The ISBLI 2020 experience I had was not one that I foresaw, but it was eye opening and thought-provoking nonetheless. The excitement and energy I felt from the organizers, the participants and the guests at the Welcome Dinner on night one was refueled at each meeting, despite the ways we all had to adjust for our own health and safety.
As someone who wants to be more involved in my community, I felt the need to build upon my leadership skills. I knew that a program led by the ISB would foster valuable skills that I could bring into my professional and personal life. For the past two years, I’ve been the Atlanta Chapter President of the Muslim Women’s Professional Network, a nonprofit that aims to connect and create a space for professional Muslim women with a focus on professional development and community engagement. Learning from other community leaders through ISBLI has given me invaluable insight on how to grow and advance in a way that benefits my own community.
In my professional life, I have always been more of analytical and detail-oriented thinker. Since graduating from ISBLI, I am more confident when working in a team setting, dividing and conquering tasks based on skill levels and knowledge. With the 2020 elections behind us, I am even more proud of the ISBLI Demographics Team, as we saw the importance of our work unfold before our eyes. Our team was tasked with assisting the Georgia Muslim Voter’s Project (GAMVP) with expanding their database of Muslims around the state in order to better inform their outreach and attempts to increase civic engagement within the Muslim community. With the help from the ISBLI’s coaches and mentors, our team was able to expand that database, contributing to the GAMVP’s reach and impact.
Connecting with the wonderful ISBLI participants has helped me personally to advance my leadership skills. Professors, consultants, nonprofit heads, community organizers—these participants are incredible leaders in their own right. Simply being able to work on a project with them has allowed me to learn from their leadership and communication skills. Creating relationships with my fellow ISBLI cohort and learning from the knowledgeable and seasoned speakers will no doubt be necessary building blocks for my life.