MINNEAPOLIS - How do we become the change we want to see?
Nausheena Hussain was tired of waiting for someone to answer that question. So, she started searching for the solution.
“I look at our community lives and our civic lives and I see a gap,” she said.
“Not only do I not see Muslims I actually don't see women. I don't see women in positions of leadership or positions of power,” Hussain said.
She wanted to know why. So, she started asking around. Hussain, a 2016 Bush Fellow, realized there were actually tons of amazing women in the community, we just didn't know about them. She's now on a mission to bring those women together.
Hussain started a non-profit called RISE, Reviving the Islamic Sisterhood of Empowerment. The goal is to connect Muslim women and inspire them to become leaders in civics and philanthropy. Though still in its infancy, Hussain said the impact is clearly evident. Take, for example, the caucus training session RISE hosted just before Super Tuesday.
“Many Muslims went out to caucus, not just women. Women were bringing their husbands. They were bringing their children. They were actually not just casting their ballot, they were becoming chairs of their precinct. They were getting nominated to be delegates so that's a level of engagement I wasn't expecting,” Hussain said.
That's what happens when women see all they can be. Sometimes they just need someone else to help them get there, like Hussain did.
“I look back at some of the mentors and peer mentors that I even had and if I didn't have that I don't think I'd be where I am today,” she said.