Shoulder to Shoulder launches new Consultative Circle

Shoulder to Shoulder Campaign
7 min readDec 3, 2020


December 3, 2020

For Immediate Release

Contact: Catherine Orsborn,

Over the past decade of its existence, Shoulder to Shoulder has developed and maintained close relationships with Muslim, Arab, Sikh, and South Asian (MASA) organizations and individuals, many of whom we have consulted regularly when making programmatic and policy decisions. We are now proud to announce the formation of a new Consultative Circle to formally reflect the importance of input from those most directly impacted by anti-Muslim bias.

Reflecting on the importance of this launch, Executive Director Catherine Orsborn stated,

“We believe that to be a strong ally, we must be deeply and regularly engaged in conversation with MASA partners in a way that shapes our work. This Consultative Circle brings together a group of individuals who represent some of the vast diversity found with communities directly impacted by anti-Muslim bias. This group includes activists, professors, medical doctors, nonprofit leaders, and other professionals, each of whom brings a different experience of and perspective on the broader issue of anti-Muslim discrimination and violence. We are so thrilled to be joined by such an esteemed group of people who are committed to partnering with us in this work.”

Below are the members of our inaugural Consultative Circle cohort:

Aneelah Afzali is Executive Director of MAPS-AMEN (American Muslim Empowerment Network). She is also a Board Member of Faith Action Network, Washington For Black Lives, and Washington Immigrant Solidarity Network. A graduate of Harvard Law School, Aneelah left her legal career in 2013 to serve as a community activist, interfaith leader, and justice advocate.

Aseelah Rashid is Co-founder and CEO of The Muslim Mix, Inc. a 501c3 non-profit organization which presents creative social events and environments targeted at Muslim young adults, while also fostering social justice activism, and work specifically directed at changing the narrative about Muslim Americans and how they’re portrayed in the media and society. As an active organizer within the Interfaith community, she currently serves on the Board for Atlanta Interfaith Broadcasters (AIB) and Faith Alliance of Metro Atlanta (FAMA).

Faria Abedin has been involved in numerous philanthropic and community outreach efforts. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen, Women for Women International’s Global Board of Directors, and the NYU President’s Global Council. In addition, she serves on the board of the Interfaith Center of New York, the NJ Homeland Security Interfaith Advisory Council, and the leadership of the Mizaan Retreat, hosted annually by Princeton University’s Muslim Life program.

Hind Makki is an interfaith and anti-racism educator who holds a degree in International Relations from Brown University. She is an Educator with the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding (ISPU) and is the founder and curator of Side Entrance, an award-winning website documenting women’s prayer experiences in mosques around the world. In 2018, Hind was recognized as one of CNN’s 25 Influential American Muslims and her work has been featured in a variety of national and international media.

Hussein Rashid, Ph.D., is the founder of islamicate, L3C, a consultancy focusing on religious literacy. He is currently a freelance academic and his research focuses on Muslims and American popular culture. His work includes exploring Shi’i theology, the interaction between culture and religion, and the role of arts in conflict mediation. He has been active in interfaith work in New York City when it was just known as “hanging out with his friends.” Has served on the boards of Project Interfaith and Al-Rawiya. He is a Ariane de Rothschild Fellow for interfaith relations. His current projects include an independent film, a documentary, and a museum project on religion and jazz.

Jenan Mohajir, Inspired by faith and family to work for change at the intersections of gender, sexuality, race, and religion, Jenan has served in a leadership position at IFYC for thirteen years. She currently directs overall strategy, design, and implementation of the organization’s programs focused on alumni and student leaders, including the annual Interfaith Leadership Institute. She also volunteers with Sirat Chicago, a neighborhood space that fosters a healthy community by supporting initiatives centered upon service and worship, education and arts, and family life.

Kameelah Mu’Min Rashad, PsyD is the Founder and President of the Muslim Wellness Foundation (MWF), a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting healing and emotional well-being in the American Muslim community through dialogue, education, and training. She is also the founding co-Director of the National Black Muslim COVID Coalition, an initiative launched in collaboration with Muslim Anti-Racism Collaborative to address need for effective planning, preparedness and organizing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Madihha Ahussain serves as special counsel for anti-muslim bigotry at Muslim Advocates and heads the Program to Counter Anti-Muslim Hate. Ms. Ahussain works with a coalition of organizations to combat anti-Muslim efforts by public officials. In addition, she monitors hate crimes targeting American Muslims, works with communities to respond to threats or incidents of violence, and mosque opposition.

Imam Mohamed Magid is the Executive Imam of All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS) Center in Sterling, Virginia. He is the Chairman of International Interfaith Peace Corps (IIPC) and the former President of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA). He is also the Chairman of Muflehun, which focuses on prevention of violence and hate. He serves on the advisory board of the Peaceful Families Project and as Co-President of Religions for Peace. He is also the Co-Founder of the Multifaith Neighborhood Network which focuses on building bridges between Muslim, Evangelical Christian, and Jewish communities.

Mona Malik serves as the President of the historic Rockwood Estate and Farms since 2018. Prior to her current role at Rockwood Estate, Ms. Malik has spent over two decades doing philanthropic and non-profit work. After serving as the President of the Peaceful Families Project for seven years, she now serves as an Advisory Board Member. Ms. Malik also currently serves on the Board of Duke Islamic Studies Center and the Virginia Department of Social Services.

Salam Al-Marayati is nationally recognized for his commitment to improving the public understanding of Islam and policies impacting American Muslims. Salam is president and co-founder of the Muslim Public Affairs Council. Salam has facilitated hundreds of civic engagement workshops around the country, is an adjunct faculty member at Bayan Claremont, a board member of the Muslim Reform Institute, and an advisor to several political, civic, and academic institutions.

Shariq Abdul Ghani is the Director of Minaret Foundation, an organization focused on lifting American Muslim voices for sustainable change through multi-faith and civic engagement. For the past 11 years, he has regularly spoken at faith centers, conferences, and educational institutions on topics ranging from American Muslim identity to faith-based activism and spirituality. Previously, he co-founded Houston Leadership Academy, an organization geared towards the development of young Muslims into leadership and activist roles. Shariq’s passion is finding intersections between communities for collaboration and mutual growth.

Dr. Simran Jeet Singh is a writer, scholar, and racial justice activist. He is the host of the web show, Becoming Less Racist: Lighting the Path to Anti-Racism, and author of the new children’s book from Penguin Random House, Fauja Singh Keeps Going. Simran is Senior Fellow for the Sikh Coalition and a columnist for Religion News Service. This fall, he is teaching a course at Columbia University on Anti-Racism as a Spiritual Practice.

Soumaya Khalifa is a founder and the current Executive Director of the Islamic Speakers Bureau of Atlanta (ISB). In addition to her work with the ISB, Soumaya is president of her intercultural consulting firm Khalifa Consulting which provides coaching and training to business executives across the county. Soumaya is an adjunct professor at Emory University’s Center for Continuing Education where she offers courses on intercultural communication and Human Resources Certification. Along with her work with ISB and her consulting firm, Soumaya volunteers for a wide variety of community organizations.

Suhail A. Khan serves as a Senior Fellow at the Institute for Global Engagement, a Christian religious freedom think tank and as Director of External Affairs at Microsoft. Suhail served as a policy advisor and counsel on Capitol Hill, and a senior political appointee with the Bush administration, where he served in the White House and as an advisor for two cabinet secretaries. He was awarded the U.S. DOT Secretary’s Team Award in 2005 and the Gold Medal for Outstanding Achievement in 2007. Suhail was awarded the Young Conservative Coalition’s Buckley Award in 2010.

Dr. Tarique Zahir is a physician and entrepreneur residing in Northern Virginia with extensive experience in healthcare and technology. He is an angel investor in multiple startup companies and has a special interest and focus in Artificial Intelligence platforms, cybersecurity, data security, and Electronic Health Data protection. Dr. Zahir is Managing Partner to Deltar Tech. Dr. Zahir is CEO to Prosperity Internal Medicine, a multi-group medical practice that has been serving the Northern Virginia region for the past 20 years.

Tayyib Rana, MD, PCEO is the founder and CEO, Northern Virginia Eye Institute and a Partner at Winchester Eye Surgery Center. His non-profit work includes being a Trustee at Zaytuna College for 10 years, serving in a number of leadership roles at the Association of Physicians of Pakistani-Descent of North America (DMV Chapter), and involvement with Emgage, Al Fatih Academy, APPNA National, Unity Productions, Forum for Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies, ICNA Humanitarian Relief, IMANA Medical Relief, APPNA Medical Relief, and he is active in several Interfaith Activities.

Valarie Kaur is a seasoned civil rights activist, award-winning filmmaker, lawyer, faith leader, and founder of The Revolutionary Love Project. She harnesses love as a shared practice to fight for social justice. She believes “the way we make change is just as important as the change we make.”

Dr. M. Yaqub Mirza is President and CEO of Sterling Management Group. Dr. Mirza is also Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Amana Mutual Funds. He is a member of the Board of Directors, University Islamic Financial Corporation, and a member of the Board of Trustees, George Mason University Foundation, Inc. He is also a member of the Board of Trustees of Shenandoah University and advisor to the Byrd School of Business, Shenandoah University.



Shoulder to Shoulder Campaign

Shoulder to Shoulder is a coalition of 36 religious denominations and organizations committed to standing with American Muslims to advance American ideals