Our Team

Board of Directors


Katherine became active in the Muslim community in 1994 when she converted to Islam during the second year of her PhD in political science. After encountering negative reactions upon her wearing a headscarf, she decided to change her thesis topic to focus on Western reactions to the veil. Since then she has been seeking ways to bring Muslim voices to the fore. Co-founding The Tessellate Institute in 2007 has been part of that journey. Beyond TTI she is a Lecturer at the University of Toronto, operates a small independent publishing company, and is Vice-President of the North American Association for Islam and Muslim Studies. She also works hard at being present for her children.


Mohamed is the Executive Director of Islamic Family & Social Services Association, an Edmonton-based agency working in the areas of food security, family violence, refugee support, and youth programming. He is also a Contributing Editor at the Literary Review of Canada, an award-winning magazine and a leading forum for discussion and debate about Canadian books, culture, politics, and ideas. His community engagement involves serving as a director at a number of other charities including the Couchiching Institute on Public Affairs and Story Planet. In 2015, he was an Ariane de Rothschild Fellow at Cambridge University. @MohamedHuque



Lina has been developing policy recommendations and research for the last five years in various organizations including government, academic, and not-for-profit. She has a Master’s in Public Administration from the School of Policy Studies at Queen’s University. Her areas of interest are in immigration, education and poverty reduction. She enjoys engaging in open-ended dialogue with a variety of intra-Canadian communities and delights at the opportunity to practice her English, French, and Arabic. She wakes up for work every morning with the hope of making Canada a better and more inclusive place for everyone.




Nabeel has been with The Tessellate Institute since 2011, leading the ‘Giving Ourselves a Voice’ filmmaking workshop before joining the team as a project coordinator. In 2014 Nabeel joined the TTI board as Secretary. Outside of TTI, Nabeel is the Network Coordinator for Social Enterprise Toronto, a network of social enterprises that are creating employment and training opportunities for marginalized people in the Greater Toronto Area. Nabeel has previously worked in international development and environmental sustainability alongside volunteering for multiple city-building and Pakistan-related initiatives. He studied public policy and administration in Toronto after business school in Karachi. @ns_ahmed


Shazlin holds a B.A. in Journalism from Wilfrid Laurier University and a Masters in Communication and Culture at Ryerson University. In her current role at the Inspirit Foundation, she supports the creation of communications strategies and provides support to the organization’s grantees and network of young change leaders. During her free time, Shazlin leverages her communications skills to help different civic engagement and social justice projects, including the 4Rs Youth Movement, CivicMuslims and Ramadan Tent Project Toronto. Shazlin’s creativity transcends her work; she can often be found craftmaking, writing, and exploring culture through culinary arts. @linabdulrahman


Steven is a journalist and writer with a strong interest in post-9/11 issues and international affairs. He has worked as a reporter for the CBC and the Ottawa Citizen and is currently an Associate Editor for The Islamic Monthly magazine and an opinion writer for CBC News online. His writing has appeared on Al Jazeera English, the Globe and Mail, Salon, Quartz, Buzzfeed, the Literary Review of Canada, NOW Magazine, and the Huffinton Post, among other outlets. He’s also a graduate of Carleton’s School of Journalism and Communication. @stevenzzhou



Nadiya is a PhD Candidate specializing in Political Sociology at York University. She brings extensive applied research and analysis experience, and has been part of a range of community-based research and programming initiatives in the GTA. Nadiya is passionate about impactful research and periodically publishes Op-ed pieces on issues of race, identity and social justice. Prior to her doctorate work, Nadiya has done graduate work both at Carleton University and SOAS-University of London in politics and international relations. Additionally, Nadiya holds an Honours BA from the University of Toronto. Currently, her doctorate focuses on exploring issues revolving around identity, belonging, resistance and marginalization.



Tendisai is a filmmaker, writer, and journalist. Her foray into journalism began on the streets of Palestine as a reporter for a Ramallah-based publication in 2009. Since then, Tendisai has written for various publications and produced radio segments at CBC’s The Current while also completing the Master of Journalism program at Ryerson University. In 2014, Tendisai founded the production company New Narrative Films where she most recently produced a documentary exploring the relationship between spirituality and social change. She also produced the Tessellate Institute’s documentary Mosque One: Toronto’s First Muslims which is the culmination of an archival project originally launched in 2009. Tendisai participated in the 2014 Doc Accelerator program offered by Hot Docs and worked in the production department at the Canadian Film Centre. She also writes creatively and on occasion performs her works one of which is included in an anthology. @Tendisai

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