Hamline Law graduate Taneeza S. Islam, Esq., (J.D., ’08) was one of five anti-racism advocates honored at the 6th Annual Facing Race Ambassador Awards on April 23. Part of the Facing Race “We’re all in this together” initiative of the Saint Paul Foundation, the celebration was created to recognize anti-racism leaders and promote community-wide conversations about race.
“The awards celebrate individuals working to end racism in Minnesota,” Carleen Rhodes, president and CEO of The Saint Paul Foundation, said. “With racial disparities on the rise, we believe it is critical to recognize leaders who strive to create greater equity in our community.”
The Facing Race campaign honored Islam for her outreach and education efforts as civil rights director for the Minnesota Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN). In this role, her central responsibility has been to manage the approximately 120 discrimination complaints that cross her desk each year on behalf of her Muslim clients. In addition, Islam created a Know Your Rights campaign in response to an FBI investigation of a large segment of the Somali community that was initiated after a group of Twin Cities Somali men went missing in 2008.
Islam joined Elizabeth Campbell and T. Gregory Stavrou as honorable mention honorees at the Ambassador Awards.
Macalester College Professor Emeritus Mahmoud El-Kati and Steve Pederson, an executive leadership team member with Diversity Resource Action Alliance in Alexandria, Minn., received the East Metro and Minnesota Facing Race Ambassador Awards, respectively. Dr. Anton Treuer, cultural preservationist and Bemidji State University professor, served as the keynote speaker at the awards celebration.
The Facing Race Ambassador Awards were established in 2007 to celebrate and honor individuals and organizations working to create a racially equitable community. By highlighting the valuable work of award recipients and honorees, the Saint Paul Foundation hope to inspire discussion, dialogue and action around critical issues of race and racism.