22nd Annual “Putting the Neighbor Back in the Hood” 

by Imam Fajri Ansari

On Saturday August 4th Masjid Nu’Man hosted its 22nd Annual “Putting The Neighbor Back in The Hood” Community Walk and Carnival.

For nearly three decades Masjid Nu’Man has invested in servicing the community at large along the Fillmore Ave corridor on the East side of Buffalo. The concept of putting the “Neighbor” back in the hood started to combat the concept that living in the “Hood” experiencing thug life, violence, drugs, debris and disrespect was a badge of honor?! Being a “good neighbor” not only comply with Islamic and religious principles, it also reflect the motto of the City of Buffalo.

Prior to our first walk Imam W. Deen Mohammed the son of The Honorable Elijah and Clara Mohammed challenged all those who supported his leadership to “Build Model Communities.” This effort was to be a collaboration not only amongst Muslims but to work with all good people who are stakeholders in the community. The goal was to work with neighbors, block clubs, business, elected officials, police and fire departments, as well as religious and community based organizations.
Putting the Neighbor back in the Hood promotes family life and respect for parents.

The African American community has a historical legacy of neighbors looking out for one another that was more than the slogan “It takes a village to raise a child.” Many of those traditional values of “respecting all adults, respecting all mothers, taking care of your own property, putting in a full hard day’s work to provide for your family” are being challenged. The feeling of entitlement and the lack of self-responsibility is counterproductive to “Building Model Communities.”

We value and congratulate all the families and block clubs who are holding on to the legacy and values by keep their block and neighborhood intact.

We feel that it’s important that houses of worship interact and get to know the neighbors in their community where they are located. Most religious organizations has the ability to advocate and facilitate valuable information to its neighbors concerning education, health, employment opportunities and or how to work with the City to address neighborhood concerns and issues.

The community showed up and shared I being good neighbors to create healthy environments to grow cultivate future generations to walk with the group . The walk commenced at MLK Park rose garden and proceeded down Fillmore to Box Avenue.