The Davao leg of the Salaam Regional Workshops took place on September 8-9, 2018 at Cicada Hills, Davao-Bukidnon Road. Members of the Ateneo de Davao University’s Salam Organization, the Ateneo Islamic Studies Student Association, the Inter-School Muslim Organization, and students of AdDU Mass Communication came together under the banner of Generation MPower: #MPowering Youth in Social Action.
The creation of safe spaces is especially important to Muslim students, especially when the narratives surrounding young Moro leaders and of Mindanao in the national media lean towards violent extremism. Because of that, there is a need to empower them to provide positive narratives and campaign for mainstream acceptance.
Our workshops delved into both inspirational and technical instruction. Art therapy was used as a means to have these young leaders create images that reflected their perception of Mindanao; the dignity of the self and the bridging of the ideal person was discussed, and talks on social media campaigning and engagement were tackled during this two-day activity.
Their final output included the pitching of each groups’ social media campaigns, focusing on a specific issue close to their hearts. The Salam Organization chose to tackle Islamophobia and casual racism with their “SCRAM: Stop Casual Racism Against Muslims” campaign.
ISMO chose to discuss the inner conflict caused by tribalism in their organization aptly named TRYBALISMO. The Mass Communication students proposed “Be InBOLved”, a social media campaign to raise awareness for the upcoming Bangsamoro Organic Law. Lastly, the AISSA students chose to tackle the misconceptions regarding their course through “MBrace to Erase.”
With this experience and camaraderie among the participants, we hope to have imbibed a sense of self-confidence and assurance in their activities. Moving forward, we are looking at mobilizing these youth to promote a better Bangsamoro society.