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With 2020 finally behind us and a new year before us, I am thrilled to announce that I have joined the Tahirih Justice Center as the new Executive Director of the Houston office. I am so grateful to my predecessor, Anne Chandler, for her leadership in establishing such a strong foundation for our work alongside immigrant survivors in the Houston area. I also owe a huge thank you to Tahirih’s Board of Directors, the committed Tahirih staff, and the amazing Houston team led by Deputy Director, Liz Shields, for making my transition seamless.

I am a native Midwesterner and a child of African immigrants, and I have consistently moved south in search of warmer weather—from Chicago, to St. Louis, and now Houston. I moved to Houston in 2019 with my two kids, and I am slowly convincing my family from all around the world to join me here in Houston. We have really enjoyed the culture and food—despite so much of our time being spent in quarantine! We appreciate serving as stewards of the earth, traveling, gardening, and volunteering with different local and national nonprofit organizations.

As a long-time attorney, I have worked at Karamah: Muslim Women Lawyers for Human Rights, the Julian Center, one of the first family justice centers in the United States, and the Muslim Alliance of Indiana as Executive Director. I have managed and established multiple legal programs, including a modest-means legal clinic, a pro-bono protection order program which ensured that every woman who came to the courthouse for a protection order had an attorney to advocate alongside her. Much of my work in the nonprofit sector, as well as my own personal law practice, has focused on a holistic approach to client’s problems. I firmly believe that in helping a family address not just their legal problems, I am able to provide them the tools necessary to heal themselves, their children, their families, and their communities making us all stronger and more resilient.

I have a strong background in change management, complex organizational strategy development, organizational growth, multicultural partnerships, and community-based solutions. From my 20+ years of experience at nonprofits, I am committed to building consensus, rooted in values of transparent decision-making and communication. I join Tahirih with a vision in which people strive together to build an equitable, diverse, engaged, and flourishing community.

I am dedicated to ensuring that immigrant survivors of gender-based violence, in the Houston area and beyond, can continue to access the legal process to which they are entitled under the law. One of the things that I love about Tahirih is the unique interdisciplinary approach to direct services, including legal and social services, policy advocacy, and training and education. In the fight to end gender-based violence, we must help address all areas of a client’s needs because they are the experts for their own life journey.

I am truly honored and excited to join the Tahirih team.

Tahirih is fueled by incredible supporters who have helped build Tahirih’s strength in Houston. I look forward to getting to know you and partnering with you as we continue our fight for justice on behalf of immigrant women and girls.