Author and Activist
Saleemah Abdul Ghafur is committed to advancing gender equity and creating safe, nurturing spaces in American Muslim communities. In 2004, she participated in a civil action to give women space and voice in American mosques, and in 2005, Saleemah took on the issue of establishing women as prayer leaders. She also helped organized a historic woman-led prayer in New York City. Saleemah edited the first anthology collecting the voices of bold American Muslim women. The book, Living Islam Out Loud: American Muslim Women Speak, discusses American Muslim women dealing with the complexities of forging their own identities while contributing powerfully to public life. Saleemah has been a guest on CNN and NPR and her work has been featured in the Boston Globe, the Atlanta-Journal Constitution and The New York Times. Formerly, Saleemah was a member of the group that produces Azizah magazine. During her tenure at Azizah, Saleemah enhanced organizational capacity by initiating Azizah's first formal strategic planning process, securing investors, and developing a branding campaign. She also contributed to the editorial direction of this pioneering publication. Prior to Saleemah's work with Azizah, she was a program officer for the Victoria Foundation. Saleemah is a member of Atlanta Habitat for Humanity's advisory board and is also a member of Friends of Open House regional council. She frequently presents at workshops, seminars and conferences about popular culture, Islam and women. She has also worked with Malaria No More in calling on interfaith groups to collectively use their resources to end malaria related deaths. She is a graduate of Columbia University.