Join the Unitarian Universalist Association Office at the United Nations (UU@UN), the NGO Committee for Human Rights, and the Burma Task Force for a global conversation on faith-based discrimination and ethnic genocide. This discussion will explore the experiences of the Muslim community worldwide, while examining the intersectional ways in which Islamophobia and racism interact to perpetuate harmful preconceptions and prejudice. Speakers representing Myanmar, Sudan, Tibet, and the United States will reflect on their unique sociocultural identity and how Islamophobia continues to intricately impact multiple dimensions of their lives. Our esteemed panelists include:
Zaw Win Nyunt(Arabic name: Haji Muhammad Bilal) is a Burmese Muslim from Burma with Tamil heritage. As an alum of the Myanmar Young Leaders Program, funded by MFAT of New Zealand, he is passionate about social justice and intercommunal harmony between different religions and ethnic groups in Myanmar. Zaw Win specializes in local governance, after completing an internship at Porrirua City Council in Greater Wellington Region, New Zealand in 2017.
He is a co-founder of youth-led inter-communal harmony project called "Cultural Heritage Initiative Tour" (CHIT) in Myanmar. He supports anti-racist action, opposing all forms of supremacy and advocates against all forms of persecutions based on gender, sex, race, and faith. Additionally, Zaw Win is a professional interpreter in Burmese and English languages, promoting justice and long-lasting peace.
Mariam Abdalgadir is a Sudanese community organizer and artist living in the Bay Area. She is passionate about providing care and support to the Black community, specifically Black Muslims.
Tenzin Damchoe has been involved with the Tibetan community for many years and is a devoted Buddhist practitioner and follower of the Dalai Lama. He is a scholar and teacher of the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, and has worked for many years for the preservation of Tibetan culture and its tradition of non-violence. For his work in advocacy and social change he was awarded the Triple “C” Award by the State of New York in 2018, and in the same year he participated in the National Student Leadership Conference on International Diplomacy in Washington D.C.
In recent years he has organized cultural events, spoken on panels and given public talks educating people about the situation in Tibet and promoting human rights. He is an advocate of human rights in Tibet, Xinjiang, Hong Kong, and China, and was given the Tibetan name ‘Tenzin Damchoe’ by the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, the spiritual leader of the Tibetan people and Nobel Peace Prize laureate.
Mariam Osman is currently a MSW candidate at New York University and resides in Brooklyn. Her passion for mental health advocacy and social justice rose during her undergraduate years at Southern Connecticut State University. She intends to be a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and provide therapy services and educational programs on mental health to underserved populations.
As we interrogate structural and interpersonal bias against those who practice Islam, we should be asking ourselves: What are we afraid of?