Staff Members

Christina Tasca - MCN Executive Director

CHRISTINA TASCA

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Christina Tasca brings with her a long- standing dedication to social justice work and advocacy for marginalized voices to her role as Executive Director of the MCN.

Christina’s experience includes a range of initiatives with non-profits and organizations on human rights and faith- rooted social service with a particular focus on youth and women’s empowerment.

Her interest in interfaith collaboration and dialogue has inspired a passion for promoting greater understanding beyond lines of difference and her experience working at home and abroad with government officials, activists, academics, and religious and community leaders make her aptly suited to connecting people from many walks of life to work together toward positive social change. While still an undergraduate, she was a Human Rights Defender with the Guatemalan Human Rights Commission investigating the genocide of indigenous peoples and endemic violence against women. Most recently, she traveled to Pakistan with the U.S. – Pakistan Interreligious Consortium (UPIC) working with religious and civil society leaders to build interpersonal relationships across national borders, shatter stereotypes, and reduce tensions between the two countries. Previously she worked with the Arigatou International in coordinating the World Day of Prayer and Action for Children on an array of peace and ethics education programs and other activities to end violence against children on Universal Children’s Day and year round.

She holds a Masters degree in Global Politics from the Royal Holloway, University of London and a certificate from New York University in fundraising, philanthropy, and nonprofit management. Her passion is building the capacity of faith-based and community organizations working to address society’s most salient social justice issues by developing systems, strategies, and the internal infrastructure to maximize their impact. In 2016 she received a Citation from the New York State Assembly for Outstanding Citizenship and a Certificate of Recognition for Outstanding Leadership and Service to the Community from New York City Public Advocate Leticia James.

Ms. Tasca is humbled and grateful to serve her community and looks forward to helping it flourish in her capacity as MCN’s Executive Director.

Emaan Moosani, MCN Program Director

EMAAN MOOSANI

PROGRAM DIRECTOR

Emaan Moosani brings a passion for teaching and economic policy to her role as Program Director at the MCN.

As a teacher she has worked internationally and locally in diverse communities and is dedicated to ensuring that students of every background are able to use all the resources available to them to be successful in their education and grow to be model citizens.

Emaan’s commitment to social justice and community empowerment have inspired her to work with youth groups and adults to ensure that they have the knowledge and skills to be the positive change that they are seeking. She is currently collaborating with an interfaith education group of religious leaders to develop a multigenerational and multi faith family engagement program to promote greater understanding and mutual respect across all age levels.

She holds a Master’s degree is Economic Policy from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.

Mack Graham, MCN Operations Manager

MACK GRAHAM

OPERATIONS MANAGER

A native of Staten Island and a graduate of Stony Brook University, Mack’s experience with business management led him to begin his professional career in the music industry in NYC.

Having worked with both Warner Music Group and Universal Music Group, Mack developed his skill set with marketing by promoting various artists. Through the music industry, Mack tapped into his talent to use social media as a primary means of advertising. While Mack found the experience to be valuable, he had a deep desire to engage in more meaningful work and essentially give back to the community. As a result, Mack chose a social services path and became a foster care planner in 2010.

 

For six years, Mack worked as an advocate for children and families in New York City and Austin, Texas. Mack’s passion for communities and social services, especially in urban settings, has always been the driving force of his career. He moved back to New York to further his studies in graduate school and earned his M.S. in Nonprofit Leadership from Fordham University in 2017.

 

Mack Graham brings numerous strengths as a social justice advocator. With over seven years of experience focusing on brand development, social welfare, and nonprofit leadership, Mack currently serves on the Board of Directors at Lower East Side Family Union. He is also a member of the Young Executive Council at Madison Square Boys and Girls Club. Most recently, he has become a member of the Justice League NYC; a task force of youth justice activists, advocates and artists who focus on social issues negatively impacting society and combine their resources to make broader changes in New York. Mack’s current role as Operations Manager allows him to combine his talent in nonprofit management while working to shape the public narrative about what it means to be Muslim in America. His desire to create a system to implement positive change, in a macro and yet transferable manner, for underserved communities continues to be his driving force.


HASSANAH SMITH

PROGRAM COORDINATOR

Hassanah is a Newark, NJ native and a graduate of Rutgers University Master of public administration program.

Her tenure in youth development implementation, grassroots advocacy, and government administration has given her the skills to lead MCN’s youth programs.

Hassanah’s commitment to serving in areas of need will be a lifelong passion. She aspires to learn and grow in the public sector to enhance her leadership skills. As a champion for social justice Hassanah will collaborate with local New York schools to implement the necessary skills for students to see value in their involvement and create tomorrow’s leaders.

She wants to return to her hometown and become a change agent for youth development, contribute to policy implementation that effects inner-city youth, and be a part of the movers and shakers of the greater Newark community to enable positive change.

Board of Directors

Dr. Debbie Almontaser, President MCN Board of Directors

DR. DEBBIE ALMONTASER

PRESIDENT BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Dr. Debbie Almontaser is the founding and former principal of the Khalil Gibran International Academy.

Dr. Debbie Almontaser is the founding and former principal of the Khalil Gibran International Academy. A 25-year veteran of the NYC Public School System, where she has taught, trained teachers, and served as a multicultural specialist and diversity adviser.

Dr. Almontaser is the Board President of the Muslim Community NetworkDr. Almontaser frequently lectures on Arab culture, Islam, cultural diversity, interfaith coalition building and youth leadership. Dr. Almontaser sits on the Public Advocate Tish James’ Jewish, Muslim, and Sikh Task Force to Combat Hate. Dr. Almontaser also serves on the board of The Therapy and Learning Center Preschool and Emerge USA National Board.

Dr. Almontaser is a published writer on Education and American Muslim issues.  She has been profiled in the NY Times on the founding of the Khalil Gibran International Academy as well as Time Magazine, Newsweek, and profiled in the Daily News for spearheading the inauguration of NYC’s Arab Heritage Week in 2005.

Recently, Dr. Almontaser was a featured speaker at the 2016 National Democratic Convention. Dr. Almontaser is a recipient of numerous awards ADC National’s, Rose Nader Award Commitment to Values of Equality and Justice, Pax Christi’s Local Peacemaker Award, Jews for Racial and Economic Justice’s Risk-Takers Award, the Annual Faith Leaders Award and proclamations for building bridges of understanding from the Mayor of the City of New York, Brooklyn Borough President and a proclamation from the New York City Council for her excellence in education and a proclamation from the NYC Comptroller’s office for her civic engagement organizing work. Dr. Almontaser was a Columbia University Revson Scholar in 2005. She was also named a Thought Leader at the ASMA Society Muslim Leaders of Tomorrow Program in 2006.

M. Bari Khan, MCN Board of Directors

M. BARI KHAN

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

M. Bari Khan has been active in Islamic affairs and the Muslim communities in New York for many years.

Bari is one of the original founders of the Islamic Center at NYU, one of the leading university based Islamic organizations in the United States, and is active in several South Asian and Islamic community groups today.  Upon his graduation from NYU’s Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, Bari joined City Hall under Mayor David Dinkins, one of the first Mayors to endorse diversity initiatives in the City and recognize Muslim holidays.

Today, he works as a Director of Finance at the NYC Health Department and most recently worked on Mayor Bill de Blasio’s election campaign.  Besides his professional work in public service, Bari is a parent advocate in the Upper Westside and has chaired the PTA Diversity Committee for the past 5 years at PS199 (the only school in Manhattan to win the coveted National Blue Ribbon School Award). He lives in Manhattan with his wife Rifat and two daughters, Maha and Suha.  After 35 years as one of the founders of the ICNYU, Bari remains as committed as ever to enhancing the understanding of Islam and empowering Muslims in the City of New York.

Malik Sabree, MCN Board of Directors

MALIK SABREE

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Malik Sabree is the Chairman/Founder of PIRS LLC and PIRS Holdings LLC.

Malik Sabree is the Chairman/Founder of PIRS LLC and PIRS Holdings LLC, the sole provider of credit ratings for the private lending industry that specializes in risk management and is the Founder of The Mores Group, LLC, a debt buying/private lending company established in 2009 He is also the Founder of The Viewtainment Corporation in 2006, which created and developed casual games for cellphone users long before the advent of the smartphone.

A post graduate of University of Iowa College of Law and Henry B. Trippie College of Business, he received a Juris Doctor and Master of Business Administration in 1999 and a Bachelor of General Studies from Virginia Commonwealth University in 1992. He is currently focusing on multifamily acquisition and asset management.

Laila Al-Askari, MCN Board of Directors

LAILA AL-ASKARI

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Laila Marie Al-Askari is the Director of Administration and Finance for The Brick Presbyterian Church where she is developing the organization’s systems to service inreach and outreach needs as well as interfaith work.

Ms. Al-Askari has a keen interest in serving the Muslim community, an activity that she has been involved in since her school days. In 2014 the Islamic Center of New York University (ICNYU) awarded Laila the Visionaries Award for her work in cofounding the Islamic Center during her undergraduate years at NYU. The ICNYU began with 7 members and today over 1,000 students and alumni are active in the ICNYU community. She feels that it is her duty to speak out for Islam, and clear misconceptions about Islam. As a young professional Laila formed the Young Muslim Professionals Club. It is Ms. Al-Askari’s goal to see Muslims become visible, and for people to see Muslims as valuable members of their society.

Laila’s interfaith work has led her in many directions. In 2017 Laila joined the board of the Muslim Community Network to continue her work on building bridges within our communities. She has served as Treasurer for the American Society for the Advancement of Muslims, and served as the Muslim representative to the Executive Committee for Auburn Seminary’s Face to Face Faith to Faith Program for conflict resolution, and currently serves in an advisory capacity to the Board of the Cordoba House and the Islamic Sunday School Program. During the past several years Laila has participated in interfaith panels on Islam at Marble Collegiate Church and other venues. Most recently Laila participated in the Muslim Leadership Training program jointly sponsored by the Cordoba House and the Hartford Seminary.

Ms. Al-Askari is a native New Yorker, a graduate of New York University with a BA and MA in Near Eastern Literature and Languages, and an MBA in Healthcare Administration from Baruch College/Mt. Sinai School of Medicine and is a Certified Health Care Executive (CHE). She was the Administrator for Cardiology at Beth Israel Medical Center, and later at Montefiore Medical Center, worked in the Otolaryngology and Ophthalmology Departments as the Director of Business and Clinical Affairs providing needed services for underserved areas. For this work she was one of the first administrators to become a Fellow of the New York Academy of Medicine.

Hobbies: Travel, Diving: Master Diver and an avid underwater photographer.


MCN Co-Founders and Board Members Emeritus

Imam al-Haji

Aisha al-Adawiya

Adem Carroll
(Executive Director 2008-2010)


Additional Board Members Emeritus

Robina Niaz

Nurah Amatullah

Moushumi M. Khan

Abdulsalam Musa

Sarah Sayeed