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Bangladeshi American Women Making History in Politics

  • Published at 07:02 pm June 11th, 2020

One of the takeaways from ongoing protests for #BlackLivesMatter is that it is crucial for a country to have proper representation for underrepresented minorities                          

One of the takeaways from ongoing protests for #BlackLivesMatter is that it is crucial for a country to have proper representation for underrepresented minorities. There are approximately 188,000 people of Bangladeshi heritage in the US today, and Bangladeshis are one of the fastest growing populations in New York City. So far, there have only been a handful of public officials representing this community. In 2020, five women across the country are hoping to change that. Here’s what they have to say: 

Candidate: Shahana Hanif

Running for: New York City Council

History teaches us to organize. It teaches us that we have to centre justice in everything we do. And this is a historic moment because never did I think I would be among a slate of Bangladeshis running across different positions. I think what’s even more beautiful is that we’re working to build working-class power; we’re working to build a leadership that prioritizes people who have been abandoned – that we don’t want anyone left behind.

Candidate: Nabilah Islam

Running for: US Congress, Georgia

Coming to this country, we’ve always held that part of our identity – that we’re fighters and survivors. We are forging on and trying to make sure that we have representation for our communities.

Candidate: Sharmin Shahjahan

Running for: Re-election as Village Trustee, Hanover Park, IL

Whenever there are so many other voices that are having different perspectives on one issue, you are more holistically representing an underrepresented community and your voices together are amplified such that you can work together to accomplish more. 

Candidate: Mary Jobaida

Running for: New York State Assembly

Bangladeshi people do carry some kind of inheritance that whenever there is injustice, they speak up, they fight, they try to bring justice. It is not about fighting for Bengali rights, or Bangladeshi or Muslim rights; it’s about the rights of all of us.  

Candidate: Moumita Ahmed

Running for: District Leader in Queens, NY

We just want to push the envelope and make history for our communities. As immigrants, we bring that history, that culture with us here. And then, we contribute to the existing democracy by sharing our experience.

Source: NowThis Politics: Meet the Bangladeshi Muslim American Women Running for Office. Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zBu69kbnaAY.

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