Presenter: Naijla Faizi
Director of Muslim Life Programming, Wake Forest University
Naijla, a southerner to her core, grew up in North Carolina where she often carried the burden of being the only Muslim her friends and local community had ever met. At Wake Forest, Naijla and the Muslim community were confronted with a variety of challenges including an Islamophobic hate campaign against their Muslim Chaplain. In their struggle to look beyond the overwhelming pressure of constantly exonerating their deepest sense of self from accusations of violence, savagery, and oppression, Naijla was inspired by a simple Quranic teaching, “Let not the hatred of a people swerve you away from justice.” Naijla will share personal narratives about navigating the complexities of her lived experience as a Muslim in the South and at Wake Forest.