Ramadan Mubarak to all of our Muslim friends! This week sees the start of Ramadan, the holy month were Muslims around the world will fast from dawn till dusk, as well as engage in other acts of worship. In conjunction with this Muslim holy month, we’re excited to launch our series spotlighting Muslim change leaders who are working to address pressing issues in their communities across Canada in innovative ways. One critical insight gleaned from our Young Muslims in Canada Study (2016) was that Muslims aged 18-34 are deeply engaged in changemaking work both within their immediate communities and the broader society in general. However, they remain under represented or misrepresented in mainstream media and discourses. With this series, we wish to amplify stories that celebrate Muslims in all facets of life—in community-building, education, activism, civic engagement, city building, creative expression and more.
During our recent visit to Vancouver, we had the opportunity to chat with Shagufta Pasta, a Muslim writer, storyteller, experiential educator and community organizer who believes in the power of stories. She founded Seriously Planning as place to tell stories and share her perspectives on topics ranging from reflections on a JayZ concert in Vancouver to what books to read to make sense of the world. She also reviews books on her YouTube channel by the same name where she shares her critical take on contemporary literature.
In Part 1 of this series, Shagufta shares with us why she feels stories are critical to daily life.
In Part 2, she shares why she leverages her role as an educator to create spaces where students can bring their full selves into their classrooms and other spaces on campus.
Finally, in Part 3, she calls on funders to lean on their assets to fund initiatives that directly address Islamophobia.