Social Policy


To stimulate long-term community development, ISPU conducts original applied research on challenges identified by the community, with a focus on the American Muslim family, wellness, community leadership and organization building.

A family with young children sitting around a table eating breakfast

Toni Morrison once reflected that “the function, the very serious function of racism is distraction. It keeps you from doing your work. It keeps you explaining over and over again, your reason for being.” As the Muslim community is increasingly affected by external pressures imposed in a post–9/11 world, resources are understandably diverted toward combatting anti-Muslim rhetoric and racism generally and fighting for civil liberties.

Yet, day-to-day pressures continue to affect American Muslims’ ability to thrive. ISPU’s social policy research examines these day-to-day challenges, providing case studies, data, and actionable recommendations in order to catalyze community development and build capacity. By working closely with community stakeholders, ISPU ensures its research addresses the most relevant issues in the areas of family and wellness and community capacity building.

Family & Wellness

Muslim Mental Health

Bigotry can have a detrimental effect on the mental health of American Muslims. Here, ISPU has collected a number of resources on American Muslim mental health, in the hope that individuals and mental health professionals can use them to more effectively address the unique challenges that Muslims face.

Community Capacity Building

Reimagining Muslim Spaces

Through a series of case studies and briefs, the Reimagining Muslim Spaces (RMS) study aims to stimulate and support mosques to meet the diverse needs of their congregants, creating Muslim spaces that are welcoming, well governed, and hubs for hope.

American Muslims and Aging

Through multiple modes of data collection, including focus group discussions with older adults (60+), one-on-one interviews with community leaders in the metro-Detroit area, and a web-based survey, this study seeks to provide critical preliminary information concerning aging families.

Related Report


ISPU’s American Muslim Youth series looks at the unique challenges that today’s young American Muslims face, including religious literacy, online safety, drug use, and issues surrounding both convert care and race.

Marriage and Divorce

Drawing on interviews with imams, counselors, divorcees, and married individuals, this study provides an understanding of the ways in which American Muslims perceive and utilize marriage education and marital interventions.