Meet Our 2021/22 Transformative Leaders Fellows

Amin Nash is currently a PhD student at Claremont Graduate University, majoring in English. His research is focused on the American imagination, specifically the imagination produced by Arab and Muslim American authors. Amin reads canon American authors, such as Twain and Fitzgerald side-by-side Arab and Muslim American voices in an effort to diversify and discover new perspectives of America’s story. 

As an Iraqi American, Amin grew up watching America constantly at war with my home country. He clearly remembers moments in history when the media and politicians used vitriolic narratives to paint Arabs, Iraqis, and Muslims in a negative light. Often finding himself as the only Iraqi Muslim in his environment, Amin learned to stand up for his heritage and ethnic background by educating and teaching others. These experiences forced him to be an active supporter of Arab and Muslim communities, and he desires to be a harbinger of the change he wishes to see. Amin has served as the President of UNLV’s Muslim Student Association, is an active member of So Cal’s Shia’ community, and most recently, has participated in various School Board Meetings across California to pitch, distribute, and defend Arab American lesson plans. Amin believes the community can benefit from continued advocacy for one another. He also believes that the community should continue to build on its history, its story, and imagination in Southern California. That is why he is looking forward to serving as a Transformative Leader fellow at the Arab American Civic Council so that he can participate and learn ways to support and engage with the community.

Aneesah Muhammad is currently a sociology major at Arizona State University. As an undergraduate student, she plans to further her education in Legal Studies in graduate school and pursue a career that would serve and represent the Arab American community.

She has developed a strong commitment to stand up to injustice and civil rights when she was young. She was chosen to represent the Muslim Youth Network program to advocate against the proposed anti-BDS bills in the State Capital. Throughout these experiences, she is confident that she will encourage her community to bring more awareness to the internationally recognized rights of the Palestinians. These actions include US policy change, learning about the BDS movement, and continuing advocating for justice in Palestine in the halls of Congress. 

The NNAAC Transformative Leaders Fellowship is a paid leadership development training program that has been developed through the National Network for Arab American Communities. The program is designed for Arab American college students or recent graduates.  Fellows work 16 hours per week at the Arab American Civic Council, and are given opportunities to learn about all aspects of a non-profit organization, including administration, grant writing, fundraising, communications, community engagement, and service delivery, among other things. Fellows also attend the Arab American Leadership Days in D.C. and are  required to participate in regular monthly trainings offered electronically by NNAAC.  Fellows also work on developing a professional development plan during their fellowship, obtaining additional training opportunities, and receiving important professional support for them to achieve their goals.

Welcome to the Arab American Civic Council team, Amin and Aneesah!