As a mother of two teenage boys, Hena Khan constantly worries for them in this changing and uncertain world. “Like all parents, I often think about my kids’ futures. How can I create a better world for them today, quarantined at home? How can I create a safer world for them tomorrow in the classroom and one day in the workplace? ” she says.
While there is so much in the news to cause anxiety, she’s working hard to focus on the good and the trustworthy. One of the sources she turns to is ISPU, where she proudly served as a board member for six years.
Hena is also a best-selling author of children’s books, including Amina’s Voice, Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns, Under My Hijab, and It’s Ramadan, Curious George. As a writer and speaker, she use ISPU’s work to stay informed about the American Muslim community and to equip herself with facts and data she can use to make a difference.
Hena recently visited a public school where a second grader raised her hand and asked if Hena had been bullied when she was a kid. Thankfully, she had not. But unfortunately, the situation is different for many Muslim children around the country today, including that little girl.
“In my response, I was able to cite ISPU data on bullying and quantify for my audience of students and teachers what we all know anecdotally—that our children are being harassed, called names, and being discriminated against at alarming rates,” Hena says.
After the presentation, Hena raised the bullying issue with the school guidance counselor and shared ISPU resources with those with the power to protect Muslim kids. “Whenever I visit schools, speak at educator conferences, or meet with school administrators around the country, I rely on ISPU research to inform educators on how to tackle the insidious challenge of bullying and hate speech being directed at our children,” Hena says. “And they, in turn, are grateful to have it.”
“The work we all need done for our families and children is empowered by ISPU’s research.”