Faiza Ocasio was born in 1953 in New York City. She was raised in a Catholic Puerto Rican family in the Lower East Side neighborhood of Manhattan. She married her husband and reverted to Islam while studying at Fordham University in the Bronx. After receiving their degrees, she moved to Washington, D.C. to work with the Islamic Party of North America. They returned to New York two years later, settling in the Cypress Hills neighborhood of Brooklyn. She became active in several Islam-centered organizations, including Alianza IslÃ¡mica, a Latinx activist organization co-founded by her husband; Islamic Family Services in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn, which offered support services for Muslim children in foster care in Brooklyn; and Al-Madrassa Al-Islamiya, a school in Staten Island and Brooklyn. She retired in 2015 and moved to Westminster, Maryland in 2016 to live on the family’s farm. See this narrator’s full biography and oral history.
Oral History Clips:
Faiza Ocasio recounts how her Puerto Rican community celebrated Eid.
See this Oral History Clip’s interactive transcript.