Young Muslims in Political Leadership: A Weekend Conference with a Lifetime of Value

Young Muslims in Political Leadership (YMPL) is a weekend conference that aims to empower a small cohort of 15-50 Muslim-American high school students in the Greater Philadelphia region to pursue careers in public service and government. Muslim-Americans currently only represent a miniscule
fraction in the political sphere – an alarming fact considering how much policy and media attention revolves around Muslims every day. For example, there are just two Muslim-Americans in the House of Representatives, and absolutely no Muslim-Americans in the Senate. YMPL will work towards achieving educational justice and dismantling the racially and religiously discriminate barriers that currently deter Muslims from working in government or public service. Secret surveillance programs, laws that allow racial profiling, torture camps, and proposed bans from entering the country are just some of the structural obstacles that Muslims face in this country – structural obstacles that Muslims themselves are never given a chance to offer input about. We need a new generation of young Muslim women and men in politics. We need leaders and change-makers who are ready to march towards the unknown, sit in a policy room and defend the rights of all the people who can’t be in that very room, and carry dynamic agendas forward. YMPL will educate young Muslims about government and politics, and provide a chance for them to meet other fellow Muslims who have similar passions for public policy, government, diplomacy, and social change.