robinaN Robina Niaz worked with various mainstream non-profit organizations for over 12 years before founding Turning Point for Women and Families in 2004, the first non-profit in New York City to address domestic violence in the Muslim community. She has served on numerous boards including Sakhi, Queens Women’s Network, Coalition for Battered Women’s Network, the Muslim Consultative Network, Hartley Film Foundation, and the International Human Rights Art Festival. She is currently a member of the Social Work Advisory Council at Medgar Evers College. A social worker, an activist and a fierce advocate of Muslim women’s rights, Robina has spoken extensively against domestic violence locally, nationally, and internationally, and has received numerous honors and awards. She has also been quoted in and appeared on several media outlets including CNN, NY1, Geo TV, Aaj TV, Al-Hurra TV. In 2009, Robina was named a CNN Hero and was featured as one of the 500 Most Influential Muslims (2009) by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Center/Georgetown University. Robina was also named Queens Person of the Week by NY1 (March 2010) and was honored by the Mayor Bloomberg along with 30 others in honor of the Women’s History Month (2011). Robina has also received awards from FEBA (Federation of Balkan American Associations), Chhaya CDC, State Senator Eric Adams, Women’s eNews, Bank of America, Queens Council for Social Welfare, NASW-NY, NEMWA(North East Muslim Women’s Association), Women In Islam, Union Square Awards, Open Society Institute, the Queens Borough President, the Queens General Hospital, the International Association for Social Work with Groups (IASWG), and Women2Women Forum (2019). Born and raised in Pakistan, Robina has an M.S in Applied Psychology (Pakistan) and an MSW from Hunter College, NYC, is a 2007 CORO Immigrant Leadership Fellow and a 2005 Open Society Institute/RCLA Social Justice Fellow. In 2017, Robina was named one of 21 “Movement Makers” by the NoVo Foundation. She currently serves as a Commissioner on NYC’s Commission on Gender Equity. Robina speaks four South Asian languages.
tasniaATasnia Ahamed joined Turning Point in 2017 and is currently our Domestic Violence Program Coordinator. She is a Licensed Social Worker and received her Master’s in Social Work from Stony Brook University. She has given presentations and participated in numerous events to raise awareness about domestic violence. In August 2018, Tasnia received a Citation from Assembly Member Brian Barnwell, recognizing her as a hard working individual who has demonstrated outstanding citizenry and service. In the past, she has worked and volunteered with agencies such as VIBS: Family Violence and Rape Crisis Center, Womankind, and Maryhaven Center of Hope. Community service has always been a priority for Tasnia growing up as she believes that the only way a community can thrive is if its members uplift each other. As a Bangladeshi-American woman who understands and speaks Bangla, Tasnia understands the struggles of Muslim, South Asian New Yorkers and the unfortunate trend of bottling away hardship to exhibit strength. She envisions a community where we can talk about social struggle, especially domestic violence, as a means of healing, not as a whispered comment. Tasnia is excited to make this vision a reality.
Barin MasoudBarin Masoud joined Turning Point for Women and Families as Outreach Coordinator in the autumn of 2021. She first crossed paths with the organization when she covered the five boroughs of New York and New Jersey for NY1 News and featured Executive Director, Robina Niaz as a Queens Person of the Week. During her time at NY1, she covered a variety of stories from political shakeups, to natural disasters, to court verdicts. She received a Citation of Honor for her work covering the Muslim and South Asian community by former Queens Borough President Helen M. Marshall. In 2010, Barin joined BBC News in New York and the United Nations where she covered everything from security council resolutions on the Syrian War and the Middle East Palestinian statehood bid, to the tenth annual anniversary of the September 11th attacks and other various breaking stories in North America. She has also freelanced for major news outlets such as the Associated Press, CTVC Ltd., NPR etc. Most recently, she worked as an associate in the media relations office at Pace University. Barin graduated with her bachelor’s and master’s from St. John’s University in New York. She is a native New Yorker but was born in Kabul, Afghanistan. She is fluent in Dari and Spanish. Deeply passionate about human rights, women’s rights and making a difference, she is excited for this new chapter at Turning Point for Women and Families.
Melissa GiraldoMelissa Giraldo joined Turning Point for Women and Families as an MSW intern in Fall 2021. She has spent her career honing her corporate skills while maintaining a true calling in helping and supporting those most in need. Her personal experiences in supporting and co-parenting her siblings through challenges with autism have forged in her a passion for helping others navigate their unique journey from a truly personal point of view. Even while employed full-time with prior employer “The Worth Collection, Ltd.” and currently running the administration of the Project and Development Services team of 35 professionals at “Cushman & Wakefield” for the past 4 years, she has relentlessly pursued her passion by working to obtain her Degree in Social Work after hours. In additional to pursuing her studies, she has completed volunteer work that supports her passion including acting as an Art Therapist at the Cohen’s Children’s Hospital in New Hyde Park and as an Assistant Therapist  Through a flexible work life balance program at her current place of employment, Melissa is able to continue her studies at Fordham University Graduate School of Social Work. She is excited for this opportunity at Turning Point to help women and girls to empower themselves and transform their lives and to provide support by one day sharing her story, as she has also faced domestic violence and is now a survivor. In her free time she enjoys participating in therapeutic activities such as planting, hiking, swimming, taking walks and loves spending time with her siblings.
Atiya RajaAtiya Raja joined Turning Point for Women and Families as a Youth Leader in winter 2021. She graduated with her bachelor’s in International Studies from Manhattan College in New York. She is currently enrolled in the Masters of Social Work Program at Lehman College and will complete her placement as a Social Work Intern at TPNY. As a Pakistani-American woman, Atiya knows what it is like to experience Islamophobia and understands the challenges of being Muslim in America. She decided to pursue social work to be an advocate for Muslim women and girls experiencing violence or discrimination at home, in school, and in their community. Atiya is fluent in Urdu and Hindi.
Sumayya ChaudhrySumayya Chaudhry joined Turning Point for Women and Families as a Seniors Advocate in April 2022. She is a junior at Hunter College, currently majoring in clinical psychology. She plans to get her master’s degree in social work. As a psychology major, she aspires to work with people who are in need of help and guide them through tough times. Her goal is to make a safer and more comfortable environment for vulnerable women going through a hard time. She is fluent in Urdu.
selinYSamiye Selin Yalbuzdag was a dedicated and a loyal supporter of Turning Point since its inception and stepped up as a volunteer in September 2014. She joined Turning Point’s staff as an Administrative Assistant in March 2018. She is passionate and committed to Turning Point’s work and mission. Selin is from Adana, Turkey and has a BA in ESL Education. As an immigrant and domestic violence survivor, she intimately knows the struggles of Muslim women face in the society. She has a rich experience of working in a variety of fields including office management, the textile import/export, and catering and food management. Turning Point has helped Selin find her true voice in life. She completed various domestic violence trainings and received her education diploma in psychology and social work. She enjoys reading anything that help her grow and hopes to strengthen her voice and encourage all the women she meets along the way to find their voices. She is fluent in Turkish.



“…Caught in a highly abusive relationship it seemed all doors were closed…Turning point was the hand that pulled me out, gave me my strength back, showed me the path and gave me my life back. Today I am leading a very happy peaceful life, raising two normal healthy kids and everyday that passes by I am grateful. "


“I think it’s a great place to find hardcore knowledge and amazing stories with much truth. A secure space to meet and really open up and relate with other youth…”


“Thanks to Turning Point's vision of serving ALL Muslims ….I know when I reach there I will always be greeted with a warm smile, be understood and receive the spiritual support I need,…For the first time I feel as though I can trust somebody that means the world to me.”


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