There are many paths to the work of building, collaborating, learning, educating, and dreaming of a just and humane world.
My path began the moment I was born to Muslim immigrants from Pakistan, and continued as I was raised as a girl in an excruciatingly white suburb in the midwestern United States. The isolating combination of experiencing racism, homophobia, misogyny, islamophobia, and other forms of violence from a young age, yet growing up in a politicized home, led to the creation of a fiery, energetic, and impassioned youth activist and organizer. As a teenager, I connected with other young people living in their own complex intersections through community-based youth programs that taught me the language of systemic oppression and power dynamics and developed my leadership as a budding educator and advocate.
In the last 20 years since being introduced to the language, practices, and visions of social justice, I have been committed to supporting others in articulating their own experiences, and working together to recognize our own roles in the process of creating a better world. My formal community work has included: Direct Advocacy & Community Engagement - Providing case management for immigrant/refugee survivors at a domestic violence shelter and street-based/houseless youth accessing drop-in services. - Advocacy-based counseling for queer and trans survivors of domestic, dating and sexual violence - Support groups for queer/trans parents and queer/trans youth in schools - Community organizing for youth anti-violence activists implementing community-based solutions in their neighborhoods
Facilitating Learning - Creating curriculum and offering in-person and virtual trainings various topics, including but not limited to: conflict mediation, queer and trans access and inclusion, disability justice, anti-oppression (with special focus on internalized oppression), transformative justice, trauma-informed facilitation skills, patterns of power and control, non hierarchical leadership, and more... - Facilitating accessible trainings and interactive workshops in a variety of settings, including organizations, conferences, middle schools, high schools, college classes, after school programs, community centers, shelters/housing programs, public parks, and online.
Organizational Consulting - Strategic planning for creating accessible and equitable work environments for BIPOC, disabled, and queer/trans non-profit workers - Interpersonal conflict mediation and creating accountability structures within orgs - Board development and recruitment - Program development and implementation - Creation and implementation of organizational and programmatic DEI assessments and strategic plans - Transitioning organizations from hierarchical structures to shared leadership - Planning and facilitating organizational retreat - Coaching for fellow activists, educators, and workers in non-profits and community groups
In addition to this work, I have earned a bachelor's degree in Women's and Gender Studies, and two master's degrees in Teaching and Social Work. Though I have had the immense privilege of attending and receiving the benefits of "higher education", I firmly believe that the most vital forms of knowledge we all hold come from our lived experiences and relationships, the guidance of our ancestors and living elders, and our own intuitive wisdom. I am always learning and growing in these realms of knowledge, and my hope is to support my communities in doing the same.