Our People

Board of Directors

 

Jamil Abdullah. Bio coming soon!

Aziza Ahmed. Bio coming soon!

Quesiyah S. Ali. Clerk. Quesiyah S. Ali has served as an in-house attorney with the Massachusetts Teachers Association since 2010.  Prior to that, she practiced criminal defense and employment law in Worcester, worked as a field attorney with the National Labor Relations Board, and clerked for the Superior Court of Massachusetts. She has served on the boards of Alhuda Academy and the New England Muslim Bar Association, and has both organized and presented “Know Your Rights” seminars to Muslim communities in Central and Western Massachusetts, as well as provided legal counsel to local Muslims approached by the FBI.  Quesiyah is a graduate of the University of Southern California Law School and Wellesley College.

Elizabeth Dann. President, Treasurer and MJL Co-Founder. Elizabeth Dann is a co-founder of the Muslim Justice League.  She received her J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center and her B.A. from Amherst College.  She is a former Andover Newton Theological School and Hebrew College CIRCLE Fellow and Entry Into Practice Fellow at Legal Aid’s criminal defense practice in Queens, NY.  Prior to attending Georgetown, Elizabeth worked as a community organizer and interfaith educator.

Nancy A. Khalil. MJL Co-Founder. Nancy A. Khalil is a Ph.D. candidate in Anthropology at Harvard University. Her current research focuses on the politics of American Islam with an emphasis on the profession of the Imam in America. Other research projects she has worked on include research on migrant and second generation political and civic engagement, Muslim students on U.S. college campuses, as well as a transatlantic comparative project on the effects of securitization on minority populations.  Prior to her doctoral studies, she worked as Muslim Chaplain at Wellesley College and Advisor to their Multi-faith Living and Learning Community. Nancy has served on a number of non-profit boards and is a regular public speaker.

Rizwan Huda. Bio coming soon!


Staff

 

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 Shannon Al-Wakeel. Executive Director and MJL Co-founder.  Shannon was one of four Muslim women who founded MJL following federal    announcements in 2014 of a “countering violent extremism” pilot program targeting Boston. She has been MJL’s executive director since 2015.  An attorney and printmaker, Shannon received her B.F.A. from the University of Pennsylvania in conjunction with Pennsylvania Academy of    the Fine Arts before earning her J.D. from Harvard Law School.  Prior to MJL, Shannon worked with the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute    and later Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MIRA), where she directed MIRA’s state and local policy campaigns.  Her  advocacy contributed to advances in immigrants’ rights in education and health care access, and safeguards against unconstitutional impacts of federal deportation programs, as well as defeat of extensive nativist proposals in the Massachusetts Legislature.  Shannon previously served as president of the Board of Directors of the New England Muslim Bar Association and, following the Boston Marathon bombing, provided “Know Your Rights” education and government relations assistance to Massachusetts mosques in response to increased targeting of local Muslim communities. Outside MJL, Shannon serves on the Board of Directors of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Massachusetts.


Advisory Board

 

Ayesha Kazmi. Ayesha Kazmi volunteers her time and expertise as a Community Education Advisor to the Muslim Justice League. Ayesha gained her expertise on Muslim civil rights issues under the War on Terror previously working as a researcher and analyst for CAGE, UK and has written various articles including reports on British stop and search laws and cyberterrorism. She also currently serves as a fellow at MuslimARC (http://www.muslimarc.org), committed to combating racism and promoting racial justice within American Muslim communities.Ayesha previously worked as an editor at London based Emel Magazine and was a regular contributor there. Ayesha’s research and expertise has featured in many outlets such as The Guardian, the BCC and the New York Review of Books. In her spare time, Ayesha is an avid blogger and works as a personal trainer at her local gym training clients as well as teaching group exercise classes, such as spin.

Sarah R. Wunsch. Sarah R. Wunsch is Deputy Legal Director for the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation (ACLU) of Massachusetts and has been a staff lawyer there for 25 years. Sarah is responsible for litigation in areas such as freedom of speech, reproductive rights, police misconduct, discrimination, drug policy, and freedom of religion/separation of government and religion. Prior to her work at the ACLU, Sarah was an Assistant Attorney General in Massachusetts, the Executive Director for the Cambridge Human Rights Commission and a staff lawyer for the Center for Constitutional Rights and for two labor unions. She received her J.D. from Rutgers (Newark) School of Law, a Master’s in Education from Columbia University, and a B.A. in government from Cornell University. She was a junior high school social studies teacher for several years in Irvington, New York.