by Inji Kim
Drew Muslim Student Students Association will be hosting Ilyasah Shabazz in the Concert Hall in the Dorothy Young Center for the Arts on Monday, Feb.13. The Acorn sat down with the executive board and members of the MSA to hear about the process of hosting Shabazz on campus. As one of the most active clubs on campus, the Drew MSA has been initiating events about Islam that is open to everyone. “We’re not only hosting events that are relevant to Muslim students but also events that address and incorporate many current issues,” said Malek Elsayyid (’19), the Treasurer of MSA.
Though the original idea to host Shabazz was pitched towards the end of last school year, the actual processes to bring her to campus started at the first week of this school year. “The beginning of the process was mainly contacting the agents and raising funding to host her on campus,” said Nadiya Nawsheen (‘19), the club Secretary. Nawsheen explained that the club was able to raise the necessary amount through collaborating with numerous clubs, organizations and departments on campus. Around 20 different campus groups provided support through both monetary contributions and marketing the event.
Shabazz will be sharing anecdotes from her book, speaking about her own experience as an activist as well as memoirs from her father, Malcolm X, and her mother, two famous activists who greatly impacted her. Even outside of her father’s shadow, Shabazz herself is known for her close involvement with interfaith community outreach projects, which, according to Nawsheen, “convey important messages to people of our age in general.” All members unanimously agreed that they wish to host as many attendees to hear the speaker as possible. Lara Abdelal (’19), the Vice President of the club, expressed that she wished all attendees to come in with positive views and excitement to witness and interact with someone of such impact. “Activism doesn’t have to be huge and difficult, respect is a form of activism itself,” said Abdelal. The event will begin at 6:30pm on Monday, followed by a Q&A session for attendees to personally engage with Shabazz.