Dr. Betty Shabazz Memorial Annual Award Ceremony

The simple phrase, “Find the good and praise it,” handed down to Dr. Betty Shabazz from her mother, became the cornerstone of a life lived powerfully, honorably, sincerely, and provided a winning formula that move her through all of life’s challenges.

Since 2002, Women In Islam, Inc. has been celebrating the example and legacy of Dr. Betty Shabazz annually in our Dr. Betty Shabazz Memorial Lecture and Award Ceremony. We take this opportunity to recognize other women, of all backgrounds and faiths, who demonstrate their unwavering and courageous dedication to helping others.

In 2002, the first Dr. Betty Shabazz Recognition Award was given to Kadiatou Diallo, Ahmadou Diallo’s mother, and was presented by Ilyasah Shabazz, one of the daughters of Hajj Malik Shabazz (Malcolm X). In the following years women holding a diverse body of accomplishments have been honored, including Ms. Ruby Dee, world-renowned actress, playwright, civil rights and anti-war activist, as well as New York City Congresswoman Yvette Clarke, and Ameenah Matthews, violence interrupter and community activist for peace building and social change.

In 2004, we also added two Compass Awards to the ceremony. These awards are given to women who, through their exceptional dedication, mark as well as forge a clear direction for our communities. Past honorees include Kayhan Irani, artist and activist and Rinku Sen, president and executive director of the Applied Research Center (ARC) and publisher of Colorlines.com.

We welcome you to join us in celebrating the legacy of Dr. Betty and living examples of powerful and dedicated women.


This Year’s Honorees


Dr. Betty Shabazz Award:

Professor Larycia Hawkins
Nationally-Recognized Scholar, Speaker and Interfaith Activist

Compass Awards:

Nzinga Knight
Award-winning Fashion Designer, Educator and Entrepreneur

Madame Assetou Sy
Founder of “Finally Girls Matter”, Activist Towards Eradicating Female Gential Mutilation


Past Honorees


Dr. Betty Shabazz Award:

Dr. Adelaide Sanford
Educational Visionary, Leading National Advocate for the Education of Students of African Ancestory

Compass Awards:

Lucia Gomez
Frontline Advocate for Immigrant and Worker Rights

Linda Sarsour
Racial Justice and Civil Rights Advocate, Leading Voice Countering Islamophobia


Dr. Betty Shabazz Award:

Letitia James
Public Advocate of the City of New York

Talat Gilani Hamdani
Mother of Salman Hamdani, a 9/11 First Responder, Civil Liberties and Human Rights Advocate, Interfaith Bridge Builder

Compass Awards:

Zakiyah Ansari
Advocacy Director, New York State Alliance for Quality Education (AQE)

Founder/ Executive Director, Def Dance Jam Workshop


Dr. Betty Shabazz Award:

Shirley Sherrod
Advocate for Civil Rights and Racial Healing, Co-founder, The Sherrod Institute

Compass Awards:

Monami Maulik
Founder, Executive Director, DRUM, Desis Rising Up & Moving

Karen Washington
Community Food Advocate & Co-Founder, BUGS, Black Urban Growers


Dr. Betty Shabazz Award:

Ameena Matthews
Community Activist for Peace Building and Social Change, Violence Interrupter

Compass Awards:

Potri Ranka Manis
Storyteller, Founder/Artistic Director & Tradition-Bearer, Kinding Sindaw

Rinku Sen
President and Executive Director, Applied Research Center & Publisher, Colorlines.com


Dr. Betty Shabazz Award:

Congresswoman Yvette Clarke
New York City, 11th District

Tayyibah Taylor
Founder & Publisher, Azizah Magazine

Compass Awards:

Faiza N. Ali
Community Activist

Kayhan Irani
Artist and Activist, Artivista

Aliya P. Latif
Research Associate, Islamic Center of New York University


Dr. Betty Shabazz Award:

Farhana Khera
Executive Director, Muslim Advocates

Compass Awards:

Nurah Amatullah
Executive Director, Muslim Women’s Institute for Research and Development (MWIRD)

Mallika Dutt
Executive Director, Breakthrough


Dr. Betty Shabazz Award:

Progress Theater
International Touring Ensemble of Multidisciplined Performers

Compass Awards:

Blanche Foster
Executive Director, Darfur Rehabilitation Project

Jacqueline Moturi Ogega
Director of Women’s Program, World Conference of Religions for Peace


Dr. Betty Shabazz Award:

Sylviane Anna Diouf
Historian, Author & Curator

Compass Awards:

Nellie Hester Bailey
Co-founder and Director, Harlem Tenants Council

Aliyah Morgan Sabah
Director of Community Medicine, Brooklyn Hospital Center


Dr. Betty Shabazz Award:

Ingrid Mattson
President, Islamic Society of North America, ISNA

Compass Awards:

Azadeh Khalili
Deputy Commissioner, Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs

Donna Lieberman
Executive Director, NY Civil Liberties Union


Dr. Betty Shabazz Award:

Azizah Al-Hibri
Founder & President, KARAMAH: Muslim Women Lawyers for Human Rights

Compass Awards:

Kathleen Foster

Robina Niaz
Founder & Executive Director, Turning Point for Women & Children


Dr. Betty Shabazz Award:

Amina McCloud
Professor of Religious Studies, DePaul University

Compass Awards:

Rasheedah Abdul Hakeem
Islamic Wellness Institute & ICNA Relief

Adrienne Hayward James


Dr. Betty Shabazz Award:

Patricia L. Gatling
Commissioner and Chair of the New York City Commission on Human Rights

Compass Awards:

A’aliyah Abdul-Karim
Educator, Activist and Lecturer

Chung-Wha Hong
Advocacy Director, NY Immigration Coalition


Dr. Betty Shabazz Award:

Ruby Dee
Activist, Actor, and Author


Dr. Betty Shabazz Award:

Kadiatou Diallo