Public Policy Is Laila Alawa's True Passion

Spring 2014 Govt & Policy Intern

March 20, 2014

Laila Alawa, a 2012 graduate from Wellesley College in psychology and education studies, is MPAC's Spring Government and Public Policy Intern in the Washington, DC, office. Through her research and work post-graduation at Princeton University, Alawa realized she wanted to devote her time to working for the American Muslim community, which led her to move to DC to pursue her dreams of public policy, media and social enterprise and find a home at MPAC.

Alawa said she jumped at the chance to intern with MPAC, to be able develop more fully her interests in policy, coalition building, and community engagement.

"Being a part of MPAC gives me the chance to practice being at the table, not on the table in terms of public policy and discourse," Alawa said. "Letting me learn from the best will provide me with the solid ground from which to create real change in the future, and I am so excited to take full advantage of this opportunity."

This fall, Alawa plans to begin an MBA program while still working, in order to more firmly develop her social enterprise and community organizing interests. During her time at Wellesley, she worked for the rights of underrepresented minorities on campus and collaborated with professors on psychology research covering topics like stereotype threat for women in the sciences, consumer behaviorism and minority stereotyping and judgment.

Alawa also works at Unity Productions Foundation, a nonprofit organization devoted to creating positive representations of Muslims in the mainstream media, and she writes for The Huffington Post, Religion Dispatches, AltMuslim, PolicyMic and The Islamic Monthly, among others. She is the founder and editor at Coming of Faith, a social enterprise working to redefine the faith narratives of American Muslim women through storytelling and engagement.

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