#ChangeFromWithin: We Need a Personal Vision for Our Community to Thrive!

#ChangeFromWithin: We Need a Personal Vision for Our Community to Thrive!

My first #ChangeFromWithin reflection focused on how anger can be of service in leadership. Now I want to shift to the part that comes after anger: the action, the change, the personal vision for something better. We need a clear personal vision of what we are fighting for. In many social justice spaces, our time is spent focusing on everything that is wrong. We put so much energy into the critiques that we have little left to imagine what we want instead. While identifying the issue is important, it is just one of many steps needed to address the life-threatening issues impacting our community. As a 20-year-old who is active…
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Algorithmic Bias:  How Algorithms Can Limit Economic Opportunity for Communities of Color

Algorithmic Bias: How Algorithms Can Limit Economic Opportunity for Communities of Color

Racial and gender bias in algorithms impacts communities of color in disproportionate and frightening ways. The urgency of addressing this issue cannot be stressed enough. Algorithmic bias goes beyond privacy and surveillance issues that we have seen in the past. Biased algorithms can determine my access to healthcare, jobs, loans, and broadly, economic opportunity — and yours, too. As a young person of color who relies heavily on technology, I worry about the ways inequality is becoming automated, normalized and worsened through computerized decision-making systems. I have first-hand experience of what happens when we leave discrimination unchecked. As a Muslim raised post 9/11, I have seen Islamophobia continue to increase.…
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Safety, Liberation, and Racial Justice at #FacingRace2018

Safety, Liberation, and Racial Justice at #FacingRace2018

What’s it like to be 3,500 racial justice organizers deep? It feels like home — and liberation — when you’re at Facing Race. Before I even arrived at the Cobo Center in Detroit, I stopped in Dearborn, Michigan, the city with the largest Muslim population in the country. I saw storefront signs with halal written on them, hijabis were on every street corner. I felt safe, I felt belonging in a place I’ve never been to. To feel that connection is so meaningful, especially in a time when the Ohlone land I was born and raised on often feels alienating. As a first time attendee at the Facing Race Conference,…
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Muslim Women Know: Net Neutrality is a Feminist Issue

Muslim Women Know: Net Neutrality is a Feminist Issue

Net neutrality saved my life. As a young Muslim woman of color, open and free internet access has had my back more times than I count. As someone who is often left out of mainstream conversations, net neutrality allows me and all Muslim women to speak up online when I’m not able to do so offline. Net neutrality means free and open internet access to all websites and online content. Under this principle, all data is treated equally and no one’s access to a certain website or service is slowed down or restricted, a term referred to as “throttled” in the tech industry. I often experience sexism and Islamophobia (sometimes…
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Unconventional Leadership: How Anger Can Heal and Be Of Service

Unconventional Leadership: How Anger Can Heal and Be Of Service

May This Anger Be Of Service My first day at Greenlining was filled with anticipation. This Fellowship is my first job out of college and as a 19-year old, this was one of the most exciting moments of life. One of the first things I was told at Greenlining was “I hear you, I see you, you are valid here.” I knew from this moment that my time at Greenlining would be transformative, and began to understand what the Leadership Academy means by #ChangeFromWithin. Greenlining encouraged me to step into my power and sit with the president of Greenlining to ask hard questions, the kind that you never ask your…
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