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Charis and HEART Present authors Nadiah Mohajir and Haddijatou Ceesay in a conversation moderated by Dr. Alia Azmat for a discussion of The Sex Talk: A Muslim’s Guide to Healthy Sex and Relationships. The Sex Talk is a starting point for Muslim communities on how to talk about sex, reproductive health, and sexual violence. This event is co-hosted by HEART, Raksha, Inc, and SisterLove, Inc. HEART's mission is to promote sexual health, uproot gendered violence, and advance reproductive justice by establishing choice and access for the most impacted Muslims. Raksha's mission is to promote a stronger and healthier South Asian community through confidential support services, education, and advocacy. Raksha works towards healing, empowerment, and justice for survivors of violence. SisterLove's mission is to eradicate the adverse impact of HIV, sexual and reproductive health rights and justice challenges impacting women and their families through education, prevention, support, research, and human rights advocacy in the United States and around the world.
The Sex Talk book is an investigation into everything related to sex and healthy relationships, supported by best practices in public health, medically accurate information, and Islamic scholarship by leading Muslim women academics. Written by Muslims for Muslims, this book includes faith-inspired and culturally-sensitive information that is long overdue, and while it was written with Muslims in mind, we hope that many other communities benefit from it and find it useful. The authors aim to be trauma-informed, queer-inclusive, and survivor-centered. They hope that this book has something for everyone, whether you’re 45 and married, 18 and just had your first kiss, or 25 and not looking for a romantic partner.
The authors take a nonjudgmental approach to the issues raised and a realist approach to acknowledge the lived realities of Muslims in North America. Muslims have sex, both same-sex within and outside of marriage. In heterosexual as well as same-sex relationships. And in healthy, pleasurable ways, as well as unhealthy, and possibly abusive ways. They anticipate that some of the opinions and suggestions presented in this book may be uncomfortable or unfamiliar to some of our readers. If you find yourself in this situation, we ask that you be patient and use this as an opportunity to learn about other people's perspectives and lived realities. This book is not prescriptive in how people should live their lives or their Islam, but rather offers the information and tools they need to work toward healthy, safe, and spiritually fulfilling relationships that are free of violence and abuse.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS:
Nadiah Mohajir, MPH. is a lifelong Chicagoan, Pakistani-American-Muslim, mother of three, public health professional, reproductive justice activist, and anti-sexual assault advocate. She is the Co-founder and Co-Executive Director for HEART Women & Girls. For over a decade, she has led the organization to provide sexual health education and sexual violence awareness programming and advocacy to thousands of individuals, organizations, and campuses across the country. Nadiah has worked in public health and reproductive justice for over twenty years in a variety of settings, including, but not limited to research, academics, policy, and community health. Her past work includes projects such as redesigning teen pregnancy programs, improving pregnancy outcomes in low-income communities in Chicago, running sex education programming for vulnerable youth, and evaluating innovative cross-sector partnerships in public health. She earned her Master’s degree in Public Health in 2009 from the University of Illinois at Chicago and her Bachelor’s degree in Public Policy Studies from the University of Chicago. Nadiah has also participated in a number of fellowships, including the American Muslim Civic Leadership Institute, Germanacos Fellowship, is a recipient of the Women’s Innovation Fund, and most recently was selected to participate in NoVo Foundation’s Move to End Violence program. She is also the recipient of numerous awards, including the 2018 Chicago Foundation for Women’s Impact Award and the El Hibri Foundation’s Community BuilderAward.
Haddijatou Ceesay, MSPH, Ph.D. is a Gambian Muslim, researcher, writer, and social justice advocate with expertise and significant experience in research, project management, and advocacy, primarily focusing on education policy, youth empowerment, public health, and gender. She holds a doctorate from City, University of London; where her research centered on sexual and reproductive health education policy for young people. She has extensive experience working with survivors of various forms of gender-based violence (GBV), including Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), child marriages, and sexual violence. Dr. Ceesay is a health educator and consultant at HEART and has consulted for other agencies, including the United Nations Populations Fund, the Institute for Human Rights and Development in Africa, and the Population Council. Prior to this, she was part of an inter-agency committee that worked with the African Union’s (AU) campaign to end child marriage, and successfully lobbied to pass a law to ban child marriage in The Gambia. Dr Ceesay co founded the #SaveGambianWomen initiative, an online repository for documenting violence against women cases in The Gambia. She is a firm believer of activism through digital spaces for the global amplification of women’s voices.
ABOUT THE MODERATOR:
Dr. Alia Azmat holds a Ph.D. in counseling psychology from Purdue University and is currently a post-doctoral fellow with the Center for Victims of Torture (CVT) in Clarkston, GA. In addition to her role at CVT, Dr. Azmat is currently practicing as a pre-licensed psychologist in Decatur, GA. Her research, clinical, and training interests include identity and culture, vicarious trauma, and critical qualitative research. She has been working with HEART since 2013 as an educator, trainer, and research consultant.
In-person event guidelines:
RSVP is strongly recommended.
All attendees must wear a face mask at all times
Tickets are limited to restrict capacity and preference will be given to ticket holders.
We will begin seating people at 7 pm ET.
Additional copies of the book will be available for purchase at the event.
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