MuslimGirl is proud to co-sponsor “Who Listens To Us: Muslim Women’s Experiences With Social Justice Organizing” at George Washington University with MAPFW and Amnesty International’s GWU chapter. This powerful event will feature a discussion on the unique challenges Muslim women face as organizers and activists in the United States. Muslim women’s voices are constantly overlooked and their contributions are minimized. We challenge the notion that Muslim women are voiceless; on the contrary, we believe Muslim women’s voices aren’t heard.
This event will feature Muslim women who are social justice organizers that work across social justice issues to amplify communities. We will also discuss the detrimental consequences of Rasmea Odeh’s prosecution and its impact on Muslim, Arab, and Palestinian women.
We are holding this event in advance to commemorate the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.
Amani Al-Khatahtbeh is the founding editor-in-chief of MuslimGirl.net, a blog dedicated to raising the place of Muslim women in Western society. Her initiative was honored in a New Jersey state resolution commending the top community service pioneers in the state. Previously the opinions editor of The Daily Targum, she is currently a Huffington Post blogger and a Middle East analyst for Atlantic Council. She has conducted several independent studies on the ground in the Middle East during the Arab Spring to gauge youth demands.
Dr. Maha Hilal
Dr. Maha Hilal recently completed her Ph.D. in Justice, Law, & Society with concentrations in International Peace and Conflict Resolution and Public Policy at American University in Washington, D.C. She is currently the Director of Outreach and Member Engagement with the Peace and Collaborative Development Network, as well as a Career Development Officer with the Torture Abolition and Survivors Support Coalition International. Dr. Hilal has worked and volunteered at a number of human rights and social justice organizations, including the Center for Victims of Torture, the National Religious Campaign Against Torture, and the Government Accountability Project.
Ramah Kudaimi has worked at several grassroots activist organizations including CODEPINK, the Washington Peace Center, and the Arab American Action Network. She has a Master of Arts degree in Conflict Resolution from Georgetown University and a B.S. in Journalism from Northwestern University. Her writing has been published by Al Jazeera English, The Progressive, Truthout, and more.
Ilana Alazzeh is a producer, video editor, and writer for the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), one of the largest labor rights organizations in the country. She is a radical interfaith feminist, a multiracial Muslim involved with Occupy, founder of Muslims Against Homophobia and LGBT Hate, Immigrant Stories, and Ask An American Muslim. She has been invited to the White House and State Department several times.
Moderated by Darakshan Raja
Darakshan Raja is a Program Manager and Ella Hergz Organizing Fellow at the Washington Peace Center, where she works to support local grassroots organizations. Previously, Darakshan worked with the Urban Institute’s Justice Policy Center on a range of criminal justice evaluations focused on legislation, programs, and policies for federal government agencies. She served as a project director for evaluating the implementation of the Violence Against Women Act and the Texas Juvenile Justice Department’s program for addressing sexual violence within youth facilities, funded through the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA). Her other areas of focus include gang violence, elder abuse, and human trafficking. Darakshan has also worked as a Vera Institute of Justice Fellow, where she examined responses to victims of domestic violence in NYC’s specialized domestic violence courts. She worked as a rape crisis counselor on a SART and co-facilitated groups with women reentering the community from prison.