Reparations, Equity, & Liberation

About Me

Welcome,

I am Isa Mujahid. I am a father, a Muslim, a Black American, and a Community Organizer (among many other things). I am committed to racial justice, equity, and liberation. It is my life's work. I am a student of movement building and eager to work with folks of all stripes, who are interested in anti-racist, non-oppressive, systems change work. You can learn more about my activities here


I grew up in Bridgeport, Connecticut during the 1980's and 90's. Bridgeport is located in Fairfield County, arguably the most inequitable place in the United States. I witnessed this inequity, first hand, when I transferred to a suburban, Fairfield private school for my seventh grade year. I attended suburban, Fairfield County private/parochial schools until I graduated high school in 1995.

Me on the left. My cousin Chaz (may Allah be pleased with him) on the right.

Me on the left. My cousin Chaz (may Allah be pleased with him) on the right.

 

I was blessed to have been raised in a woke-ass family. I benefitted from a significant level of race-consciousness, knowledge of and appreciation for the history of the ongoing struggle for the liberation of Black people in the United States. This put the inequity that I witnessed as a young man in the context of our long struggle for freedom and the pervasive, deep-rooted, yet evolving beast of oppression we are up against. 

Grandma Iris (may Allah be pleased with her), when she was a member of the Nation of Islam

Grandma Iris (may Allah be pleased with her), when she was a member of the Nation of Islam

 

When I was young, I wanted to be Malcolm X when I grew up. I wanted to actually become the man, Malcolm X, somehow, as I grew to maturity. As I became older, I understood this to mean that I wanted to fully step into my role and responsibility to continue to forge the path to liberation for my people - a path that has been beaten for 500 years. After graduating high school, I desperately wanted to understand my role in this struggle. I wanted to understand what I could offer the movement. I didn't have many answers to my unending questions. One thing that I did know was that I had many years of pain and growth ahead of me, as I began to figure it out

Me, on the New Haven Green (ca. 2013)

Me, on the New Haven Green (ca. 2013)

 

About a year after graduating high school, I joined the U.S. Army as a medical specialist. I hoped the challenge and isolation of the experience would "test my mettle" so that I would learn enough about myself - my strengths, fears, weaknesses, values and principles - to begin to see how I could be useful to my community.

Me, at a cafe in a U.S. Army camp in Tusla, Bosnia-Herzegovina (ca. 1998-1999)

Me, at a cafe in a U.S. Army camp in Tusla, Bosnia-Herzegovina (ca. 1998-1999)

 

In 2002, two years after returning to Connecticut from the Army, I began working as a Community Organizer with ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now) in Bridgeport, CT. I had found my path. There was still so much to learn about community and political organizing and what an identity as a community organizer really meant for and to me. It would take many more years to figure that out. But where and how change (and ultimately liberation) was going to happen began to come into focus for me.

Me, at an ACORN meeting in Washington, D.C. (ca. 2008-2009)

Me, at an ACORN meeting in Washington, D.C. (ca. 2008-2009)

 

The Bridgeport political machine proved to be a tough nut to crack. It became really clear that upending years of entrenched power, abuse, inequity, and straight up corruption was going to require a lot more than a series of issue campaigns.

Side A of palm card from my 2009 Bridgeport City Council campaign

Side A of palm card from my 2009 Bridgeport City Council campaign

Side B of a palm card from my 2009 Bridgeport City Council Campaign

Side B of a palm card from my 2009 Bridgeport City Council Campaign

 

In 2011, I began organizing, statewide, for the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) of Connecticut. This opportunity to organize and build coalitions across the state would become very informative to my vision and strategies for liberation.

In 2015, during a moment candor, and perhaps, frustration, Governor Malloy made the following statement in reference to a policy change he was pushing, in an effort to address some of the racial disproportionality in incarceration

  β€œTo treat those folks differently because they live in those communities is patently unfair and, if not racist in intent, is racist in its outcome,”

In response, Republican lawmakers "halted business in the state House of Representatives for more than five hours...to protest...Republicans [said] Malloy called them racist."

Me, at a bill sign in Gov. Dan Malloy's office of the TRUST Act, a bill that sought to limit cooperation between CT Law Enforcement and Federal Immigration officers, in an effort to limit deportations and reduce fear for undocumented residents to contact police for help. (ca. 2013)

Me, at a bill sign in Gov. Dan Malloy's office of the TRUST Act, a bill that sought to limit cooperation between CT Law Enforcement and Federal Immigration officers, in an effort to limit deportations and reduce fear for undocumented residents to contact police for help. (ca. 2013)

 

After this episode - of mostly White and suburban legislators trying to halt progress on a racial equity policy that affects mostly people of color in the cities, because they were more offended at (not even) being called racist than at the existence of a racist policy that had huge detrimental impact on my community - it became very clear to me that my role needed to be in building power and Black and poc leadership across the state to execute a real racial justice agenda for reparations, equity, and liberation. 

Join me in The Work