Rivers of Hope began with a research project.
In the summer of 2017, Sidrah Ahmad-Chan launched a research project on Islamophobic violence against Muslim women in the Greater Toronto Area.
She interviewed 21 Muslim women survivors of Islamophobic violence, and published the research results in an M.A. thesis at the University of Toronto.
The research results were put into a Toolkit.
Sidrah summarized the results of her research project in a Toolkit for the community. The Toolkit was designed and illustrated by Azza Abbaro.
In addition to a summary of the research results, the Toolkit also includes poetry and resources for survivors of Islamophobic violence.
The Rivers of Hope Toolkit was launched in Regent Park.
The Rivers of Hope Toolkit was launched on March 17, 2018 in a community centre in the Regent Park neighbourhood of Toronto. 500 copies of the Toolkit were given away. The launch also featured a panel discussion and spoken word poetry performances.
At the launch, many community members expressed that they wanted to see action taken on the problem of Islamophobia in schools.
We formed the Rivers of Hope Collective and created a workshop for High Schools.
In the summer of 2018, Sidrah, Aima Warriach, and Naeema Hassan came together to form the Rivers of Hope Collective. We received funding from Inspirit Foundation to create an anti-Islamophobia workshop for High Schools.
Since then, the Collective has grown, bringing in new team members. We have hosted workshops across the Toronto region and beyond, reaching hundreds of students and community members.
In June 2020, Rivers of Hope received a 3-year grant from Trillium Foundation to expand our work.