In 2011, Nausheena Hussain entered the nonprofit world as a newly minted grant writer. She observed in the Muslim community that there was an abundance of charitable giving and wealth, but it was all individual donor based. She also noticed women were donors, doing the work, but never acknowledged or in leadership roles. Coupled with anti-Muslim rhetoric, a rise in discrimination and hate towards Muslims, she realized something needed to be done.
So, in September 2015, Nausheena met with a handful of Muslim women to talk about female leadership, civic engagement, community involvement, and philanthropy. From these conversations, the women realized we needed to build a sisterhood and through it create more sustainable change.
Nausheena Hussain giving her talk,
"RISE - Reviving the Islamic Sisterhood for Empowerment" at Ignite Minneapolis 9 on November 18, 2015 at the Riverview Theater in Minneapolis.
Nausheena, talking about empowering Muslim women to take positions of leadership and make their voices heard. "If I don't see women in places of power, in places of leadership where decisions are being made, why would I ever think that was a possibility for me?"
That was the launch of Reviving the Islamic Sisterhood for Empowerment (RISE). As the network grew, it became apparent that many many women were creating an impact in their communities but were going unseen. Reviving Sisterhood has become a platform to amplify the voice and power of Muslim women showcasing the changemakers, the trailblazers, and leaders having social justice impact in our society. We host networkers, workshops, and events focusing on leadership development, community engagement, and philanthropy.
Through this work, we change the narrative and define the Muslim American Woman’s story.
We imagine a future where all Muslim women are connected, reflected, celebrated and emboldened.
Reviving the Islamic Sisterhood for Empowerment is on a mission to amplify the voice and power of Muslim women.
Our sisterhood is built on the open and honest relationships among us. We celebrate one another through the good times. We anticipate one another’s needs before being asked and fulfill them during the tough times. Because during tough times, true sisters show up. These are the values that guide us:
Resilience: Muslim women demonstrate toughness and strength. Together we overcome adversity.
Representation: Muslim women are visible and effective leaders - we must be woven into the ‘fabric’ of American life. No decision will be made ‘about us without us.’
Relationships: Muslim women are relational. Our connection to each other, and to the communities we represent, make us a mighty force.
Resourcefulness & Self-Determination: Muslim women are innovative, efficient and entrepreneurial; we can build the future we want together.
Faith: Muslim women come from all races, countries and cultures of the world. Our faith tradition binds us together in sisterhood.
Someone else has always been telling our stories. So, we're taking back our narrative through Muslim Sheroes of Minnesota.
In order to develop Leadership skills, the Sisterhood provides skill building workshops, trainings and events. Reviving Sisterhood leverages local female scholars and professionals to provide skills based learning activities, as well as invite national female scholars for speaking engagements. The Sisterhood's platform gives local female leaders a venue to speak, teach and share.
By focusing on leadership development, Reviving Sisterhood will increase community involvement and civic engagement of Muslim women. From registering to vote to running for office, many opportunities exist to participate in the political process. Election judges, serving on boards and commissions, caucusing, creating policy change, working on issues, and volunteering in your city are just a few examples of how to engage.
Community involvement includes your city or neighborhood and your faith community. Reviving Sisterhood is partnering with local organizations on national campaigns to increase the female voice and leadership in the Masjids.