NURAH W. AMAT’ULLAH, Founder and Executive Director of The Muslim Women’s Institute for Research and Development, is a program developer who focuses on faith-based community development initiatives. A graduate of the Islamic Chaplaincy Program at Hartford Seminary, Ms. Amat’ullah ministers to pastoral care needs in the urban community. Over the years her programs have been aimed at building capacity among poor and immigrant communities in the Bronx. Clients served by the programs are predominantly new immigrants with transitional needs that are culturally specific. Ms. Amat’ullah current serves as an Archival Librarian at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. She is actively involved in a number of inter-faith and NGO organizations, including Women in Religious Leadership, New York Disaster Chaplaincy Services, Muslim Consultative Network, Religions for Peace-USA and Auburn Theological Seminary Women’s Multi-faith Committee.
The Muslim Women’s Institute for Research and Development (MWIRD) is a faith-based, community service organization focused on the following areas: hunger relief, health education, transitional needs of new immigrants and inter-faith work.
Founded in 1997, the organization initially began by opening and operating a food pantry at the Mount Hope Mosque, in the Bronx, distributing halal food to a needy population of immigrants, primarily West Africans, most of whom are Muslims. Interactions with the pantry’s clientele, who were primarily women, led to an awareness on the part of the pantry’s founder of their transitional needs, and this understanding was the catalyst for development and establishing services to low-income families, Muslims and others in the Bronx. Currently MWIRD operates a food pantry in the Parkchester section of the Bronx, at 2044 Benedict Avenue, in partnership with the African Islamic Center. Current projects include: Public Benefits Outreach, Immigrant Women’s Health, HIV/AIDS Education and Referral Services, and Youth Service Learning - working with new immigrant youth.
The Institute works collaboratively with borough, city, and state agencies, as well as nonprofit and grassroots organizations. As a result of these efforts, MWIRD is a resource for Bronx Muslims, as well as non-Muslims, seeking assistance in various areas of life. We offer referrals to literacy programs, intervene in housing-related issues, engage parents with the public schools, help clients understand immigration and medical documents, and assists in other areas on a case-by-case basis.
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