Sumaiya Zama is an artist, poet, writer, youth worker, and activist from the Boston area. Her writings, work, interests, and activism center around themes of faith, human rights, racism, anti-blackness, gender based violence, xenophobia, Islamophobia, sexism, LGBTQI rights, immigration, borders and occupation, and others.
Sumaiya graduated from the University of Massachusetts in Boston with a degree in Political Science and minors in Human Rights and African Studies. Throughout her undergraduate career, Sumaiya was involved in service, both domestically and internationally. In 2015 she traveled to Guatemala to work alongside the indigenous Mayan community to build stoves for households where women were the primary providers. In 2016, Sumaiya led a service trip to Tijuana Mexico, where she worked alongside a border community to build homes for families impacted by deportations. Through this trip to the U.S. Mexico border, Sumaiya became active in issues of human rights abuses centered around border security and border violence; specifically it’s implications on children and families.
In the summer of 2016, Sumaiya traveled to Israel in efforts to study in Palestine and learn more about the human cost of borders and occupation. There, she was interrogated, detained, and deported. Since then, Sumaiya has felt it vital to share her story through writing and art in an attempt to help others heal from trauma.
In her last year of college and the year following her graduation, Sumaiya was a youth worker for the City of Cambridge. Based out of a site in North Cambridge, she primarily worked with children of color from immigrant and refugee communities. Her work with young people centered around teaching themes of inclusivity, social justice, and activism through various art forms.
Currently, Sumaiya is the Youth Empowerment Coordinator at the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a civil liberties and advocacy organization. In this role, she works to empower young people from communities impacted by xenophobia through activism and civic engagement while working alongside educators to ensure that curriculums, textbooks, and learning spaces foster environments of inclusivity for all young people.
In her spare time, Sumaiya writes and performs poetry at local venues in the Boston and Cambridge area. She is also a photographer, blogger, and henna artist and believes in the healing and transformative power of storytelling and art.
For further inquiries, she can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All photographs/art/writing/opinions found on this blog are her own.