MALA promotes diversity by celebrating differences in cultures, perspectives, backgrounds, and traditions. We strive to create awareness by sharing the unique experiences of hundreds of individuals and giving them a platform to be heard; to inspire and be inspired. MALA sees diversity as a strength that can unite people from every walk of life and provide them with an opportunity for self-growth and enlightenment.

No matter where an individual comes from or how they were raised, each person has a valuable lesson to share and an important contribution to make that MALA seeks to promote.

  • MALA’s story-teller, Sharareh Drury, recently had her StoryCorps segment aired on NPR’s All Things Considered. Sharareh is of mixed heritage — her mom’s side of the family is from Iran and her dad’s side is from Ireland. She recently came to the StoryCorps booth in the Chicago Cultural Center where she spoke openly about being bullied as a child.
  • Anxhela Ndrio shares her unique perspective as an immigrant from Muslim and Orthodox Christian background to empower people of all backgrounds to stand up and take action to help change the refugee crisis in Syria.
  • Fatima Salemassi was born in Venezuela, of Lebanese descent. In her beautiful story, she combines her worlds of Arabic, Latin, and American cultures. In 2006, she visited Lebanon, where she was caught in cross-fire due to war.
  • Zeshan Bagewadi describes his unique upbringing from South Asian parents. After studying Opera in college, he decided to blend an eclectic combination of his talents. Zeshan recently performed for President Barack Obama’s birthday at the first White House Eid celebration.
  • Eboo Patel was born in India and came to the United States with his parents at two years old. Patel is the founder of Interfaith Youth Core. His story aired on WBEZ, and he talks about how the seeds of his work with Interfaith Youth Core were sown from his own experiences at school.

MALA thanks StoryCorps and its affiliated partners in our efforts to archive, collect, preserve, and promote stories from our community. Help support our project on GlobalGiving!


Leave a Reply