We are pleased to share that Management HQ (MHQ) team member, Sabrina Khwaja, was recently honored by the University of Minnesota (U of M) for her research on depression in Muslim American adolescents.

Sabrina is a recipient of the Scholarly Excellence in Equity and Diversity (SEED) award. This prestigious award honors U of M students whose research and scholarly interests are focused on issues of equity, diversity, and/or social justice, and who demonstrate outstanding creativity, innovation, and potential for scholarly and/or professional excellence in their discipline or field.

As a graduate student in the university’s School of Public Health, Sabrina is utilizing research about the negative effects of historical trauma on heath outcomes in underrepresented populations with the hope of creating a tool to assess the current state of stigma toward depression in Muslim communities.

When asked about receiving the award, Sabrina responded, “I feel humbled and honored. The university is filled with wonderful individuals who are making great strides to increase equity, inclusion, and diversity in the school and in their work. I am pleased to be highlighted as a member of this group. It is encouraging that the work I strive to do is welcomed and encouraged.”

In addition to her research, Sabrina has a strong interest in cultural sensitivity and issues of health equity. Recognizing that in the months leading up to the 2016 elections there was a lot of differing information and stigma related to the Muslim population, she spearheaded an event that focused on the myths that lead to Islamophobia.

“It was an incredible event,” said Sabrina. “We had an overwhelming amount of engagement.”

Sabrina is the policy coordinator for MHQ client, the Minnesota Association of Community Mental Health Programs (MACMHP), which serves mental health providers. Through her work with MACMHP she has had the opportunity to engage in a cultural sensitivity event the association co-hosted with community partners, which promoted diversity, inclusion and equity in the mental health space.

“I hope to continue making strides and engaging in projects and events that promote components of diversity, inclusion and equity,” said Sabrina. “It is extremely important to be cognizant of different perspectives and cultures when engaging with the community.”