A picture of the Coming Together Committee and distinguished guests at the press conference held on January 11, 2018.

Coming Together Kickoff on Jan. 28 Celebrates Muslim-American CultureS


SKOKIE & NILES TOWNSHIP, IL—is one of the most diverse communities in the country, and for the past eight years the local group ‘Coming Together’ has celebrated the multitude of cultures that call Skokie and its neighboring communities of Morton Grove, Lincolnwood and Niles, home.
Supported by Niles Township Government and institutions throughout Skokie, Morton Grove, Lincolnwood and Niles, the goal of Coming Together is to study a different culture each year over a three month period, with an emphasis on literacy.

The 2018 campaign will celebrate Muslim-American cultures and the Muslim residents in Niles Township who represent a wide variety of cultural backgrounds. Coming Together kickoff festivities will be held on Sunday, January 28; 12 p.m.: refreshments, art demonstrations, art gallery; 1 p.m.: program in auditorium; at Niles West High School, 5701 W. Oakton St. in Skokie. The event is free and open to the public.

Emcee for this year’s kickoff is NBC 5’s Ash-har Quraishi, an award-winning television journalist, producer and filmmaker with more than 20 years of international and investigative experience. Before joining NBC 5, Quraishi was Chief Midwest Correspondent for Al Jazeera America and had previously served as a CNN international correspondent and bureau chief.

This year’s Coming Together programming will have more than 50 different activities taking place in the high schools, elementary schools, area libraries, Oakton Community College, Village of Skokie, local restaurants, park districts, North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, the Illinois Holocaust Museum, the Holiday Inn North Shore in Skokie and other locations throughout Niles Township.
Participants will learn about Muslim contributions to the fields of science, literature, the arts, education and much more.

In addition, Township libraries have identified several books that will help develop a deeper understanding of the Muslim culture. “By reading and discussing these books together, we, as a community, are better able to understand each other,” explains Coming Together Chairperson Susan Van Dusen.

“Cultures are chosen based upon their active imprint in the Township,” she adds. “In past years, Coming Together has celebrated Asian-Indians, Filipinos, Greeks, Assyrians, Koreans, Chinese, “Voices of Race”, and Latinos/Hispanics.”

Coming Together is comprised of volunteers who form a large committee that meets once a month, as well as smaller committees that address specific areas of interest, working diligently to put together a variety of programs.

For a complete list of programs, events, activities and for information on the books which will be featured for Coming Together 2018, please visit www.comingtogether.in.

Rosamin Bhanpuri