Oral History Interview with Davine El-Amin on July 30, 2020


Oral History Interview with Davine El-Amin on July 30, 2020



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El-Amin, Davine


Madison, India; Perkins, Dr. Alisa (Research Director)


Oral history interview with Davine El-Amin conducted by India Madison on July 30, 2020. Interview written by Dr. Alisa Perkins (Research Director) and India Madison. Davine El-Amin was born on October 2, 1972 in Detroit, Michigan. She was raised in Detroit as part of a family that included both Muslim and Christian members. El-Amin has enjoyed a long and successful career as an electrician. She began working for the Ford Motor Company in 1994, where she currently remains serving as a journey-woman electrician. She has played an important role in UAW leadership over the years and teaches classes at the Center of Labor and Community Studies at the University of Michigan-Dearborn. El-Amin began her involvement with the Muslim Center Mosque and Community Center in 2008. She joined the mosque’s governing body in 2014, and currently serves as the Majalis Ashura secretary. In this capacity, she has helped oversee major fundraising efforts and also plays a significant role in coordinating the mosque’s high-capacity soup kitchen. In the interview, El-Amin discusses how she overcame challenges she confronted as a woman in traditionally male-dominated fields to excel as an electrician and in labor relations. She also examines the important contributions that the Muslim Center has made in her life and to the well-being of the community.

Date of Interview


Location of Interview

Detroit, MI (Interview conducted over Zoom)


African-American history, African-American Muslims, Al-Ikhlas Training Academy, Arabic language education, Ashura board, Atlanta, Baptist Christianity, Bean pie, Block club, Boxing, Center for Labor and Community Studies, Christianity, Christmas, Conversion to Islam, COVID-19 pandemic, Mark Crain, Dar Al-Islam, Dar Al-Rahma, Day of Dignity, Detroit, Eid, Dr. Cheryl El-Amin, Imam Abdullah Bey El-Amin, Zarinah El-Amin, Electrician, Essential worker, Food distribution, Ford Motor Company, Ford River Rouge Complex, Forgotten Harvest, Aretha Franklin, Reverend C.L. Franklin, Gleaners, Historic Masjid Wali Muhammad, Housing rehabilitation, Health Unit on Davison, HUDA Clinic, Interfaith relations, Islam, Islam in America, Islamic parochial school, Tahira Khalid, Labor relations, Lincoln Heights, Masjid Al-Haqq, Masjid Al-Mu'mineen, Michigan, Mosque governing board, Dr. Naajiah Muhammad, Muslim Center Mosque and Community Center, Nation of Islam, Neighborhood cleanup, Neighborhood revitalization, New Bethel Baptist Church, Moussa Niang, Ohio, Project Unity, Reversion to Islam, Imam Mika'il Saadiq, Badriyyah Sabree, Wayne County Treasurer Eric Sabree, Scholarship, Skilled trades, Soup kitchen, Temple No. 1, Senator Rashida Tlaib, Tariq Touré, United Autoworkers, United Autoworkers Local 600, University of Phoenix in Livonia, Volunteerism, Governor Gretchen Whitmer, Workers' rights, Catherine Ziyad


African American Studies | Africana Studies | Civic and Community Engagement | Digital Humanities | Inequality and Stratification | Islamic Studies | Nonprofit Administration and Management | Politics and Social Change | Race and Ethnicity | Religion | Urban Studies and Planning


Interview conducted online over Zoom by India Madison. Written by Dr. Alisa Perkins (Research Director) and India Madison facilitated by Dr. Alisa Perkins and Ismaeel Dhul-Quarnayn. Video Edited by: Dr. Nathan L.M. Tabor. Transcribed by: Inez Mendez and Dr. Alisa Perkins. Transcription edited by: Dr. Alisa Perkins. Metadata by: Sophia Wimberley. Metadata edited by: Dr. Alisa Perkins.



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Dream of Detroit Interviews were made possible by funding from the Pillars Grant and Whiting Foundation. Content is for educational purposes only and non-reproducible; interviews are not to be duplicated, but may be linked through ScholarWorks with appropriate attribution. Please direct any questions about copyright to scholarworks@wmich.edu.


Pillars Fund and Whiting Foundation



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Oral History Interview with Davine El-Amin on July 30, 2020