Since 2014, Muslim History Tour NYC works to preserve and retell narratives about who we are as a city, and as a nation by bringing attention to Muslims' contributions that have often gone unacknowledged, let alone recognized, by city plaques or dominant histories of the Big Apple. These stories certainly involve religious identity but are also accounts of race, immigration, and labor...of love, family, and loss...of rights denied and liberatory moments. They are ongoing.
Our collective, messy, mixed history as a city and country is incomplete when any one of us is missing. Let us search for and discover history together, so that we may build better, more accountable understandings of our past in a way that promotes a just and inclusive future!
Katie Merriman is a PhD Candidate in Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, with foci in contemporary Islam, race and religion, and the anthropology of religion. Her dissertation centers on charitable giving in American Muslim communities, at the intersection of race, class, and moral subjectivities. She has been involved in rights-based work in Arab and Muslim communities in the United States and Jordan and also lectures publicly on religious literacy and anti-racism practices.
Merriman is also a passionate amateur historian of New York City. Her father, a native of Washington Heights and NYC-related bibliophile, taught her to value the city’s museums and public spaces and read its passing centuries through architecture. She can walk blindfolded and backwards through the Bronx Zoo and Metropolitan Museum of Art and believes the Louis Armstrong House in Corona is the most underrated museum in the city.