Meet Memoona Ghani. Memoona is a new American. She recently became a citizen of the United States and immediately began to exercise her rights through political participation. Inspired and motivated after attending the RISE event, “Civic Engagement, Balancing Deen and Dunya,” Memoona learned about the caucus process, journeyed out to the polls on Super Tuesday and casted her vote- influencing the presidential nominations for her party.
Memoona wasn’t the only one who caucused. Many Muslim women went out on Super Tuesday bringing their spouses, parents, and children along. Safia Khan and her 18-year-old daughter Mahvish Khan have been active RISE event attendees and had attended the caucus training hosted by RISE. Safia has always exercised her right to vote. Misusing her vote or not voting has also crossed her mind. But as a mother of two teenage girls, she wanted to introduce the political process early on to her daughters. “That was the motivation in attending the caucus workshop. I learned a lot about how easy it is to get involved, have your voice and be part of the political process.” Surprised by the low turnout and lack of representation at her precinct, Safia and Mahvish seized an opportunity to take charge. Equipped with the knowledge from the training, understanding the caucus format, Safia felt she needed to set a precedence for Mahvish and so she volunteered to be the Chair of her precinct. Mahvish followed her lead and agreed to be the teller, counting ballots. Both were also nominated to be delegates. “I have always found the political process a little intimidating. But that night, we both left feeling accomplished after participating.”
Amineh Safi caucused and became a delegate at her precinct. Amineh attended her Senate District convention. She participated in a walking subcaucus and was elected to becoming a State delegate. Amineh was just one of handful of Muslim women representing our community at the State Convention.
“I wanted to participate because I wanted to put into practice what I preach: civic engagement. I also wanted to show my fellow Americans that I, as a Muslim, care about this country and invest as much time and effort into moving it forward as they do. Hence, I wanted to have visibility and build solidarity between us as Americans so that we can be united through this space, cause, and effort. Perhaps if I showed people that their concerns were my own, I would move us a step closer to being united as fellow people in humanity.”
Amineh didn’t just show up. She also contributed to shaping the platform. She presented and supported resolutions on ending homelessness, the environment, and divesting from companies and organizations with major human rights violations. She spoke about these resolutions to friends and colleagues and the conventions. At the State Convention, Amineh promoted fellow colleagues who wanted to become national delegates, supports Syrian refugees, and ranked choice voting.
Amineh’s civic participation isn’t ending after the State Convention. She will be joining the RISE team leading Getting Out The Vote campaigns.
Increasing the political participation of Muslim women during this election year is just one example of the impact RISE has. And we’re not done. We’re working on a strong voter registration campaign with our partners like Daybreak Bookstore and local masajids. We’ve received voter registration kits from the Secretary State and will be mobilizing the GOTV efforts this fall. We’re showing up. We’re at the table. And we’re changing the menu by influencing policy. Now is the time to RISE.