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Call for Proposals: Muslim Philanthropy in Latin America & the Latinx U.S.

Colloquium to be held online, December 7-8, 2022

While the literatures on Muslim philanthropy and on Latinx philanthropy are continuously expanding, they lack perspectives on how Latinx Muslims and Muslims in Latin America are part of a wider matrix of generosity, volunteering, and mutual aid within, and beyond, both constituencies. On the one hand, Muslims give to organizations and participate in philanthropic activism at local, national, and global levels, hoping to make the world a better place in accordance with Islam. On the other hand, people who identify as Latinx or who live in Latin America have historically engaged in acts of solidarity and mutual assistance among vulnerable populations, addressing issues related to poverty, education, health, and culture.

This colloquium and the resulting special edition of the Journal on Muslim Philanthropy and Civil Society (Indiana University Press) will help pave the way to move research on the intersections between Muslim and Latinx philanthropy further.

This colloquium invites abstracts for presentations based on original academic research that speak to how Muslims in Latin America and Latinx Muslims in the U.S. are engaging in a wide range of philanthropic activities and activism to address what they see as critical issues facing the world and which they view as aligned with their faith.

Presentations on the broad scope of Muslim philanthropy and civil society, including nonprofit, philanthropic, and voluntary action, are welcome. All the constituent terms — “Muslim,” “philanthropy,” “Latinx,” and “Latin America” — are defined broadly and open for discussion and interpretation. We invite original, cutting-edge research from multiple disciplines to shed light on the dynamic range of philanthropic activity among Muslims in Latin America and Latinx Muslims in the U.S., which may include civic engagement, institution building, activism, and more.

Potential presentations could address a variety of questions or points related to the above themes, including:

  • What philanthropic activities are undertaken by Muslims in Latin America? By Latinx Muslims in the U.S.?

  • What themes, issues, or people groups are Muslims focusing on and what kinds of institutions and organizations are they creating (e.g., hospitals, nonprofit newspapers and publications, disaster relief programs, refugee and migrant aid, etc.)?

  • At what levels is this philanthropic activity carried out on: the local, national, regional, or trans- national/regional?

  • What partnerships —intrafaith, interfaith, or between Muslims and other actors in civil society — are being created through shared philanthropic action? At what levels are these partnerships engaged: the local, national, regional, or trans- national/regional?

  • Does dawah count as philanthropy? Does philanthropy count as dawah? How are these terms used and applied among Muslims in Latin America or Latinx Muslims in the U.S.?

  • How do Muslims in the Latinx U.S. and in Latin America mix, combine, or remix classic notions of giving, charity, and aid from both Latinx and Islamic cultures and histories?

  • How are concepts like zakat/fitrana, sadaqa, and waqf interpreted and applied in Latin America or by Latinx Muslims in the U.S.? Are there any accents or emphases that are unique to, or particularly pronounced among, Latinx Muslims or Muslims in the region?

Abstracts of 250-300 words should be sent to no later than October 1, 2022.

Those accepted will be notified by October 15, 2022, with the offer of a $250 honorarium for participation in the colloquium and for presentations delivered online between December 7-8, 2022.

Questions, comments, or other queries can be made to Dr. Ken Chitwood at

This colloquium is being supported by the Latin America and Caribbean Islamic Studies Newsletter and its associated network (LACISA), with funding from the Muslim Philanthropy Initiative (MPI), part of the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, Indiana (IUPUI).

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