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





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 Rahman is a Malaysian-born, Toronto-based city-builder, community organizer and freelance writer. 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. Prior to moving to Canada, Shazlin studied architecture in Malaysia and Australia. She brings together her passion for city-building and equity through urban affairs writing focused on how Muslims, and Muslim women in particular, experience urban spaces. @shazlin_r


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.

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