Women's Activism NYC

Shahana Hanif

1991 - Today

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Shahana Hanif is a Brooklyn-born Bangladeshi performance artist, storyteller, disability justice activist, and community organizer rooted in immigrant rights and representation, affordable housing, and language access. She spearheaded CAAAV: Organizing Asian Communities’ public housing organizing program through which she built grassroots community power of low-income, limited English proficient, immigrant Bangladeshi, Korean, and Chinese tenants. Shahana has developed a Bangla social justice language bank resource guide used by Bengali youth and those working with Bangladeshi immigrants. She is also the co-founder of the Bangladeshi Feminist Collective, and is currently Director of Organizing and Community Engagement with City Council Member Brad Lander. In her role, she focuses on making city services and organizations accessible to Bangladeshi, Muslim, and immigrant constituents; advise and respond to immigration policy changes, and create opportunities for working-class Bangladeshi New Yorkers to know and participate in electoral politics and local legislation around housing, jobs, and community development. She says that “My politicization and critical feminist thinking occurred during diagnosis with Lupus at age 17 from a disability justice perspective, took off at Brooklyn College where I pursued an interdisciplinary track of Women’s and Gender Studies, and sharpened while tenant organizing at CAAAV.”

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