Imam Zaid Shakir

Imam Zaid Shakir is a co-founder of Zaytuna College, located in Berkeley, CA., and also teaches Islamic law and history. He obtained a BA with honors in International Relations at American University in Washington D.C. and later earned his MA in Political Science at Rutgers University. While at Rutgers, he co-founded New Brunswick Islamic Center formerly Masjid al-Huda. He also co-founded Masjid Al-Islam, the Tri-State Muslim Education Initiative, and the Connecticut Muslim Coordinating Committee. He served as an interfaith council Chaplain at Yale University and developed the Chaplaincy Sensitivity Training for physicians at Yale New Haven Hospital.

Trained in both the academic and religious intellectual traditions, Imam Zaid is uniquely qualified as a commentator on the substantial issues of our time. And, he brings clarity of mind and engaging honesty to even the most controversial issues. Imam Shakir has been invited to lecture at several prominent universities including Stanford, UCLA, Berkeley, Yale, Harvard, Columbia, Dartmouth, Rutgers, and Temple University. As a compelling force for the improvement of race relations in America, and amongst the most respected global Islamic scholars, The New York Times describes him as a “leading intellectual light”. He has served as an advisor to many organizations and influential leaders. As a gifted author and lecturer, Imam Zaid Shakir recently was ranked as “one of the most influential Scholars” in the West; by The 500 Most Influential Muslims, edited by John Esposito and Ibrahim Kalin, (2009).

Imam Zaid has joined RAHMA to provide guidance on issues that may pertain to religion. He is also supportive of HIV/AIDS work and knows that it is long overdue.

Kyle Isma’il

Kyle Isma’il is a board member of SHARE Indianapolis and chair of its development committee and served as director of SHARE Network, an affiliation of Muslim nonprofit organizations working to address issues of poverty and mass incarceration in America’s urban areas. Previously, Kyle served as the first associate director of the Inner-city Muslim Action Network (IMAN), where for three years he helped to develop organizational structure, strategy, and government funding sources. He began his support for IMAN doing advocacy work around Muslim ex-offender/public safety and community housing issues. Kyle has spent nearly a decade working with government and nonprofit organizations developing programs related to workforce development, affordable housing, and Muslim ex-offender reentry.

As a leader in organizational strategy, Kyle was recognized by the Lincoln Foundation for Business Excellence in 2002 for his work in creating systems for the City of Chicago to monitor and support its federally funded nonprofit contractors across the city. Kyle graduated in 1999 with a master’s degree from the University of Illinois’ Institute of Labor and Industrial Relations focusing on human resource management and strategy. Prior to this he completed a master’s degree in American history at Southern Illinois University where he participated in teaching the university’s first seminar on the ‘Life and Teachings of Prophet Muhammad’, world and American history, and African American studies. While there as a staff journalist, he contributed over 100 articles on diverse topics as a columnist and reporter for the state of Illinois’ largest university newspaper.

Kyle is joined RAHMA to provide his expertise in development and nonprofit management. Kyle is also dedicated to HIV/AIDS awareness and understands the importance of education.