GO! Presents 100 Women We Love: Class of 2024

THE CULTURAL ROADMAP FOR CITY GIRLS EVERYWHERE

July 28, 2020

Mahdia Lynn

Photo by Mat Schram.

Mahdia Lynn is the co-founder and executive director of Masjid al-Rabia, an inclusive, Chicago-based Muslim community center devoted to serving women and the LGBTQIA+. A prison abolition activist as well as a disabled Shi’a Muslim and transgender woman, Lynn approaches social justice through a spiritual lens. “It is high time to recognize that the religious lives of queer and trans people is a public health issue,” Lynn tells GO. “It’s not a claim of one faith practice being right or more authentic than another; a person’s faith is an integral part of how they understand their self and their role in the world. Only by using the language of spirituality can you heal the spiritually wounded. When queer and trans people face an epidemic of suicide, addiction, and violence, true healing, true growth needs to be won on a spiritual and faith-informed basis.” The religious center — which in 2018 became the first women-centered mosque in the Americas to open an independent location — is an active force in engendering social justice for the marginalized. It’s currently helping to distribute aid to Muslims in need alongside Queer Crescent Healing through the recently-launched Radical Muslim Mutual Aid: Covid-19 Redistribution fund. In addition to her work with Masjid al-Rabia, Lynn is also a leader with Believers Bail Out, a grassroots organization that provides bail relief for Muslims incarcerated or held in ICE detention. This work, Lynn says, is not a choice so much a calling. “I believe that we’re all called to something, and I believe that if you find work worth doing and commit to show up and do your best every day, eventually you will wind up exactly where you’re supposed to be. It’s a comfortable certainty knowing that I am exactly where I’m supposed to be: in service to my community.” —RK

Click here to see all 100 amazing women from this year’s class of Women We Love!

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