Rami Nashashibi: Executive Director

Please direct all communication for Rami to Alia Bilal (alia @, Executive Associate
Rami Nashashibi has served as the Executive Director of the Inner-City Muslim Action Network (IMAN) since its incorporation as a nonprofit in January 1997. He has a PhD in Sociology from the University of Chicago and has been an adjunct professor at various colleges and universities across the Chicagoland area, where he has taught a range of Sociology, Anthropology, and other Social Science courses. He has worked with several leading scholars in the area of globalization, African American studies and urban sociology and has contributed chapters to edited volumes by Manning Marable and Saskia Sassen.

Rami has lectured across the United States, Europe, and Asia on a range of topics related to American Muslim identity, community activism and social justice issues, and is a recipient of several prestigious community service and organizing honors. Rami and his work with IMAN have been featured on many national and international media outlets including the BBC, PBS and a front page story in the Chicago Tribune. In 2007 Islamica Magazine profiled Rami as being among the “10 Young Muslim Visionaries Shaping Islam in America” and in 2009, Chicago Public Radio selected Rami Nashashibi as one of the city’s Top Ten Chicago Global Visionaries. Rami was named one of the “500 Most Influential Muslims in the World” by The Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Center in concert with Georgetown’s Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding. He was named a White House “Champion of Change” in 2011, and was also invited by the governor of Illinois to serve on the Commission for the Elimination of Poverty and as a member of the Governor’s Muslim Advisory Council.

Rami lives with his wife and three children on Chicago’s Southwest Side.

Alia J. Bilal: Executive Associate

alia @
Alia J. Bilal is a native of the South Side of Chicago. She graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a degree in International Studies and a concentration in Islamic World Studies. She studied Arabic and Islamic history in Cairo, Egypt, and is currently conducting extensive research on the experiences of Blackamerican Muslim youth in America. She has also taught English to international refugees in Cairo, and taught cooking and life skills classes to a group of inner-city youth in Washington, DC, while simultaneously serving as an intern for the Muslim Public Service Network. Alia has volunteered with IMAN for several years in different capacities, including helping to organize publicity for “Takin’ It to the Streets”, serving as a mentor for the Pillars of IMAN program, and hosting and performing at Community Café. Alia is a freelance writer and performer, and is currently working on writing and editing her first manuscript.

Sheelah Muhammad: Deputy Director

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Sheelah Muhammad is known for her high energy, proactive leadership style and her wide-range of expertise developed over nearly twenty years of professional history. Before coming to IMAN, she provided strategic services to philanthropic, Fortune 500, government and not-for-profit organizations in domestic and international markets. She is a nationally-recognized alternative food systems advocate and co-founder of the Fresh Moves Mobile Produce Market, a nonprofit social enterprise originally created to use innovative community-driven solutions to increase access to fresh, healthy, high-quality food options in low-resource and historically excluded communities.

Prior to launching Fresh Moves, Sheelah was program officer at Oprah’s Angel Network and The Oprah Winfrey Foundation where she developed and advanced the charity’s research agenda on social determinants of health and health inequities. She led the Healthy Communities program area focusing on key initiatives linking education, youth development, economic opportunity, housing and community health. As a social entrepreneur, a naprapath and the daughter of a grocer, Sheelah is ardent about positively shifting the health trajectory of children and families in low-resource communities. Her years of experience in community development and social justice have shaped her belief that where you live determines how you live.

Sheelah is a member of the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies’ Cook County Place Matters team, board treasurer for Healthy Schools Campaign, and a guest lecturer at Northwestern University School of Education & Social Policy. She holds a Doctorate in Naprapathic Medicine from the National College of Naprapathic Medicine, an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, and a BS in Business Administration from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Omari Kamal: Finance Director

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Prior to working with IMAN, Omari was an Advisor in the Wealth Management Division of the Private Bank of JP Morgan. In addition to having been an accountant in private practice, Omari has held a variety of other managerial and executive financial management positions with companies like Bank One, TD Waterhouse, and American Express.  He received a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Roosevelt University and an MBA in Finance from DePaul. He is currently working towards earning the CPA designation in early 2013

Adiba Khan, M.D.: Health Clinic Administrator

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Adiba is a native of Goa, India. She was born in Salisbury, North Carolina, and graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a degree in Biology and a minor in Spanish. She spent a year in Belize doing HIV research, and assisting the Peace Corps, focusing on tropical medicine and infectious disease. She then got her MD in England, and came to work at IMAN in 2009. Adiba is committed to community health both in the US and abroad, and envisions the health clinic at IMAN to be a place of education for patients and volunteers, while promoting health access as a basic human right within the underprivileged urban community.

Angela E. Rosario: Facilities & Operations Manager

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Angela was born in Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico and came to the U.S. at the age of six. She lives on the Southside of Chicago and was a student in IMAN’s Career Development Initiative before joining IMAN’s staff.

Angela graduated from Wilbur Wright College and for five years served as Security Manager at Sofitel Water Tower Hotel. Angela is certified in CPR and Basic First Aid, is a Certified Nursing Assistant, Designated Fire Deputy certified by the Chicago Fire Department and is certified in emergency preparedness.

Madeehah Muhammad: Office Coordinator

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Madeehah has served as volunteer with IMAN since 2003. She attended Barry University for Pre-K Primary Montessori Education. She also worked at Clara Mohammed School in Miami as a Pre-K instructor for four years.

Shamar Hemphill: Youth Director

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Shamar, IMAN’s first Public Allies Intern, was born and raised on Chicago’s Southside and has been volunteering with IMAN since 2000. Shamar has an Associates Degree in Science and Technology from Langston University in Oklahoma.

After returning to Chicago in 2003, Shamar served as the Youth Coordinator for The Mosque Foundation and also studied Arabic under the tutelage of Sheik Bedridden. Shamar was a long time volunteer at Masjid at Al-Ihsan and also has hopes to one day develop a non-profit institution that does community based work.

Bilaal Evans: Security Officer

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Farhana Arif: Organizing Fellow

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Farhana Arif is originally from the metro-Detroit area. She attended the University of Michigan, where she graduated with a double concentration in Brain, Behavior & Cognitive Science and Arabic & Islamic Studies. She also studied Arabic for a summer at Alexandria University in Alexandria, Egypt. After graduation, Farhana served as an AmeriCorps member, working with children and local residents in a low-income community just outside Detroit. In addition to AmeriCorps, Farhana has prior volunteer and work experience in mentoring, advocacy, development, and public health.

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