(open pronouns: anything with respect)
Aliaa takes their personal experience and professional experience as a researcher into all of their social justice work. Aliaa has a background in social psychology and public health; she focuses on intersectional, racial, environmental, and mobility justice perspectives and approaches. Their first major research projects used intersectionality to examine the differences in behavior towards Black and white women in sex work and sexual assault. Their research revealed disparities in helping and punishing behavior between helping Black women versus White women in instances of sexual assault. People who scored higher in “benevolent sexism”, or viewing women as weak and incompetent yet deserving of protection, were more likely to help White women than Black women. In addition, her published research found that sex work was possibly so strong of a violation of the women’s “purity norm” that punitive behavior towards women were equal between Black women and White women.
Prior to joining Equitable Cities, Aliaa was an Environmental Justice and Climate Equity fellow with MobilizeGreen, where she researched, interviewed, and met with grassroots activists and homeless persons of color in Oakland, CA to recommend community-based environmental justice projects and policies. Aliaa also has experience with equity metrics development, facilitating a racial justice community and leadership equity program, and organizational strategic planning through her previous work with Well-Being and Equity in the World.
Aliaa grounds themselves within their own community by volunteering with Proviso Partners for Health to alleviate food apartheid and promote food justice through community gardens and low-cost fresh produce markets in predominantly Black communities. When Aliaa takes time to rest, she’s dancing to their favorite music, watching live theater, reading, frolicking in the woods, and performing spoken word poetry.