CHICAGO (CBS) — At a time of international turmoil and racial tensions, American Muslims were preparing to hold their annual convention in Chicago on Labor Day weekend.

The 52nd Annual Convention of the Islamic Society of North America was scheduled for Sept. 4 to Sept. 7 at the Donald Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont.

“It’s an opportunity for Muslims to see what other Muslims are doing. It’s an opportunity for people of other faiths, who want to learn about Muslims and Islam to come and learn,” ISNA Secretary General Hazem Bata said.

Hind Makki, an interfaith educator who is on the convention’s programming committee, said it’s a time for Muslims to connect with each other, and with non-Muslims who often only hear about Islam from people outside the faith.

“I think it’s time for us to be able to tell our stories, and what you see now, especially, millennials are doing that. There’s an explosion of people telling their own stories – on the Internet, online, but that also has been seeping out into mainstream media,” she said.

The convention will feature roundtable discussions designed to also plan actions.

“We’ll be focusing on police brutality in one. We’ll be focusing on mosque leadership and mosque inclusion in another. We’ll be focusing on humanitarian issues around the world,” Makki said.

Bata said the group was especially moved by the deadly shooting spree at an historic African-American church in Charleston, South Carolina.

“One of the things that we pride ourselves on, tremendously, is that an injustice anywhere is a threat to everyone,”

That’s a message that will be carried throughout the convention.

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