeply within the Latino community.

Two decades ago, glaringly emergent needs for Latino Muslims arose, from accessible Spanish literature and scripture, to a community gathering space. Nothing truly encompassed shared experiences, and representation was next to nonexistent. At this point in time, the vision of a united Latino Muslim community within the larger Muslim community was a distant hope entangled with the longing for cultural ties amongst religious practice.

Our story began within the seeds of that hope. Bridging the gap meant gathering and offering support to the burgeoning number of Latino Muslims. A connected community commenced our growth, including imparting Islamic teachings through relatable life experiences and creating welcoming spaces. Classes, potlucks, and Eid celebrations were infused with Latino tradition and culture, forging powerful bonds between community members. ‘As-salamu alaikum’ became more than a greeting; it became a symbol of inclusion and understanding, one that continues to strengthen.

Despite challenges, setbacks, and restarts, our perseverance led us to establish the Ojala Foundation as a nonprofit organization in 2018. Our focus remains steadfast on education, support for new Muslims, fostering connections between the Latino and Muslim communities, and engaging in impactful community outreach. We aim to nurture youth leadership through action-based initiatives while aspiring to establish a permanent center – a home for our collective efforts.

Our journey continues, and the narrative of Ojala Foundation flourishes from every event and member participation. Stay connected as we strive to weave stronger bonds and create lasting impact, Insha’Allah.

Ojala Foundation, a nonprofit organization, prides itself on the bridges it builds between the Muslim and Latino communities, while also establishing and maintaining community spaces at the intersectionality of those identities. Inaugurated by Latino Muslims, we always endeavor to have an open and welcoming community, one united under Islamic principles and education, and driving a positive force for our members and through our networks.

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