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.
Tasnia Ahamed joined Turning Point in 2017 and was appointed our very first Deputy Director in the summer of 2022. She oversees all 4 of Turning Point’s programs. 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 throughout the year. In December 2021, Tasnia was named a New York City Advocate of the Year by the New York Mayor’s Office to End Domestic and Gender-Based Violence for her tireless work during the coronavirus pandemic. 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 Masoud joined Turning Point for Women and Families in the autumn of 2022 as a full-time Outreach Coordinator. She first crossed paths with the organization when she covered the five boroughs of New York and New Jersey for NY1 Spectrum News. During her time at NY1, she covered a variety of stories from political shakeups in NYC and Washington D.C., to natural disasters around the state, to consequential court verdicts and the election of Barack H. Obama as 44th President of the United States. She also won a Citation of Honor for her work covering families impacted by 911 and the Muslim, South Asian Communities from former Queens Borough President Helen M. Marshall in 2010. In 2010, Barin joined BBC News in New York and the United Nations as a producer where she covered everything from Security Council Resolutions on the Libyan, Syrian regimes to reaction on the so-called “Arab Spring” to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. She covered two presidential campaigns-the reelection of Barack H. Obama and Donald J. Trump from Cleveland, Ohio in 2016. She has freelanced for major news outlets such as the Associated Press, CTVC in London and NPR etc. Barin graduated with her Bachelor’s in Communications and Master’s in Political Science and International Relations from St. John’s University in New York. She is a native New Yorker but was born in Kabul, Afghanistan. She is deeply passionate about human rights, women’s rights, counterterrorism and most especially, refugees! She is fluent in Dari and Spanish.
Tracey McFarlane joined Turning Point for Women and Families as an MSW intern in Spring 2022. She lives in Jamaica, Queens. She was born and raised in Jamaica, West Indies. She decided to become a social worker because she wants to advocate for people who are in need. Her interest in the field is working with victims and survivors of domestic violence. She graduated with her bachelor’s last year at York College and is currently getting her master’s in social work from Fordham University. Growing up, she has seen a lot of women who have experienced some form of violence from their partner. This made her realize that there are a lot of women who have experienced intimate partner violence who are afraid and or ashamed to open up about their experience. She would like to be someone who is able to help these women with the knowledge and resources they need to help them overcome their trauma.
Sumayya 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.
Alishbah Saddiqui joined Turning Point in the summer of 2022 as a part-time Youth Leader. She has a triple major in Political Science, Global Studies, and Geography from Hofstra University. Additionally, she recently graduated from The New School with a Master’s in International Affairs. Alishbah previously interned at the New York State’s Division of Human Rights where she handled and investigated claims of discrimination. She also interned for the International Action Network on Small Arms (IANSA), where her research on the international gun trade’s influence on women and domestic violence supported the organization at the UN’s Biennial Meetings of States. Being a first-generation immigrant, Alishbah saw first-hand the challenges she and her family faced living in New York post-9/11. Turning negative experiences into positive ones, Alishbah used her GIS background to make and present multiple maps countering islamophobia and debunking myths about terrorism and immigrants. She is passionate about Muslim women’s issues, and wrote her honors dissertation about islamophobia, misogyny, and Islamic feminism. Alishbah is excited for this opportunity at Turning Point to continue pursuing her passion for women, human rights, and the Muslim community. She is fluent in Urdu, Hindi, and Punjabi.
Sufia Emu joined Turning Point for Women and Families in the autumn of 2022 as an MSW Intern. She is currently pursuing her master’s of social work at Stony Brook University. She graduated with her bachelor’s from The City College of New York in December of 2020. She believes that a woman can pursue her dreams despite stigmas in culture, religion, and society. She hopes that as a future social worker, she can help raise the standard of life for all especially marginalized groups such as teenagers, immigrants, and vulnerable women. “A woman in Islam is not a burden but a very important individual in society,” she says. She aims to uphold religious principles appropriately. She is fluent in Bangla, Hindi, and Urdu.