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Bushra Amiwala    

Youngest Muslim Elected Official in the United States; Political & Diversity Activist; Skokie Board of Education

Bushra Amiwala is an award-winning activist, media icon, dynamic speaker and the first Gen Z elected official in the United States.

At the age of 19, she announced her candidacy for the Cook County Board of Commissioners, with the goal to serve as a voice for her underrepresented generation and other marginalized communities. She empowers communities, has broken barriers and stands as a shining example of resilience and determination in her pursuit of positive change.

Her leadership has extended far beyond her campaign as she’s inspired countless others to increase their civic participation. As a result, she’s been named Glamour magazine’s College Woman of the Year, Seventeen magazine’s Voice of the Year, and internationally as CosmoGirl’s Change Maker of the Year. Amiwala was awarded the Women’s Champion Award sponsored by the United Nations, has graced the cover of TIME magazine, and was recognized as Forbes Magazine’s “Woman to Watch” in 2021.

In addition to these awards, Amiwala is the subject of an original PBS documentary called And She Could be Next, the female candidate on Amazon’s RUN the Series, has just debuted in a Hulu documentary called Our America: Women Forward, and she has made hundreds of TV and radio appearances, including outlets such as Fox, CBS, NPR, ABC, and PBS.

Amiwala has spoken at countless colleges and universities, organizations and international companies, with live audiences ranging from 25 to 15,000 people. She has extensive experience and successful leadership across information technology, non-profit organizations, primary & secondary education, and civic & social organizations. She holds her elected seat on the Skokie Board of Education, as its youngest member, is a candidate at Kellogg, Northwestern School of Management pursuing her MBA part-time and continues to work as a Solutions Consultant at Google.

Speech Topics

Diversity, Identity, and Inclusion

In this popular talk, Bushra shares her approach in unpacking the unconscious bias, microaggressions, tokenism, and how all of us can tackle these concepts in our daily lives. Coupled with a bit of humor, Bushra shares her personal experiences and brings it back with high level concepts and actionable lessons.

Empowering Youth Voices

When she chose to run for office at barely 19, empowering a youth voice was a foreign concept. Hear from Bushra about tangible ways one can become an “everyday leader” and influence their own networks. She shares lessons learned as a young person breaking into politics, rooted around mentorship, networking and not being afraid to ask for things.

Women in Politics

Running for office as a Muslim woman, Bushra found her messages – like those of many other women – to be lost and diminished to her clothing and apperance. She went above and beyond to ensure her platform was the core of her campaign, not her identity, and she shares how we can all continue to support women in politics in this regard.

Imposter Syndrome

Bushra ran for office, clearly seeing gap in her formal qualifications and age – and she did so in spite of her insecurities. Hear the deep impacts of insecurity and imposter syndrome – not just the ways it can show up in your life by how to identify it and overcome it.

We Are All Leaders

We all hold within us the capacity to become involved and lead – and we do not have the time to wait to be asked to do so. In this talk, Bushra addresses the stigma that leadership is something thought of as larger than ourselves, helping participants find their own voice.

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