Reviving the Islamic Sisterhood: Muslim Women’s Leadership Conference

 Reviving the Islamic Sisterhood for Empowerment (RISE) is a non-profit on a mission to amplify the voice and power of Muslim women. Through storytelling, leadership development, and civic engagement, they are building a sisterhood and a movement. Reviving Sisterhood imagines a future where all Muslim women are connected, reflected, celebrated and emboldened.

The organization was founded in 2015 by Nausheena Hussain and a handful of Muslim women, who wanted to create a platform where women from diverse backgrounds could come together to share their experiences and learn from one another. They recognized the power of sisterhood and wanted to create a supportive community where women could connect and collaborate.

Since its inception, Reviving Sisterhood has made significant contributions their community in Minneapolis, Minnesota. They have organized numerous events and initiatives aimed at empowering women, including leadership conferences, networking events, and storytelling projects.

One of their most notable events is the Muslim Women’s Leadership Conference, which is held annually in Minnesota. The most recent conference was held in Bloomington, a suburb of Minneapolis, in March 2023 and was attended by hundreds of women from different walks of life.

The theme of the conference was Self-Love & Liberation,” which focused on empowering women to love themselves as they liberate their communities. This event included keynote speeches, panel discussions, and a series of workshops to provide attendees with tools and strategies for self-care and community care.

The conference featured a panel number of distinguished speakers and performers. Including Angelica Lindsey-Ali, also known as “The Village Auntie,” a recognized authority in intimacy cultivation and emotional well-being, and Aint Afraid. A movement and artist group that uses their talents to empower, inspire, unite, and motivate.

A Quote from Sr. Malika Dahir, Executive Director of Reviving Sisterhood:

“The goal of RISE’s annual Muslim Women’s Leadership Conference is to bring together Muslim women leaders. Activists, professionals, scholars, and philanthropists. Those who are making a positive impact in their communities. We showcase their work while building social networks, providing concrete steps for change. Inspiring women to use their strengths to affect social issues. 

This year we took a slightly different approach. Recognized that the last few years have been incredibly hard on our sisters. We have lost loved ones to Covid and to police brutality. We have lost loved ones, to earthquakes, floods and famines. Women are living through a time when our identities as Muslim women are challenged by gendered islamophobia. We see our sisters juggling various obligations and responsibilities while carrying these burdens. We noticed the tremendous pressure to bounce back from loss, grief and trauma.

This conference was a love letter from the RISE sisterhood to our sisters. An invitation to pause, to go beyond self-care to self-love. Through self-love, we can liberate ourselves from self-doubt, negative self-talk, and the opinions and judgment of others. We set up incredible workshops to help our sisters curate a toolkit on how to center Allah to navigate through grief. To heal from trauma, set boundaries, understand how our passions intersect with what the world needs and how to turn our passion into income.

It’s essential to have the conference and other spaces where Muslim women take space.  our voices, narrative, and power are celebrated.

We are always looking for sisters who are experts in their field who would be looking to conduct a workshop, sit on a panel, provide entertainment, or give the keynote address. The conference is also volunteer-driven, and we are always recruiting sisters to volunteer and bring the conference to life!”

The Panel

Other speakers are Dr. Tamara Gray, Alex Fox, Dr. Abyan Bashir, Asma Nizami, Hilal Ibrahim, Hibaaq Abdullahi, and Jordan Karim. Senator Zaynab Mohamed and Muna Scekomar. These scholars, entrepreneurs, and advocates demonstrated the talent and expertise of local women in Minnesota.

The panel discussions and workshops covered a range of topics, including leadership, entrepreneurship, social justice, and mental health. Attendees had the opportunity to engage with the panelists and ask questions. Providing a platform for meaningful conversations and networking opportunities.

Aside from their leadership conferences, Reviving Sisterhood works year-round to build leadership skills among their sisterhood. They provide a wide variety of training for Muslim women on how to engage within local systems. To obtain seats at the table, have their voices heard, and speak on the issues that matter to them.

For example, in 2021, they hosted an economic empowerment series. That aimed at inspiring Muslim women to increase their financial literacy and build wealth. These training covered halal investing, zakat and donor-advised funds, home ownership, and more.

Reviving Sisterhood: Empowering Muslim Women Through Public Policy and Storytelling

In addition to their leadership development work, Reviving Sisterhood organizes Muslim women to influence public policy. Through active participation in the political process. They host an annual Muslim Women’s Day at the Minnesota State Capitol. Where they advocate for legislation that will benefit their communities.

Reviving Sisterhood also curates and amplifies powerful stories of Muslim women as agents of change. Through their storytelling project, Muslim Sheroes of Minnesota. These stories aim to transform the dominant narrative and create significant change in the public perception of Muslim women.

In conclusion, Reviving Sisterhood is a non-profit organization that has made a significant impact on communities in Minnesota. Their mission to the voice and power of Muslim women has led to the creation of numerous events and initiatives to promote personal and professional growth. The recent leadership conference in Bloomington was a testament to their commitment to empowering women, providing a platform for meaningful conversations and networking opportunities. As they continue to expand their reach, Reviving Sisterhood is poised to make an even greater impact on communities around the country.


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