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Youth Leadership Group


Commission_Logo.pngTo assist the Commissioners:

- by encouraging and contributing evidence from Muslim and other young people in the UK
- in understanding the pressures and dilemmas faced by those young people
- by making considered proposals for ideas and recommendations given their experience and networks
- by advising on the likely impact of their findings and recommendations on those communities
- by acting as a sounding board for ideas and recommendations of the Commission
- by committing to put into action the relevant recommendations of the report

The Youth Leadership Group is co-chaired by:

Charlotte Milner was raised in Yorkshire, moving to London aged 18 to study English at Queen Mary, University of London. After graduating she worked for The Salvation Army in Stepney with youth and the community as a part of the Essential Programme, an initiative to train and equip young leaders. Charlotte has a strong passion for social justice and for building relationships in the community. She has been involved with Tower Hamlets Citizens for a number of years, and has helped to lead campaigns on multiple local issues. She is currently in training to become a church leader in The Salvation Army. 


Kawsar Zaman is a trainee solicitor at Clifford Chance LLP where he sits on the firms BME Steering Committee. He has volunteered for a number of charities and in 2015, awarded the Muslim News Malcolm X Young Person's Award for Excellence. As the first in his family to attend university, he graduated with a first in law from the LSE before reading for the BCL at Oxford University and the LLM at Harvard Law School as a Fulbright Scholar. In 2009, Kawsar was a Global Fellow of the Prime Minister and has worked at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, House of Commons and the Department for Education. He is currently a Governor at Morpeth Secondary School in Tower Hamlets and a Trustee of Toynbee Hall, an organisation working to address the causes of poverty and distress, with a special focus on the East End of London.

The following individuals also sit on the Youth Leadership Group (in alphabetical order):

Usman Ali has been working within the voluntary sector over the last 6 years with organisations in Wakefield. He previously was part of the Wakefield Youth Parliament, and currently sits on the West Yorkshire Police Wakefield Division Independent Advisory Group & Hate Group. Usman established the Wakefield City Youth & Community Project in 2013, and founded the Wakefield BME hub and Faiths Forum.

Mehdi Al-Katib is a grass-roots British-Iraqi activist based in London. Mehdi is pursuing an MA in International Studies and Diplomacy at SOAS, University of London. He previously worked as a Public Relations Officer for the Muslim Student Council. Mehdi has also interned with Chatham House's MENA Programme, and is currently interning at UNICEF in Jordan.

Alaa’ Al-Samarrai is a monitoring consultant for a political monitoring firm in central London. Previously she worked for the international humanitarian relief agency Islamic Relief Worldwide. She has also served as Vice President of the Federation of Student Islamic Societies (FOSIS) in 2010-2012 during which she campaigned on Islamophobia, civil liberties and student welfare issues. Raised in Leeds, she completed her BA in International Relations at the University of Leeds, and MA in International Conflict Studies at King's College London.

Jessica Baker became involved with Citizens UK Birmingham through her synagogue, where she teaches every Saturday. She is also a leader with LJY-Netzer, the Liberal Jewish youth movement and was selected as one of 18 under 18 Jews in the country by Jewish News for her work in the community. She has just finished her A levels and is hoping to study Philosophy and Politics at university.

Louiza Chekhar graduated from Oxford University in 2011, and has since built her career within the international humanitarian and development sector. Currently working for a major British humanitarian organisation on anti-trafficking work with refugees in Europe, she spent four years prior to this working at Islamic Relief UK. Louiza has been involved in several Muslim community and civil society initiatives, including the Oxford University Islamic Society, where she was General Secretary, and as a volunteer for MADE in Europe. Louiza also participated in the Young Muslim Leadership Programme at Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies in 2013.

Ian Cole is an architecture graduate who is currently employed at SOAS Students Union working to facilitate student groups, providing support and aiding their growth and development. With experience working in Students' Unions the Former Vice President: Activities & Employability at London South Bank Students' Union, Ian has a history of representing students, generating exciting opportunities, and working to create a community for students. He believes in inclusivity and participation to allow people to develop as individuals and benefit the community.

Sahabi Choudhury is studying International Political Economy as an undergraduate at City University of London. Born and raised in Tower Hamlets, he has been frequently involved in social justice actions with Citizens UK volunteering on behalf of his youth group at Darul Ummah. Having represented his youth group at various levels; Sahabi has since volunteered in many charity projects; and is currently serving as head teacher at Unwind Summer School (one of the many charity projects at Darul Ummah). After completing his degree, Sahabi aims to pursue a career in Economic Regeneration and continue working on campaigns aiding in community-led development.

Mohammed Adel Chowdhury is graduate of International Relations from Loughborough University with a passion for grass-roots community development. Growing up in Bristol, Mohammed became the first chair of a user-led BAME-focused youth organisation addressing issues such as antisocial behaviour and educational attainment. Since leaving university, Mohammed joined a large IT firm and continues his third sector involvement with international relief charities, community projects and faith-based education in London.

Daphne Giachero is a graduate in anthropology and human rights currently completing an internship in campaigning. She is a proud European national and has lived in London for six years, where she has been involved in many volunteering and community-based activities. She is passionate about promoting social cohesion, civic engagement, equality and pluralism.

Josie Hicklin is currently working for an international development charity whilst also doing the legal practice course with the intention to qualify as an immigration solicitor. She lives in Tower Hamlets, goes to St Paul’s Church in Shadwell, and is particularly interested in understanding how immigration, multiculturalism and interfaith relationships can benefit society.

Sukbir Kaur is a socialist, feminist, and grassroots activist. Since the age of 14, Sukbir has been involved with community organisations though volunteering, campaigning and raising awareness on pertinent issues. She likes to express herself creatively through spoken word poetry and was poet in residence for the West Yorkshire Police. Sukbir was born and bought up in Leeds and has a keen interest in ethnography.

Hamzah Lambat graduated as an Imam in 2013, and then began to supplement his academic background with further studies. His journey began in Cambridge where he undertook an 18-month modular intensive programme at an independent college. In addition to this, Hamzah has also become an alumnus of several leadership development programmes which include the U.S. State Departments Young Muslim Exchange Leadership Programme, and the Young Muslim Leadership Programme at the Centre for Islamic Studies, University of Oxford. Hamzah now divides his time between his work as an Imam, and a Leicester City steward.

Anneessa Mahmood is a development consultant and supports organisations who represent groups of young people with governance, strategy and democracy. She was the Community and Welfare Officer at LSE Students' Union after graduating with a degree in Management. She is developing specialisms in participation and systems change from an organisational development perspective, and is interested in collaborative approaches to creating solutions and having conversations that matter.

Mohamed Mohamed​​ is a poet, ​community activist and football coach from South London.  He founded the​ (un)Heard Words ​​project, which focuses on using poetry as a tool for interfaith engagement. Beyond exploring the topic of faith, politics and masculinity in his poems, Mohamed has never been afraid to explore local community and global challenges too. His poem “I remember” was shortlisted for the Free Word's National “The Time is Now” 2015 Climate Change Poetry Prize. A 2014 ‘Student Leader of the Year’ from the University of Exeter, Mohamed is an alumnus of the Young Muslim Leadership Programme (2013) at the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies and an alumnus of the Young Muslim Leaders Exchange Programme (2015) with the US Embassy of London.

Dr. Mohammed Mozaffari is a graduate of Leeds University, 2013, is a GDP Dentist working for {my}dentist Leeds. Co-Founder and Trustee of ‘Leeds Muslim Youth Group’, a dedicated Muslim youth group, created to support and educate the 12-17 age-range; specialising in youth trips, community projects and Muslim Youth education.


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