Peace and conflict studies expert joins NNAAC team
"I plan on expanding our presence on college campuses, building more collaborations with similar groups and campaigns, and utilizing other pathways to spread our message to TAKE ON HATE." — Asha Noor
Asha Noor serves as the Advocacy and Engagement Specialist for the National Network for Arab American Communities (NNAAC), with a specific focus on its Campaign to TAKE ON HATE. Noor has worked both domestically and abroad in conflict zones with marginalized communities, including women, afro-indigenous groups, refugees, religious minorities and trauma victims.
"The Campaign to TAKE ON HATE is a great fit for me because I love to mobilize and organize around causes that are not only pressing, but that I am also passionate about. In the past, I’ve worked on racial justice issues and advocacy work with marginalized communities. TAKE ON HATE has all of those elements and more. It blends together advocacy work, narrative, civic engagement, community building and collaborative efforts," Noor says.
Before coming to NNAAC, Noor worked with Islamic Relief USA, where she gained an extensive understanding of Middle East conflict and international humanitarian issues. This prompted her interest in Conflict and Peace studies. During her graduate studies at the School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University, she has focused much of her research and work on Somalia and conflicts facing the Somali Diaspora.
"What I love most about my work in peace and conflict studies is its reflective practices. There’s this misconception that peace-builders go in to “fix” a situation. That model is extremely flawed; really we learn and grow collectively through peace-building. It’s as much a transformative process for me as I hope it is for the communities we work alongside," Noor says.
Noor completed the bulk of her research and field work in Somaliland, working with the Academy for Peace and Development, a think tank developing and sustaining peace in the area. With the program's help and support, Noor worked with the Systemic Violence and Systems Transformation Working group and completed a field study in North East Brazil on poverty. She’s appeared on NPR’s Kojo Nmandi Show discussing issues that Somali, Muslim and Arab Diaspora face in America. Noor also appeared in a podcast for both the Islamic Society of North America and American Muslim Health Professionals discussing issues of Islamophobia and the Muslim-American identity. She has spoken on conflict resolution topics for Somali Ambassadors, Prime Ministers, the State Department, The Forum for Unity and Democracy, Somali Diaspora Youth, Global Somali Diaspora, Interfaith projects and cultural events.
As for her work with NNAAC, Noor says she is looking forward to growing with the Campaign to TAKE ON HATE.
"I hope to both bring a new perspective and learn from the work already carried out by our wonderful team and supporters. I plan on expanding our presence on college campuses, building more collaborations with similar groups and campaigns, and utilizing other pathways to spread our message to TAKE ON HATE," Noor says.
Noor received her Bachelor’s Degree from Michigan State University in Political Science.
Contact Asha Noor at ANoor@accesscommunity.org.