Sat, Feb 17, 2024

11 AM – 4:30 PM EST (GMT-5)

Add to Calendar

Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg Center

555 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20001, United States

View Map



“Care · Connect · Growth: Amplifying LGBTQ & Muslim Communities'' is a one-day event featuring dialogues on intersectional identities in relation to business leadership, global affairs, and community advocacy. The event is in collaboration between Pride Business Association and SAIS Pride, and includes a series of panel discussions on diverse topics, a keynote fireside chat with Hidayah LGBT, and networking opportunities.

The event is free to the public, and open to allies of the LGBTQ+ and Muslim community. Brunch will be provided. All attendees will be required to agree to the event's safeguarding principles.


Tentative Schedule:

11:00 - 12:00 pm: Brunch & Check-In

12:00 - 12:50 pm: Session 1
--> Reproductive Health, Justice, and Language for Minorities
--> Serving the Public through Government, NGO, & Community Advocacy

1:00 - 1:50 pm: Session 2
--> Navigating Intersectionality in Healthcare: Insights from Racial and Religious Minorities
--> Queer Muslim Representation in Media & Writing
--> Reproductive Health Workshop

2:00 - 2:50 pm: Session 3
--> Embodying Decolonization
--> Multicultural Perspectives on the Queer Muslim Community
--> Media & Writing Workshop

3:00-3:45 pm: Keynote Fireside Chat with Hidayah US & UK

3:45 - 4:30 pm: Networking Happy Hour


Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg Center

555 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20001, United States


Awwal Abdullahi ( he slash him )'s profile photo

Awwal Abdullahi (he/him)

Awwal Abdullahi is interested in making sure the most vulnerable people in the world get the healthcare they deserve. This has seen him work across Western and Southern Africa trying to find innovative ways to pool resources for healthcare and to improve how public funds are managed. When he's not talking politics with friends, he's most likely online breaking down the walls of patriarchy and wearing his feminism cap.

Ayşe ( she slash her slash hers )'s profile photo

Ayşe (she/her/hers)

I’m a Turkish-American revert to Islam, born and raised on Dena’ina land. I have a degree in archaeology, and I work in physical anthropology.

Ify Okoye ( she slash her )'s profile photo

Ify Okoye (she/her)

Ify Okoye is a queer Muslim woman, healthcare leader, writer, and serves as board president for a women’s cycling non-profit.

Learn more about their work here:  Website | Instagram

Leyth Swidan ( he slash him )'s profile photo

Leyth Swidan (he/him)

Leyth Swidan is a Foreign Service Officer at the U.S. Department of State where he serves as Staff Assistant to the Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs. He most recently completed his second tour at the U.S. Embassy in Copenhagen where he served as the Human Rights Officer and Visa Unit Chief. He previously served as a Vice Consul at the U.S. Embassy in Kuwait. Prior to joining the ForeignService, Leyth served at the U.S. Embassy in Singapore and on the Syria Desk as a Pickering Fellow. He holds a B.A. in International Relations and MiddleEastern Studies from Pomona College and an MPA from the School of Internationaland Public Affairs at Columbia University. Originally from Philadelphia, Leyth is a proud Arab American and an advocate for DEIA initiatives in the workplace.

Fouad ( he slash him )'s profile photo

Fouad (he/him)

Ever since he was a kid, Fouad wanted to be a doctor, just like his grandfather, who fled Palestine during the 1948 Nakba. Several life-altering experiences made him shift his focus away from clinical medicine to global public health. The most memorable of these experiences was the summer he spent working for Medical Aid for Palestinians at the Gaza Camp in Jerash, Jordan, just 50 kilometers north of where he grew up in Amman. Fouad currently works at a global health firm in Washington D.C. and is passionate about decolonizing and diversifying international development work.

Ramish Nadeem ( he slash they )'s profile photo

Ramish Nadeem (he/they)

Ramish Nadeem is a young Muslim organizer who oversees the Muslim youth Leadership Council (MyLC) and International Youth Leadership Council (IYLC) in his work as Program Manager of International and Muslim Youth Advocacy at Advocates for Youth. Ramish Nadeem graduated in 2019 with his Bachelors of Arts with honors from Southwestern University. They also serve as the Director of Programming at I-AMM where they oversee community town halls, podcast production, and special events. His voice on domestic Muslim issues and international human rights frameworks has been featured in publications and spaces such as The Austin Chronicle, Teen Vogue, USA Today, NCORE, and Facing Race among other national platforms.

Learn more about their work here:  Website

Padmashri Saravanan ( she slash they )'s profile photo

Padmashri Saravanan (she/they)

Padma is an MHS Infectious Disease Epidemiology candidate at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and a facilitator for the LGBTQ+ Working Group. They've dedicated the past few years to researching healthcare access disparities within LGBTQ+ communities and promoting accessibility in data science education for racial minority groups. With over 6 years of organizing experience, Padma is also a co-founder of an LGBTQ+ support group at their Alma Mater.

Amelia Noor-Oshiro ( she slash they )'s profile photo

Amelia Noor-Oshiro (she/they)

Amelia Noor-Oshiro is a Muslim woman, educator, activist and suicide survivor. Through her advocacy work, she is using science and research to help others who are experiencing suicidal thoughts. She is currently a PhD Candidate in Social & Behavioral Sciences at Johns Hopkins University’s Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Learn more about their work here:  Instagram

Verdah Kazi ( they slash them )'s profile photo

Verdah Kazi (they/them)

As a queer desi muslim therapist, Verdah's work revolves around creating accountable healing spaces for all members of the ‘ummah, while centering queer and trans members, and supporting their clients in reintegrating their mind-body-soul connection to resist against the harmful impacts of various existing oppressive power structures.

Learn more about their work here:  Website

Idries Abdur-Rahman ( he slash him )'s profile photo

Idries Abdur-Rahman (he/him)

Idries Abdur-Rahman (Dr. I) is a board-certified Obstetrician and Gynecologist. Born and raised in the Chicagoland area, Dr. I is the co-founder of the Women’s Healthcare Group of Illinois. He is the past Chairman of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Waukegan’s Vista East Medical Center. An avid traveler, in his free time Dr. I loves to hit the road for new adventures. Dr. I and his twin brother Jamil Abdur-Rahman (Dr. J) are also renowned medical experts who have appeared on television, radio, and in print more than 200 times. They were regular contributors to ABC 7 Chicago’s Windy City Live and are currently regular contributors to the Fox 32 Chicago News at Noon and the Black News Channels Midday news program. They’ve also appeared on both CBS’ The Doctor’s and The Amazing Race and were featured in a global ad campaign.

Zain Islam-Hashmi ( he slash him )'s profile photo

Zain Islam-Hashmi (he/him)

Zain Islam-Hashmi is a second-generation Pakistani-American Queer Muslim on a mission to harness the power of human-centered design for positive community impact. He looks to connect communities with the companies that impact them to create positive change by working at the intersection of design, social impact and business value. Currently, Zain serves as the International Fellow for Domaine de Boisbuchet and is the chair for Hidayah US. Zain holds a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Carnegie Mellon University and is pursuing a Master of Business Administration from Johns Hopkins University, as well as a Master of Art in Design Leadership from Maryland Institute College of Art.

Learn more about his work here: Website // Instagram

Navila Rasheed, MSW ( she slash her slash hers )'s profile photo

Navila Rasheed, MSW (she/her/hers)

Navila Rasheed is a Muslim, Queer, Bangladeshi-American. She’s a trauma-informed forensic social worker, community educator, and gender based violence consultant. She is also the co-author of The Sex Talk: A Muslim’s Guide to Healthy Sex and Relationships, which is a self-guided reflection workbook for Muslims to break the ice around uncomfortable conversations and create safe, healthy relationships.She joined HEART in 2019 full-time, and is currently the Director of Training and Survivor Advocacy. Before HEART, Navila was consulting for public defenders, government agency staff, and nonprofits to support in creating safe(r) spaces for victims & survivors either through organizational programming or 1:1 case management.Navila also Co-Founded ‘The Cathartist’ in 2012, a web-based platform for victims & survivors, allies, and co-conspirators to find a safe, judgment-free home for their storytelling as a part of their journey on coping and healing. Navila is also featured as a survivor in the award winning documentary, Breaking Silence, where she addresses the nuances and experiences of being a survivor of sexual violence in a Muslim and South Asian community, and the journey towards healing.

Haddi Ceesay, PhD ( she slash her slash hers )'s profile photo

Haddi Ceesay, PhD (she/her/hers)

Haddijatou Ceesay is a Gambian Muslim, researcher, writer and social justice advocate with expertise and significant experience in research, project management and advocacy, primarily focusing on education policy, youth empowerment, public health, and gender.She holds a doctorate from City, University of London; where her research centered on sexual and reproductive health education policy for young people. She has extensive experience working with survivors of various forms of gender-based violence (GBV) including Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), child marriages and sexual violence. Dr Ceesay is the Manager of Research, Evidence & Learning at HEART, and served in a consultant role for HEART since 2017. She has consulted for other agencies, including the United Nations Populations Fund, the Institute for Human Rights and Development in Africa, and the Population Council. Prior to this, she was part of an inter-agency committee that worked with the African Union’s (AU) campaign to end child marriage, and successfully lobbied to pass a law to ban child marriage in The Gambia. Dr Ceesay co founded the #SaveGambianWomen initiative, an online repository for documenting violence against women cases in The Gambia. She is a firm believer of activism through digital spaces for the global amplification of women’s voices. She is a co-author of HEART’s first publication, The Sex Talk: A Muslim’s Guide to Health Sex and Relationships.

Deenah ( she slash her slash hers )'s profile photo

Deenah (she/her/hers)

Deenah is a journalist and speaker, with bylines in PinkNews, Gay Times, the Metro and Lacuna Magazine. She is a proud Muslim lesbian and serves as Programmes Officer for Hidayah UK.


Learn more about his work here: Website

Homam Almahdi ( he slash him )'s profile photo

Homam Almahdi (he/him)

Homam Almahdi comes from a Syrian household and was born and raised in Southern California with his three younger siblings. He obtained his Bachelor’s of Sciences in Public Health from the University of California, Irvine and is currently a doctoral candidate for Dental Medicine at A. T. Still University in Arizona. He has worked for several years in non profit organizations specializing in sexual violence prevention and education specifically in the Muslim community. He is passionate about uplifting LGBT voices especially in faith based communities.

Learn more about their work here: Website

Hidayah US and UK's profile photo

Hidayah US & UK

Hidayah LGBT

HIDAYAH aims to provide support and welfare for LGBTQIA+ Muslims, promote social justice and education about our community to counter discrimination, prejudice, and injustice, and create a safe and sustainable community with a long-lasting impact. Hidayah is a secular organization, but its projects and activities are developed specifically for the needs of LGBTQI+ Muslims. Their vision is to ensure our voices are heard and understood. They are a mix of practicing and non-practicing Muslims, however they warmly welcome friends, families, and allies to our events. For more information, visit


Wazina Zondon ( they slash she )'s profile photo

Wazina Zondon (they/she)

Sexuality Educator and Storyteller

An Afghan raised in New York City, Wazina Zondon is a sexuality educator & trainer and storyteller. Alongside her creative counterpart Terna Tilley-Gyado, they are the co-creators of Coming Out Muslim: Radical Acts of Love, a personal storytelling performance capturing the experience of being queer and Muslim. Currently Wazina is working on two projects centering the rites of passages within the Afghan diaspora.

Learn more about their work here: Website // Instagram


Sponsor's Logo Sponsor's Logo Sponsor's Logo Sponsor's Logo

Hosted By

Pride Business Association | Website | View More Events

Contact the organizers