Team

Staff

Margari Aziza Hill is an adjunct professor, blogger, editor, and freelance writer with articles published in How We Fight White Supremacy (2019) Time, Huffington Post, Al Jazeera English, Islamic Monthly, and MuslimMatters. She has five years full-time experience working full-time in community organizations, and five years experience in administration and technical writing in Silicon Valley small businesses and startups. She has over 15 years teaching experience at various capacities including substitute teacher, instructor, curriculum design, school policy, teacher training, as well as teaching assistant and teaching fellow. She taught Writing and Literature at Al-Aqsa Islamic Academy for two years, developed instructed an Art and Literacy class for Clara Muhammad Summer Camp and worked as a Lead Teacher and Curriculum Developer at United Muslim Masjid Summer Madrasa. Her fellowships in organizing, non-profit management, and policy include Bend the Arc’s Community Organizing Residency, Women’s Policy Institute County Fellowship, PICO National Leadership training and, Next Generation Leaders of Color-Inland Region.

She earned her bachelor’s degree in History from Santa Clara University in 2003 and master’s in History of the Middle East and Islamic Africa from Stanford University in 2006. Her research includes colonial perceptions mixed-raced identities in Northern Nigeria, anti-colonial resistance among West Africans in Sudan during the early 20th century, transformations in Islamic learning in Northern Nigeria, and International student programs at Al-Azhar and Cairo University.  She has given talks and lectures in various universities and community centers throughout the country.

Born and raised in Los Angeles, California, Kenyatta Bakeer has demonstrated a life-long commitment to inner-city education institutions, community-based non-profits, and the local Muslim community. In her 28 years in Education, Kenyatta has been a teacher, director, principal, professor, and consultant to Early Childhood Education centers. She has a BA degree in Child Development and a MA in Early Childhood Education. She has helped open several schools, including her preschool and Islah Academy, a Muslim school that serves South Central LA. She also helped establish a Charter school in South Central LA, which is housed at Bilal Islamic's campus. She is an Adjunct Child Development Professor for the Los Angeles Community College District and MuslimARC Senior Trainer. Kenyatta has been involved in Black Lives Matter and a member since 2015. With Black Lives Matter, she has done several panel discussions and has been invited as a guest speaker at numerous rallies and protests in Southern California. Her commitment to social change was shaped by her activist parents who embraced Islam through the Nation of Islam in 1960's and eight siblings who are active in the arts and social change. 

Kenyatta received The Hajjah Project: Activism Award in April 2018 and was featured as CAIR-LA’S SoCal Muslim of the week. She is a producer for the comedy film “Muslimah's Guide to Marriage” (2016)  Film and is a Muslim ARC Board member and trainer. Kenyatta has given talks at vigils, rallies, and protests, including Nabra Hasaneen vigil, Islah LA and  Black Lives Matter protests. As an active Black Lives Matter member, she participated in the 2015 Black Lives Matter Los Angeles City Hall encampment to bring justice to Redel Jones, marches, which lasted 58 days. For Kenyatta’s activism and expert opinion on education, the Muslim community, and Black Lives matter, she has been featured in the Daily News Newspaper, Sentinel Newspaper, and Los Angeles television news.

Shams Hamid is a current senior at Virginia Commonwealth University with a major in Psychology and a minor in African American Studies. She has experience working with nonprofits such as the YWCA National Capitol Area and Your Girl For Good. She hopes to use her degree to aid marginalized communities through organizing and education.

Board of Directors

Imam Johari Abdul-Malik  Government Relations, Muslim Alliance of North America and Religious Advisor, Soulful Muslims Inc

Imam Johari Abdul-Malik has served as the Director of Outreach at the Dar Al Hijrah Islamic Center, the first Muslim Chaplain at Howard University (HU) and is the former Head of the National Association of Muslim Chaplains in Higher Education. The imam has also served as the chair of government relations for the Muslim Alliance in North America (MANA) and was the founding President of the Muslim Advocacy Commission of Washington, DC.  He continues to serve on the board of the Interfaith Conference of Metropolitan Washington, one of the nations first organisations of its kind with over 11 faith traditions.

From an Episcopal choir boy-who visited the deep southern Pentecostal holiness church during his summer vacations as youth-until at confirmation the teachings of the Ten Commandments presented to him contradictions with the concept of the Trinity and the Oneness of God (Tawheed). In high school he searched for spirituality in Taoism, Asian spirituality.

In his native Brooklyn community his mother kept the family busy with community activism. In College he became a Black activist, musician, practiced transcendental mediation (TM) and vegetarianism. In Graduate school, Allah showed him the light of Islam. He served as the President of MSA at Howard University and later the University’s first Muslim Chaplain.

Known nationally for his fundraising efforts for masjids, schools and relief and support organizations.  Imam Johari and along with Rev. Graylan Hagler started the Ramadan Feed-the-Needy Program in Washington, DC feeding over 100 hundred homeless women of all faiths nightly during the holy month of fasting.

He Lectures on a variety of subjects to motivate the Muslim community and the community at large to better themselves and their world..

African-American born (mother from Northern Louisiana and father from Barbados, West Indies) and raised in Brooklyn, NY. Educated at Howard University with a BS Chemistry and a MS Genetics and Human Genetics. Completed Clinical Post Graduate Training Program in Bioethics at Georgetown University Kennedy Center for Ethics.  Doctoral work in Bioethics/Genetics.

He has studied at Hartford Seminary and took his CPE certification from the Jewish Theological Seminary, NYC.

Ahmed Alawami is an Accounting and Finance Professional and a licensed CPA based in Southern California. He currently is a Senior Financial Reporting Analyst at Latham & Watkins LLP, one of the world’s leading law firms, where he’s a member of a new team supporting the firm’s Statutory Reporting needs, liaising with the firm’s tax team and ensuring the global offices of the firm are adhering to local financial reporting regulatory requirements. Previously, Ahmed worked as an Accounting Manager at Signature Analytics LLC, where he led teams working on accounting and finance consulting and advisory projects for small and midsize enterprises. Ahmed started his accounting and finance career as a dual-track Assurance Associate in PwC’s Detroit office, primarily serving the financial and risk assurance needs of SEC registrants in the greater Michigan market and working in teams to perform audit work on both the financials and information technology of PwC’s clients. Ahmed is an alumni of the University of Michigan where he received his Bachelor of Business Administration (’10), Master of Accounting (’11), and Master of Public Policy degrees (’15), and where he worked as a Lecturer in The Program on Intergroup Relations and the Center for Global and Intercultural Study teaching classes on social identity, intergroup relations, and intercultural dialogue.

Osama Abdul-Salaam is a Board Member, Officer, and Education Chair for Center DC, a Muslim 3rd space in the D.C.-Maryland-Virginia metro area that focuses on helping Muslims and people interested in Islam explore the faith and build community in a welcoming environment. In that capacity he has developed class and program curricula, provided strategic planning, developing fund-raising strategies, and supported the Executive Director in developing and implementing organizational policies. This support has enabled CenterDC to experience 60% community growth year over year for the last 3 years.

Professionally, Osama has worked in Proposal Development and Management for 10 years, where he streamlined proposal development practices, developed innovative persuasive writing and sales strategies, and been repeatedly recognized by his CEO and other senior leadership for consistent success.

His relevant education includes training in Restorative Justice practices at Georgetown University, Community Building training from D.C. Public Schools, and community organizing instruction from the Industrial Areas Foundation, as well as education programs and seminars administered from multiple Muslim organizations and institutions. He hopes to synthesize a strategy for universally beneficial social change that is grounded in Islamic tradition, informed by established community building practices, and augmented by successful marketing and sales strategies.

Namira Islam Anani is a lawyer and graphic designer. She is the Co-Founder of the Muslim Anti-Racism Collaborative (MuslimARC), a faith-based human rights education organization which focuses on racial justice.

Namira previously practiced in poverty law in Flint, Michigan; worked in prisoners’ rights litigation; and interned in international criminal law and war crimes for the United Nations in The Hague, The Netherlands. Her legal background includes research on racism, global education standards, and the UN Declaration on Human Rights Education and Training.

Namira has served on the boards of multiple Muslim student organizations and has fundraised and led crowdfunding efforts on behalf of Islamic Relief and charity: water, as well as for other causes, since 2008. She is currently an advisor to her late father’s organization, Diversified Educational Foundation, which invests in Bangladeshi orphans. She has nearly a decade of experience as a tutor and e-mentor for low-income students. As a graphic designer, Namira specializes in print design and has designed for the AFL-CIO and the U.S. Palestinian Community Network. She has been freelancing for diverse clients in the United States and abroad since 2007.

Namira was born in Detroit, Michigan to Bangladeshi parents and currently resides in Metro Detroit. She is an alumna of the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor and the Michigan State University College of Law. In 2010, Namira was awarded the University of Michigan’s Tapestry Award for “demonstrating a way of being that contributes to intercultural awareness and relationship building through … reflecting the values of social justice, multiculturalism, and diversity.” Since 2014, Namira has delivered lectures, presentations, and workshops on diversity, community, and justice across the country, including at Harvard Divinity School, Michigan State University College of Law, and the Minidoka Pilgrimage.

She tweets @namirari.

namira@muslimarc.org – Metro Detroit

Sarah is a senior associate at Guidehouse. She is an advocate of environmental stewardship and has dedicated her career to proving there doesn’t have to be a trade-off between economic, social, and environmental welfare. She currently works as a senior management consultant for state and local government agencies, where she helps public governments and nonprofits solve pressing challenges related to managing risk, operating efficiency, and strategic planning. Previously, Sarah co-led energy and climate initiatives for the County of San Luis Obispo where she helped bring resources and funding to start new clean energy and sustainability to serve the residents, public agencies, and business owners of the County. She has spent her career in both the private and public sector, in rural and urban areas across the United States, and firmly believes a healthy and viable future depends on a nationwide green economy revolution.

Sarah is also passionate about ensuring universal access to a quality education. She is a Director on the MBH Santa Maria Public Library Foundation Board, which serves the educational needs of northern Santa Barbara county resident’s underserved communities. She is also actively serving on the advisory committee to launch a new K-12 school in the San Luis Obispo area which emphasizes global citizenship, self-awareness, and hands-on learning. A first generation Arab-American, she is passionate about seeing and supporting more minorities represented in politics and especially in bridging the east-west cultural divide that continues to shape public views on immigration and foreign policy.  Sarah has a Masters in Public Policy from the University of Michigan and Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science from the University of Maryland. She lives and works between Los Angeles and the central coast California where she lives with her husband and her cat. In her free time, she enjoys anything that involves the outdoors, working with and volunteering with passionate doers, and writing short stories.

Sylvia Chan-Malik is Associate Professor in the Departments of American and Women’s and Gender Studies at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, where she directs the Social Justice Program, chairs the Faculty Advisory Board of the Center for Islamic Life (CILRU), and teaches courses on race and ethnicity in the United States, Islam in/and America, social justice movements, and food justice. She is the author of Being Muslim: A Cultural History of Women of Color in American Islam (NYU Press, 2018).

Sabina Khan-Ibarra is a writer and an educator. She is a recent San Francisco State University Graduate with an MFA in Creative Writing, where she now teaches Creative Writing. She has worked with MuslimARC as a Steering Member in the past as working in Membership and Communications.

Her work has been published on BlogHer, Huffington Post, ISNA Horizons, InCulture Magazine, AltMuslimah, Love Inshallah, Patheos (AltMuslim), Brown Girl Magazines, and other outlets. A poem of hers is being published later this year in the anthology, Show Us Your Papers.

Sabina is currently working on her novel, The Poppy Flower, about Pashtun American Muslim women growing up in Northern California.

She resides in Northern California with her husband and two children

 

Justin Mashouf is a filmmaker and artist based in Los Angeles. His 2019 film The Honest Struggle tells the story of an ex-gang chief turned devout Muslim reentering society after 24 years in prison. The film won the Audience Award at Cinequest Film Festival and was nominated for Best Documentary at the Pan African Film Festival. The Honest Struggle has received 10 screenings at international film festivals and has been featured on Al Jazeera, WGN, and Okayplayer, among many others.

Justin’s work editing specials for local Los Angeles news channel KTLA 5, has earned him 4 Los Angeles Emmy Awards, a Golden Mic Award, and a Southern California Journalism Award.

Justin’s 2011 short, Spring Movements, is a dance film dedicated to the “Arab Spring” uprisings throughout the Middle East and North Africa. Spring Movements, originally designed to be exclusive to the Internet, had multiple international television broadcasts on the Al Jazeera program “Frames.”

Justin Mashouf’s 2009 documentary Warring Factions focuses on his journey to Iran to find break dancers and bridge the political rift between the US and Iran with hip hop and traditional Persian martial arts.

Mashouf has a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Arizona.

2020-2021

Berthena Nabaa-McKinney Ph.D., is the founder of Nabaa Consulting, LLC, an educational consulting firm specializing in school improvement and turnaround for Early Childhood and K-12 schools in public and private schools and school districts.  Berthena has more than 20+ years of educational experience in teaching, school administration, board leadership & development, accreditation,  professional development.  She has served on and led accreditation teams in schools and school districts across the State of TN. As a school improvement and turnaround specialist, Berthena has been dedicated to working schools and districts to reimage equitable outcomes for students of color school improvement and turnaround specialist.  Berthena received her Doctorate in Educational Leadership & Professional Practice from Trevecca Nazarene University.  She serves as a Commissioner for the Metro-Nashville Action Commission, Board Chair with Muslim American Cultural Center, Co-Chair of Women of Color for Education Equity, and continues to serve as a member on ACLU-TN, PENCIL, MNPS STEAM Advisory, and Faith & Culture Center boards.

Dr. Maytha Alhassen primarily sees her labor as that of a freedom doula and an engaged wit/h/ness reviving the traditions of the feral femme. She is a historian, journalist, poet, organizer and mending practitioner. As a journalist, she worked as an on air host on Al Jazeera and The Young Turks, also field reporting for such outlets as CNN, Huffington Post, Mic, Boston Review. In 2017 she received her Ph.D. in American studies and Ethnicity from USC and gave a TED talk on her ancestral relationship to Syria. Alhassen has co-founded multiple social justice organizations including Muslim Anti-Racism Collaborative, the Social Justice Institute at Occidental College and Believers Bail Out (a Muslim abolition group). As a Pop Culture Collaborative Senior Fellow, she wrote a report on the representation of Muslims in TV and film, "Haqq and Hollywood: 100 Years of Muslim Tropes and Traps and How to Transform Them." Currently, Alhassen writes for Hulu series "Ramy," is a Visiting Professor in Peace studies at Chapman university, offers yoga, meditation and reiki workshops and trying to find time to write some books

Advisory Council

Former Leadership & Support

"Many hands make light work." We deeply appreciate the work and efforts of former MuslimARC leadership and support, including:

Hind Makki, 2014 Core

Diala Khalife,  2014 Core

May Alhassen, 2014 Core

Dawud Walid, Advisor

Laura Poyneer, 2014-2017 Membership

Fatima Price-Khan, Media

Khaliff Watkins, Media

Samiha Rahman, Programming

Zara Nasir, Finance

Azza Altiraifi, Media

Arthur Richards, Programming

Anas White, Media

Safaya Fawzi, Finance

Tariq Touré, Campaigns and Trainer

Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow, AMEL Fellow

Hanifah Lum, AMEL Fellow

Ayesha Kazmi, AMEL Fellow

Hakeem Muhammad, AMEL Fellow

Rozena Raja, AMEL Fellow

Saeeda Islam, AMEL Fellow

Sajdah Nubee, reMARC Editor

Chiquita Williams, Trainer

Hasan Khalid, Tech Chair

Ernst Fenelon Jr., Leadership Associate

Amber York, Development Associate

Lamont Watkins, 2018 Intern

Aysha Jamali, 2018 Board of Directors - Communications

Makkah Ali, 2018-19 Board of Directors - President

Farha Tahir, 2018-19 Board of Directors - Vice President

Hazel Gomez, 2018-19 Board of Directors - Secretary

Sarah Mostafa, 2019 Board of Directors

Rasheed Shabazz, 2019 Board of Directors

Layla Abdullah-Poulos, Trainer

Julia Kassem, 2019 Intern

David J., Executive Assistant

Lejla Bajgoric, Detroit Programs Associate

Juniper Beaty, Donor Database Manager

Associates

Interns