Shenaaz Janmohamed is the founder and director of Queer Crescent. A healing practitioner of Shia Muslim South Asian ascent, Shenaaz is also a parent of a toddler, a licensed psychotherapist and cultural worker living on Ohlone Land (Oakland CA). She is a founding collective member of Totally Radical Muslimswho self-published three zines between 2012-2015 lifting up stories and art from queer, trans, incarcerated and leftist Muslims.
Bay Area organizing committee
Aram Krikorian was born in San Francisco. Growing up as a Bay Area Armenian Palestinian French Canadian American who slowly but surely identified as part of the LGBTQ+ community was bumpy. Having worked with SWANA Queers through theater, creative projects, and activism in New York and California this continues to be the goal. Aram has worked with groups promoting Palestinian equal human rights in spaces around the Bay in recent years, and together they continue to plan more and more gatherings amplifying awareness of this struggle. The method that remains most exciting is through sharing current and historically powerful voices.
SD is an Afghan American and a practicing Queer Muslim. She was raised in Arizona and the Bay Area has been home for the past several years. Her day job is in rehabilitation medicine, where she works as an orthotist and creates custom body braces. She believes in the sacredness of Queer Muslims and is dedicated to help other Queer, Trans, and gender non-conforming Muslims realize the power that lies within them. She is committed to serving Queer Crescent as an organizer. She is passionate about disability justice, soft serve ice cream, and birds.
Zara Jamshed is a queer, disabled, non-binary poet and whippersnapper from New York City with ancestral roots in Pakistan and India. After finishing an engineering degree in 2017, they moved to Oakland, CA to find work in renewable energy and climate justice. Zara currently works as a Technical Coordinator for a new Solar on Multifamily Affordable Housing program from the state of California. With the Bay Area Organizing Committee, they are passionate about cultivating a culture of safety and using storytelling to bring community together and foster healing and connection.
D is a disabled non-binary femme healthworker of the SWANA diaspora living on Anishinaabe land in southeast Michigan, and grew up in the Shia tradition of Islam. Bursting into tears (in true Cancer rising fashion) on her way home from an LGBTQIA Muslim retreat, and longing for a similar space in Michigan, she had no idea she'd be a part of co-creating the Islamic Healing Space of A2 and Ypsi in southeast Michigan. They are so excited to be a part of Queer Crescent Healing’s growth, and about integrating more disability justice and healing justice into Muslim liberation spaces.
J Mase III is a Black/trans/queer poet & educator based in Seattle by way of Philly. As an educator, Mase has worked with community members in the US, UK, and Canada on LGBTQIA+ rights and racial justice in spaces such as K-12 schools, universities, faith communities and restricted care facilities. He is founder of awQward, the first trans and queer people of color talent agency.
His work has been featured on MSNBC, Essence Live, Everyday Feminism, Black Girl Dangerous, the New York Times, Buzzfeed, the Root, theGrio, Teen Vogue, TEDx and more. His current projects include being the head writer of the theatrical production, Black Bois and being co-editor of the #BlackTransPrayerBook. Find him on Instagram (@jmaseiii) and www.jmaseiii.com!
Mahdia Lynn is the co-founder and director of Masjid al-Rabia--a women centered LGBQTIA+ affirming Islamic community center based in Chicago. A disabled transgender Shi'a Muslim woman, Lynn's work focuses on incarceration and abolition, gender liberation and developing radically accessible organizing strategies.
Meerim Ilyas is an activist with a passion for elevating women’s and SOGI rights issues that are not on the mainstream agenda. As a Deputy Head of Protection at the Front Line Defenders, she focuses on increasing holistic security support for women, trans and gender non-conforming human rights defenders globally. Prior to that, she was a Senior Program Officer at the Urgent Action Fund for Women’s Human Rights, where she led work on collective responses to well-being needs of social justice activists. Meerim was born and raised in Kyrgyzstan. Due to personal experiences, Meerim has a deep commitment to the needs of people with disabilities.
Neda Said was born and raised in the East Bay and identifies with the Afghan refugee diaspora. As a queer woman of color, survivor, and first generation graduate, her work is led by passion to alleviate the injustices for marginalized communities at the intersections of identity. She continues to utilize her skills toward building community, growth, and movement towards liberation. Neda is currently the Program Coordinator at Neighborhood Funders Group. She is also an organizer with Survived & Punished, a national project to end the criminalization of survivors of domestic violence. Neda’s previous professional work includes youth leadership programming, organizing, and training with queer and trans youth of color, as well as social justice and domestic violence education. She completed her studies in Political Science and International Studies at UC San Diego. In the rare moments not immersed in planning the details of something, she’s probably out enjoying the sunshine.
Annie “Q” Sajid, MSW is a Muslim femme of color who believes in the power of inter-dependence and collective healing. She was born in Karachi, Pakistan, immigrated to Queens, NYC and was raised in the Midwest. She currently works as a youth organizer and communications professional in Oakland. As a healing practitioner, she works as a guide to empower others to embody their highest selves and become more free in this realm and the next.
Sharmin Hossain is a Bangladeshi American queer Muslim activist, born and raised in New York City. Sharmin is the Network Coordinator at the Social Transformation Project, facilitating and providing transformational tools to organizations doing critical social justice work across the country. Born and raised in America’s largest enclave of Bangladeshis, she designs and leads trainings for leaders focused on conflict mediation, community organizing, advocacy skills, and leadership development. Sharmin is also a digital security trainer with Equality Labs, supporting organizations to have healthy digital cultures while protecting their identities, network and movements.