After the tragedy at Charleston's Emanuel AME church last month, eight Black churches were burned -- three of which are confirmed cases of arson, and several are still under investigation. In the wake of inconceivable loss, 23-year-old Faatimah Knight, a young black Muslim woman, decided to respond to hate -- with love.
On July 2, she launched her project, fittingly called Respond With Love, to raise money for the burned churches.
"We must always keep in mind that the Muslim community and the Black community are not different communities," the project's LaunchGood said. "We are profoundly integrated in many ways, in our overlapping identities and in our relationship to this great and complicated country. We are connected to Black churches through our extended families, our friends and teachers, and our intertwined histories and convergent present."
The project's positive energy is paying off -- at press time, Respond With Love has raised over $94,000, which means it's almost reached its ultimate goal of raising $100,000 by July 18 at 3:45 a.m.
Respond With Love's message of intersectionality and love has propelled its incredible success. Should the project meet its goal of $100,000, "[RWL's] network of Muslim activists and organizations, including Muslim ARC, the Arab American Association of New York and Ummah Wide will handle all of the logistics for ensuring the funds get to these churches," RWL's LaunchGood said.
Faatimah's project has garnered supporters from all walks of life, even President Obama, who gave Faatimah a shout-out in a statement yesterday, after the two met each other last month at The White House's Iftar dinner.
"Following the Iftar, one of the young attendees helped spearhead an effort that raised more than $75,000 for the churches burned in the wake of the shooting at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina," the President said. "Americans of all faiths and beliefs must stand together to protect our democracy and strengthen our country as a whole."