Why are you interested in serving on the board of directors?:
I believe that community advocacy and activism are intimately connected to the day-to-day aspects of your life. There is no better place to begin effective social activism than within your home and your neighborhood, in solidarity with the diverse individuals that make up your community. As a recent Minneapolis transplant, I believe that I can most meaningfully serve my neighbors and future Whittier residents by involvement on the Whittier Alliance Board of Directors. Being on the board will allow me to work on issues such as affordable housing, sustainability education, and youth engagement. These specific efforts are both significant to me personally, and serve as the foundation for a socially just and civically engaged community.
What experiences/skills/talents do you possess that you feel would be an asset to the Whittier Alliance?:
My educational background is in mental health, identity group membership, and marginalized communities. My role as a research assistant throughout my time in college gave me the opportunity to work with LGBTQ adolescents to learn about their experiences with sexual orientation and gender-based discrimination. I also worked as a daily living skills therapist, where I empowered teenagers with autism to gain social skills, academic success, and independence. These experiences will allow me to connect with the larger community in a deeply meaningful and significant way.
Describe any experiences you have had in serving the neighborhood and/or community (volunteer positions, committees, organizations, etc.):
Community building has been an integral component of my adult life. Throughout my time in college, I volunteered at multiple community centers tutoring children, running after school programs, and mentoring young girls. Under my university’s student government, I served on the Diversity, Inclusion, and Social Justice Committee to directly address the concerns of marginalized students and advocate for their needs. I also did extensive work with the nationally recognized advocacy group Voces de la Frontera, where I aided immigrant community members seeking citizenship, legal counsel, and help with workers’ rights.
What else would you like to tell us about yourself?:
My unique perspective is informed by the fact that I am a renter, like 77% of Whittier residents, and work in research at Hennepin County Medical Center. I am a daughter of immigrants and small business owners, and have been involved in community service throughout my entire life. I am also excited to bring new representation to the board as a queer, Arab American woman.