Shahana Hanif was born in 1991 in Brooklyn and was raised in Kensington’s Bangladeshi community. After a health crisis as a teenager led to a diagnosis of lupus, she went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in women’s and gender studies from Brooklyn College. While there, she became involved in intersectional activism and community organizing, especially with the Committee Against Anti-Asian Violence and Naree Shongothok: Bangladeshi Women Organizing for Social Change. Hanif has worked as director of organizing and community engagement for New York City Council Member Brad Lander. See this narrator’s full biography and oral history.
Oral History Clips:
Shahana Hanif challenges the different standards of behavior for boys and for girls in her community.
Shahana Hanif contrasts her quiet behavior with that of her sister.
Shahana Hanif describes her parents’ attitudes toward friendships outside the home.
Shahana Hanif describes how her desire to live beyond the stoop and her alliance with local community activists to create more public spaces in Kensington were initially inspired by events in her home country of Bangladesh.
Portrait of Shahana Hanif in Brooklyn.
Photo by Joey O’Loughlin