Leviticus 25:35-37

“If any of your fellow Israelites become poor and are unable to support themselves among you, help them as you would a foreigner and stranger, so they can continue to live among you. Do not take interest or any profit from them, but fear your God, so that they may continue to live among you. You must not lend them money at interest or sell them food at a profit.”

This scripture is profound and quite frankly, hours of sermons could be preached on this alone. Caring for our neighbor, the poor, the foreigner and the stranger are tenets of our faith. Beyond what one would call charitable considerations – like the term “help them” used here, justice is at the heart of the last two texts. We are called to put the needs of others above our own desire to make a “profit.”

What would our country and state look like if that was the first consideration… making sure that everyone is able to care for themselves and their families and then we could think about the extra or leftovers? I’m convinced that if we shifted our focus to putting people first, we – even those whose main objective is to make money – would make sure that there were no poor among us, that everyone could support themselves, so that those individuals could get to the next step of “money making”.

It is the backwards prioritization of profit over people that has resulted in our horrendous racial and economic disparities. Pope Francis, argues that “trickle-down” economics places a “crude and naive trust in those wielding economic power.” It is time we put our trust back in God, the one who calls us to lend without interest and not sell at a profit to those who are in need.

Qu’ran Reflection

“Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, ‘If one gives in charity what equals one date-fruit from the honestly earned money and Allah accepts only the honestly earned money—Allah takes it in His right (hand) and then enlarges its reward for that person (who has given it), as anyone of you brings up his baby horse, so much that it becomes as big as a mountain.’”

One of the five pillars of Islam is Zakat, mandatory wealth-based almsgiving. We are taught that when we, as believers, pay our fair share to help those around us, we will not decline in wealth. For even the smallest of date-fruit given will grow in reward at the hand of Allah.

When we are told to pay our fair share, we must look at it through a positive mindset. Allah has promised us that we will be rewarded when we give. To begin with, the very wealth that we have accumulated belongs to Allah, and it was given to us by Him and Him alone. As Muslims, we are commanded to share our wealth to ensure an equal distribution of wealth among the community based on justice.

When we give and pay our fair share, we are gaining so much through the rewards of Allah. Our faith aligns so perfectly with measures that ensure that we all are paying our fair share. The wealth must be justly distributed amongst the people. As Muslims, we understand that Zakat is one of the foundational aspects of our faith; thus, we are compelled to create a caring economy where every one of us pays our fair share.

Capitol Updates

Press Conference: Universal Affordability Childcare Bill
Today, Mar. 2, at 12:30PM, Education Minnesota and ISAIAH will be holding a press conference on the Universal Affordability Bill HF1278 with Minnesota House Representatives Dave Pinto and Liz Boldon. This bill paints the big vision of the kind of childcare system we need to build so that every family–no matter what they look like or what’s in their wallets–has access to the care they need and that all early childhood teachers make a living wage. Tune in to our Facebook page Tuesday, 3/2 at 12:30PM to watch the press conference live.

Paid Family and Medical Leave Hearing in House State Gov Finance Committee
Our next PFML hearing will be Today Tuesday Mar. 2 from 5:00-6:30pm. The focus will be on state employees and technical implementation of PFML.

Every Monday through end of legislative session, we give short updates about what’s happening at the Capitol, and more importantly, how you can shape it. This happens through a weekly email called The Show Up. It will give you a clear path on how you can “Show Up” and how you can be the most engaged, effective and powerful in making more possible for your family, community, and state.

Paid Family and Medical Leave

Every Minnesotan deserves time to care for their loved ones regardless of race, place, or income level. Tuesday morning, testifiers from across the state shared their stories with the #MNLeg at the first #PaidLeaveMN hearing:

“Caring for others and receiving care is a key component of living a quality life. For many Minnesotans, it’s not that simple. Too often people are left with an impossible choice of taking care of a child or keeping their job.”

Democracy For All

Throughout our history, we have fought to expand the rights to have our voices heard from working class whites, to Black men and to women. At every turn, a handful of wealthy and powerful people have tried to deny the promise of equal rights and equal say—dividing us against each other.

On Tuesday, the Minnesota House heard bold restorative leadership and testimony supporting steps toward a dignified and thriving democracy for ALL Minnesotans. By ensuring that people have their right to vote respected, no matter what they look like, their gender, or whether they have served time, we can move forward to make this a place where democracy includes every American, no exceptions.

Revenue Day of Action

The governor has set a bold budget that means we can invest in education, healthcare, housing, and childcare for all Minnesotans. On Thursday, over 1,300 Minnesotans across race, place, creed, and organization came together to meet with legislators and urged them to lead boldly and support the governor’s budget. The richest have done very well through this pandemic while working families are hurting. It’s time to transform our economy and invest our collective resources in collective solutions to #FundOurFutures!

Building Democracy

This week, over 250 leaders across race, place, and creed gathered at issue briefings to build power around climate action, inclusive democracy, and moral budgeting. THIS is democracy in action!

Housing: A Human Right

A place to call home is a human need we all share. Wednesday, ISAIAH and Young Adult Coalition leaders testified in support of the Minneapolis Rent Control Charter Amendments so that regardless of what we look like or have in our wallets, we are treated with dignity and allowed stability. #WhoCaresForUs

Upcoming Race Class Narrative Trainings

A place to call home is a human need we all share. Wednesday, ISAIAH and Young Adult Coalition leaders testified in support of the Minneapolis Rent Control Charter Amendments so that regardless of what we look like or have in our wallets, we are treated with dignity and allowed stability. #WhoCaresForUs

We Make MN Deliver Black Dreams Panel & Book Discussion

Join Black Women Rising, ISAIAH and Author of “First & Only: A Black Women’s Guide to Thriving at work and in life”, in a conversation about the impact Black women have on the trajectory of our communities, state and country. We’ll discuss Farmer’s book, digging into the multifaceted ways Black women lead in society the work place – leveraging boldness and audacity – and the ways we can and are making more possible in public and political spaces.