Facets of Faith: Social Justice - A Muslim Responsibility
Tune into the Facets of Faith series. This week, we will delve into the various social justice issues that emerge globally on a regular basis. Join our panelists, Alwaeza Gulnar Feerasta, Dr. Shelina Kassam, and Taleeb Noormohamed, along with moderator Shazya Ladak, as they explore a spectrum of topics related to social justice and our responsibility as Ismaili Muslims to find solutions.
Alwaeza Gulnar Feerasta has lived and studied in New Zealand, Australia, and South Korea. Gulnar previously worked in the corporate sector in organizational development, and also as a management consultant. In 2016, she received dual Masters’ degrees from Case Western Reserve University in applied social sciences (with a focus on community practice for social change) as well as non-profit management.
Gulnar is currently the Director of Programs for the LGBT Community Centre of Greater Cleveland. Gulnar is passionate about promoting empowerment and resiliency in marginalized communities through advocacy, outreach, building strong support systems, and ultimately improving quality of life through long-term policy and social change. Recently, Gulnar received the Outstanding Community Partner Award from the office of Cancer Disparities Research at the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center - a partnership of the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center, and the Cleveland Clinic.
Dr. Shelina Kassam is a sociologist, focusing on critical race and social justice scholarship. She has been teaching at the University of Toronto since 2007. She has extensive experience in senior management roles within organizations in the global development, immigrant settlement, as well as education sectors. She has worked at the Institute of Ismaili Studies, developing curriculum and teacher education programs, and has also worked with numerous not-for-profit and educational organizations, both in Canada and internationally. As a consultant, Shelina has provided guidance, support, and education sessions to organizations on equity, diversity, and inclusion.
A long-time volunteer, Shelina is currently a national member of the Council for Canada’s Diversity & Inclusion Portfolio. She is also a member of the Council for Canada’s Social Justice Working Group. She has also served as a volunteer on several not-for-profit boards and within the Jamat.
Taleeb Noormohamed is ITREB Canada’s Communications Convenor as well as a member of the Council for Canada’s Social Justice Working Group. He also o serves in a variety of roles within the Jamat in Canada as well as globally.
Taleeb is CEO of Jane.com, a large online marketplace for apparel that was named one of INC Magazine’s fastest-growing companies in 2020. He also shares his experience as an advisor to a number of startups in Canada and USA.
Taleeb was appointed by the Government of Canada to the Board of the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority in 2018, a role he continues to hold. He is also a Governor of the Confederation Centre for the Arts in PEI, and on the Advisory Board of the MacEachen Institute of Public Policy at Dalhousie University. He is also an advisor to Vocal Justice, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping youth communicate confidently, authentically, and persuasively about social justice.
Taleeb completed his BA in Islamic Civilizations at Princeton and attended Oxford University for his Doctoral Studies. He is also completing his Master’s in International Education Policy at Harvard University.
Shazya Ladak is the National Convener for Diversity and Inclusion on AKYSB Canada. She works to address the needs of Ismaili youth from an equitable and inclusive lens via her involvement on this portfolio, the Council for Canada’s Social Justice Working Group, and with other boards and portfolios across the Council for Canada.
Professionally, Shazya is the Director of Marketing Strategy at Accelera Marketing, a boutique marketing firm that she helped build from the ground up in 2015. She holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) from Queen's University and an MBA from the University of Toronto.
Shazya finds inspiration from food, books, music, and volunteering. She is a crisis responder for Kids Help Phone and a small business mentor with Rise Asset Development. Shazya started taking singing lessons when she was 12. One of her fondest memories is being a soprano singer with the National Ismaili Muslim Youth Choir.