Meet the Team Behind Masjid al-Rabia
Board of Directors:
Director of Development
Cruz June Rodriguez is a Latino Queer Muslim living in Chicago, IL. Cruz has dedicated his religious life to building accessible spaces where no one is turned away from Allah and Islam, no matter who they are.He recognizes his efforts as part of a movement calling for an inclusive community that moves forward together, for all Muslims.
Mahdia is an educator and community organizer centering transgender liberation, disability power, prison abolition, and youth suicide prevention. She lives in Chicago where she is a senior caregiver and works as a freelance writer and private chef/cooking instructor. You can learn more about Mahdia and her work at mahdialynn.com or on Twitter @MahdiaLynn
Director of Spiritual Education
Zaynab is currently pursuing her doctorate in religion at Chicago Theological Seminary. She holds an M.A in Religious Studies and a B.A in Jewish Studies. Her specializations include the intersections of gender/sexuality & religious law within Judaism and Islam, historical anti-semitism, and talmud/rabbinics.
Director of Accessibility
Noor's info is also incoming! He is also great.
Interns, Volunteers and Coordinators:
Reed is a first-year seminarian at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. They spent undergrad studying theater in Abu Dhabi, and the past few years freelancing in Chicago. It wouldn’t surprise their younger self that they are studying theology, and thriving as a trans and mentally ill human, but becoming a cat person would! Reed has a wonderful day job as a dog and cat groomer, and continues to design and devise art. They are invested in interfaith collaboration, holding space for witness and tenderness, and centering alternate and artistic expressions of faith. They spend downtime knitting, queering faith + domesticity, gardening, and snuggling with their ever-increasing menagerie. Reed is (joyfully) interning at Masjid al-Rabia through LSTC’s Public Church Fellowship.
Social Media Intern
Samantha was born in Chicago and raised between Illinois and Florida. She’s a social media wiz who is dedicated to activism and her faith. You can find Samantha either reading memoir centered on racial/gender identity or BuzzFeed listicles about dogs. Returning to Chicago to lend her talents to the nonprofit world after working in publishing in New York, she is excited to contribute meaningful change to the community that shaped her.
Prison Outreach Coordinator
Malik is a Psychology major at Northeastern Illinois University, with an emphasis on adolescent LGBTQ studies. He enjoys meeting new people and engaging in different cultures. Known for his unmistakable smile and personable demeanor, Malik believes the key to cultivating a community of caring individuals is "to practice being unapologetically honest with ourselves and love one another, especially in our differences."
Hannah is a musician, teacher, and community organizer from Bloomington, IN. Her life in Chicago is a constant blend of art and activism. In addition to an active career as a performing musician, Hannah teaches music to children and adults, harvests for Patchwork Farms, volunteers for Interfaith Community for Detained Immigrants, and devotes an extra set of hands to the spiritual care of Masjid Al-Rabia.