MAM Program 



Photography and video testimonials 

Community Art: Muslim American Mosaic  & Pledge

6:00- 6:10


Intro: Namira Islam


6:10- 6:45


Revolutionario Tacos

6:45- 7:00


Keynote by Sameer Gardezi 

Recognition of EOLB writers  



Patio area


Sponsored by the Pillars Fund



Awardees: Rida Hamida and Genaro Waheed

Interview by  Rasheed Shabazz



Awardees: Ismahan Abdullahi and Marya Bangee

Interview by Sarah Mostafa



Short talk by Margari hill 

8:00- 8:15


Awardee: Umar Hakim

Interview by Namira Islam

8:20- 8:35


Awardee: Dr. Mustafa Kuko

Interview by Makkah Ali


8:35- 9:15


Silent Auction, vending, and networking



Call for group pictures 






Dr Mustafa Kuko: (Winner of the Legacy Award) Dr. Kuko served as a consultant to the Minister of Higher Education and a professor at the Al-Imam Mohammed Bin Saud University for more than 20 years. He has served as a board member of the Islamic Shura Council of Southern California and has been recognized by the NAACP for his work in championing the cause of the poor, disabled, seniors, children and youth, and people from various ethnic groups in the Inland Empire community, he has also worked as the director of the Islamic Center of Riverside for the last 17 years, from 1998. He came to the U.S. from Sudan on September 23, 1978, to study at the University of Chicago. He then went on to receive a master’s degree from the University of Indiana and doctorate in demography from the University of California Riverside. In the late 1970s he was among the group that started the Islamic Center of Riverside with the Muslim Student Association at UCR while completing his doctorate in demography.

Rida Hamida: Rida is a Palestinian American Muslim who serves as president of the Arab American Chamber of California, vice chairwoman of the Refugee Forum of Orange County and vice chairwoman of the Anaheim Cultural Heritage Commission. Hamida lives in Anaheim with her 17-year-old son.

Genaro Waheed: Resource Director Gernaro Hornsby is the co-founder and resource director of Sahaba Initiative coming from a Southern Baptist church and converting to Islam about 20 years of age. Gernaro has worked in the community with P.I.C.O. and other groups to help reduce gun violence.

Marya Bangee: The Executive Director of Harness, an organization that works within Hollywood to center the narratives of marginalized communities in popular culture. Started by America Ferrera, Wilmer Valderrama, and Ryan Piers Williams, Harness envisions a world where human rights are protected by the power of the people through fostering collaborations between artists and activists and driving the conversation for social change within the entertainment industry. She has often represented the Muslim-American voice in national media like the New York Times and NPR. She served as a Project Director at UCLA, working to increase access to higher education in impoverished areas of the city. 

Ismahan Abdullahi: Ismahan is currently the National Deputy Director for MAS and also serves as the Executive Director in San Diego. She has received many awards for her work and accomplishments, most recently Youth Adult Ally award by Youth Will. She used to serve as the Director of Movement and Campaign strategies at PANA, Director of Community partnerships and Civic Engagement, she sits on the board for Somali Family Services and Huda Community Center, Muslim Leadership Council chairing the Social Justice Committee. She also did a podcast on women game changers in San Diego called Flip the Script.

Umar Hakim: A native of the city of Compton, Umar A. Hakim serves as Executive Director of ILM (Intellect Love Mercy) Foundation. After a 13-year career in telecommunications, Umar shifted careers to become an urban entrepreneur, which opened him to social and community service. He earned a business management degree from the University of Phoenix and a master’s degree in Ethical Leadership from Claremont Lincoln. Umar is now responsible for facilitating ILM’s social-preneurial vision for social change, where change means providing an intuitive educational experience that empowers local Angelinos. Umar draws on the key principle of Facilitative Leadership to coordinate ILM’s programming, which include Humanitarian Day, Go Beyond the G.A.M.E, and SEED. He is a facilitator trainer for its national program housed at USC Center of Religion Civic Culture. Through this training, he contributed to civic-social organizations including NewGround Muslim ~ Jewish Partnership for Change, created a partnership with California/LA Voice PICO network, and is an active participant with the City of LA Emergency Operations Center for Disaster Response and Relief. In 2012, Umar founded his consultancy Baseerah, which means to “to have vision.” Baseerah is a consulting group focused on leadership development, nonprofit management, and new media content. His blog is Create-A-Voice.


Michael de la Rocha, CEO /Revolve Impact (Creator Honorable Mention): Michael de la Rocha is a strategist, musician, and one of the most effective change makers of our generation. As Founder of Revolve Impact, he has orchestrated several of the largest policy victories and cultural shifts of the last 30 years. Revolve has worked with artists like, Brad Pitt, Jay-Z, Common and John Legend.

Marqueece Harris-Dawson (Creator Honorable Mention): Marqueece was born and raised in South Los Angeles, until the early 1980s when he was uprooted. With the onset of the Crack Cocaine epidemic, his parents moved him and his younger brother out of the neighborhood as gang and police violence skyrocketed. Crestfallen to be torn away from "the village", Marqueece made it his life's work to make sure no other family feels it has to move out of South Los Angeles to keep their children safe.

Never forgetting his calling, he returned to South Los Angeles just after Morehouse College to work in the family Real Estate business. Here he acquired a working knowledge of neighborhoods, and the challenges presented by widespread joblessness, poverty, poor public services, and a decaying housing stock.

In 1995, he joined Community Coalition under then founder and current Congresswoman Karen Bass. His first campaign publicized the horrendous conditions of inner city high schools and the inequities in the distribution of public funding. It resulted in an unprecedented $153 million for school repair and modernization in South LA schools.

His efforts were heralded by Oprah Winfrey and as the first successful effort to include equity a key determinate in the dissemination of public school funds. It set the basis for winning universal access to college prep classes as well as reforms to end discriminatory targeting African American and Latino students with the harshest disciplinary remedies.

Sakinah M. Johnson (Creator Honorable Mention): Local Muslim Mother making a difference, Sister Sakinah M. Johnson has created the first Islamic based re-entry program, The Golden Path, in the South Central area.  She has partnered with the State to house returning citizens that are Muslim and Non-Muslim. She has been in operation for over two years now and many Muslim brothers and sisters have been reaching out to The Golden Path for support.

Ibtihaj muhammad (Creator Honorable Mention): An American sabre fencer, and a member of the United States fencing team. She is best known for being the first Muslim American woman to wear a hijab while competing for the United States in the Olympics. In individual sabre at the 2016 Summer Olympics, she won her first qualifying round bout, and was defeated in the second round by Cécilia Berder of France. She earned the bronze medal as part of Team USA in the Team Sabre, becoming the first female Muslim-American athlete to earn a medal at the Olympics.

Zack Mohamed (Connector Honorable Mention): Zakaria (Zack) Mohamed (@zmopdx) is a Somali-born movement strategist. At age five, Zack and his family fled their home country due to civil war, arriving in the U.S. as refugees. As BAJI’s Los Angeles organizer, Zack’s main areas of focus is to build a base and mobilize it to take actions that implicate black migrants. He has organized around racial justice, immigrant/refugee justice, LGBTQ Justice, economic justice and gender justice.

Patricia Guerra (Connector Honorable Mention): A native of South Los Angeles, Patricia received a Masters in Social Work from the University of Southern California. Growing up in South LA, she witnessed first-hand how the “War on Drugs” and decades of disinvestment tore down the social fabric of her community. Her experiences inspired her to become an organizer to impact social change and to help rebuild South LA. Patricia is committed to developing the leadership, knowledge and skills of everyday South LA residents to identify and lead community-identified solutions that address the root causes of crime and poverty and that help to create a thriving community.

Sadiq Davis (Connector Honorable Mention): Sadiq Davis, born Darrell Davis, was a child star in the Southside community in the late 1960s, winning a variety of talent shows and performing at nightclubs with his band, “The Sensational 5” at a young age. After turning down an opportunity from Curtis Mayfield his life took a turn toward the streets. His early fixation on guns and street gangs led him to becoming an active member of a local street gang which landed him in prison 1978.

His transition becoming a Muslim began as an identity shift to align with the Afrocentric black civil rights movements of the time. However, Sadiq remained an active gang member while institutionalized until the 1990s when he made a radical shift away from gang ties and toward becoming a reformer of his fellow inmates. Sadiq was recognized for his role as a reformer by the chaplain of Sheridan Correctional Center which led to his enrollment in IMAN's Project Green Reentry in Chicago. Sadiq moved to Los Angeles in early 2017 with his wife Aquilla and has since established LA’s S&A Cleaning Service that aims to provide jobs to men and women returning home from prison.

Pouneh behin (Connector Honorable Mention): Pouneh is a veterinarian by profession but has been working within movement spaces since her time in undergrad at UCLA. She is the founder of SWANA-LA.

Taina Vargas-Edmond (Cultivator Honorable Mention): Co-Founder, Executive Director Taina Vargas-Edmond founded Initiate Justice in September 2016 with the intention of activating the political power of people directly impacted by mass incarceration. Prior to creating Initiate Justice, she worked in the organizing and policy advocacy field as the Statewide Advocacy Coordinator with Essie Justice Group, State Campaigner with the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, and as a Field Representative for the California State Assembly. She is directly impacted by mass incarceration, with her husband having served seven years in CA state prison.

Kelly Lytle Hernandez, Isaac Bryan, & Million Dollar Hoods Research Team (Cultivator Honorable Mention):

Kelly Lytle Hernandez is a Professor of History and African American Studies at UCLA. She is also the Interim Director of the Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies at UCLA. One of the nation’s leading experts on race, immigration, and mass incarceration, she is the author of the award-winning books, Migra! A History of the U.S. Border Patrol (University of California Press, 2010), and City of Inmates: Conquest, Rebellion, and the Rise of Human Caging in Los Angeles (University of North Carolina Press, 2017).

Isaac Bryan serves as the Public Policy Advisor of the Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies at UCLA. Working for Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Bryan also co-authored the first City of Los Angeles comprehensive report on the reentry needs of community members. He is best known for his 2018 TEDxUCLA talk which focused largely on the injustices found in the criminal justice system.

Karen Bass (Legacy Honorable Mention): Congress-member, Karen Bass grew up in the Venice/Fairfax area of Los Angeles, which is the same area she represents today in Congress. She is a graduate of California State Dominguez Hills, the University of Southern California’s School of Medicine Physician Assistant Program, and the USC Masters Program in Social Work.

Najee Ali (Legacy Honorable Mention): Najee Ali is without question one of the nation’s leading activists. Whose responsible for the City of Los Angeles Muslim Heritage Month which was established in 2015, He was selected in 2013 as the most influential African-American leader in Los Angeles beating out other honorees Magic Johnson and Maxine Waters. In 2001 Governor Gray Davis signed a bill he wrote the first draft of and was eventually signed into California State, law AB1422 The Sherrice Iverson Law which helps protect children from sexual assaults and is the first law named in the nation after a slain African-American child. from his historic work in a gang truce between black and Latino gang in Los Angeles to police reform. Ali is a household name in South Central L.A. and the only Muslim leader in Los Angeles whose base of support comes from non-Muslims who accept his community leadership. 



Sarah Mostafa

event director

Margari Hill

event manager

Atra Flemons

outreach coordinator & registration table

Ayan Jama

hospitality & registration table

Nusaiba Mubarak

graphic design, special guest contact

Kenyatta Bakeer

vending, silent auction & catering 

Shorouq Shenaq

silent auction & swag bags

David Jimenez- Intuitive Solutions

inworker executive assistant



We’d like to thank

Our Creator, Allah the Most High

The following service providers

Revolutionario Tacos


Gourmet by Renee 

food service & dessert

Amr Mabrook 


Nael Hafeez



Akil the MC

MC and DJ

And all the amazing people who supported this dinner! 

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