Shortly after September 11th, 2001, Ani Zonneveld, a Malaysian-born singer-songwriter, released a pop album. Ani is a lifelong Muslim, but several American Muslim retailers and organizations refused to promote the album release. The problem? Ani is also a woman, and according to traditional Muslim beliefs, only men are permitted to sing publicly. Ani was outraged by the situation. “I found it to be completely unacceptable,” she says. “There have been centuries of Muslim women teachers, leaders, scholars, poets, and singers, and yet, the woman’s voice within the Muslim community was being silenced even here within America.”
Ani was certain she wasn’t alone in her frustration with the traditional Muslim community. “I knew from statistics that only 25% of Muslims attended mosque. I knew there were a lot of Muslims that were disenfranchised with the traditional mosque, but I didn’t know why they were or where they were. I thought: there’ve got to be Muslim Americans like me who are inclusive in nature, and in favor of gender equality and freedom of artistic expression. I knew they were out there, so it was just a matter of ‘someone’s gotta start this’—so I did.” On January 6, 2006, Ani founded the Muslims for Progressive Values Meetup in Los Angeles.
There’s a reason why people are turning to Meetups to bring their resolutions to life.
Making resolutions is easy. Keeping them is hard.
Luckily, you’re not alone. In the first week of January, 3,000 Meetup groups started and 330,000 people joined new Meetups to tackle their resolutions together.
Whatever you want to do in 2015, find a Meetup to keep you on track.
*Sometimes the best Meetup is the one you start.* Find the people who can help you keep your resolutions.
This MLK Day, we’re excited to celebrate the first, of what we hope to be many, Meetups for #MeetupMonday. Here at Meetup HQ, we witness the power of local communities every day. Meeting up helps people change their lives for the better in ways both big and small. Meetup groups become essential communities that help members, organizers, and neighborhoods thrive.
In recent months our nation’s need for community has become clearer than ever. We want to help ensure every American can be part of a strong community that will let their voice be heard. That’s why we’ve launched #MeetupMonday in partnership with like-minded organizations across the nation—to bring people together, and spark conversations around the struggles we face today, and our dreams for tomorrow.
Today, in towns and cities across America, in living rooms and coffee shops, neighbors, friends and strangers will sit down together to share those dreams.
Join the conversation today, in person and on social media, using the #MeetupMonday hashtag. Share your dreams with the hashtag #MyDream. Getting involved in person is free and easy—just head to meetup.com/monday to join or start a Meetup near you.
Let’s get this conversation started.