2017 Banquet Speakers
Our 13th Annual Banquet “RESILIENCE” is set to take place on Saturday, February 18th, 2017, at 6:00 p.m., at Drury Lane.
KEYNOTE: Ilhan Omar
Rep. Omar is the newly elected, Minnesota House Representative for District 60B. She is the first Somali-American, Muslim woman in the nation to hold an office at this level. Ilhan is an experienced policy analyst, progressive DFL activist, coalition builder and community educator. Most recently, she served as the Director of Policy Initiatives at Women Organizing Women, where she empowered East African woman to take civic leadership roles in their community. Ilhan holds degrees in Business Administration, Political Science and International Studies. She completed a Policy Fellowship at University Of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs.
Emcee: Zahra Billoo
Zahra Billoo is a civil rights attorney and the executive director of the San Francisco Bay Area chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR). In this capacity, she leads the oldest CAIR chapter in the country, serving the Bay Area's 250,000 Muslims. Zahra is frequently seen at mosques and universities facilitating trainings and workshops as a part of CAIR’s grassroots efforts to empower the American Muslim community and build bridges with allies on civil rights issues. Zahra also provides direct legal services for victims of law enforcement targeting and Islamophobia. Her work has been highlighted in local and national media outlets including the Christian Science Monitor, KTVU, MSNBC, NPR, and the San Jose Mercury News.
Outside of her work with CAIR, Zahra bakes birthday cakes for foster children through Cake4Kids and is a coordinator for Project Feed, a monthly homeless feeding effort in downtown San Francisco.
Fundraiser: Sheikh Kifah Mustapha
Sheikh Kifah Mustapha is the Imam and Director of The Prayer Center of Orland Park. He is the appointed representative for the Ministry of Religious Affairs in Lebanon (Darul Fatwa) on behalf of the Lebanese Community in the USA. Along with being the Chairman of the Illinois Council of Imams and Scholars and the Chairman of the Quran Institute of Chicago MAS, Sh. Mustapha also served as a member on the Advisory Boards of The Mission and Spiritual Care for Advocate Health Group in Illinois, The Council for the Center for Faith and Community Health Transformation, and The American Islamic College in Chicago.
Musical Guest: Zeshan B
Zeshan B is widely being recognized as one of the most unique singers to come out of Chicago. Blending the hard-driving rhythms and horn heavy sounds of 60s and 70s soul with the angsty scats and vocal stylings of early Indo-Pakistani film/folk music, he has created an entirely new genre that is his very own--Brown Skinned Soul. After graduating from Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music, Zeshan has come of age in the Chicago scene and his vocal prowess, paired with the Transistors--a hard-grooving band of Chicago’s best and brightest--has garnered him sold out performances at the Apollo, Cobo Arena (Detroit), Excel London, Millennium Park (Chicago), Coke Studio’s Jaipur Literature Fest, as well as the privilege of opening for acts and leaders like Mos Def, A Tribe Called Quest, Rakim, Aasif Mandvi, Rev. Jesse Jackson and former President Jimmy Carter and Barack Obama.