“I think I am an accidental activist in a way, coming to the US as a refugee and immigrant, growing up Muslim, being a black woman, I feel like I had to advocate for myself in a way; the system wasn’t really made for me.
When I was 13, 14, 15, my aunts would come over with packets, booklets with questions in them for the citizenship test, and I’d basically just go through it with them and do the flashcards and try to explain it the best I could. I was still a child then so it was really funny: all these old women were sitting around me and I was their teacher. I took a lot of pride in that.
I think it really shaped me as a leader because from a young age I had to step up to the plate. It’s like you’re not only a child in your family, you’re also co-parenting with your parents because this is a new country for them. I was always a legal liaison, a mediator, a translator, I was all these things from a young age, and bringing that into CIRC, I already feel confident in them because I’ve done them for so long, and now I’m just polishing my skills up.” – Hameeda Abdul Kadir, Development Coordinator
This is the first post in our Staff Spotlight series, highlighting some of the amazing people on the CIRC team!