Get to Know the Team Behind Our Foundation
Dr. Jon A. Yasin - President
Jon A. Yasin is a professor of English and Linguistics at Bergen Community College. He was Le Responsable D’ Animation Rurale in N’gabou, Senegal, West Africa for two years after completing his undergraduate studies at the California State University at Hayward, where he received the Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology and Anthropology.
Upon his return to the United States from Senegal, while converting to Al Islam in 1971, Dr. Yasin attended graduate school in Massachusetts, where he received a masters of education from Northeastern University in Applied Linguistics; a masters of public administration from Harvard University, with a specialization in the politics of language, and a Certificate of Graduate Studies from Boston College. While in Massachusetts, Dr. Yasin was on the founding faculty of Roxbury Community College.
During this time, he was the Director of the University of Islam School, which Imam W.D. Mohammed [RA] renamed the Clara Muhammad School, of which Yasin was Convener of the School Board. He was awarded the PhD in English and Rhetoric by the State University of Pennsylvania in Indiana, PA, after which he taught Linguistics and English at the United Arab Emirates University in Al Ain, Abu Dhabi from 1981 through 1988.
Returning to the United States, Dr. Yasin joined the faculty at Bergen in Paramus, New Jersey, and completed the Doctorate of Education in Applied Linguistics at Columbia University’s Teachers College, in New York City. He has written a plethora of articles on various aspects of Youth and Hip Hop culture, with his primary research interest being the emcee and the notion of talk in the music of the African Diaspora.
Dr. Hameed el Amin – Vice President
Dr. Hameed el Amin was raised in Tuskegee, Alabama and educated at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia. He received his masters degree in Biological Psychology from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, from where he earned the Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology, as well.
Dr. Hameed was an officer in the United States Army; in addition, he worked in the Montclair Schools in Montclair, New Jersey. Having lectured in the academy for many years, he recently retired from the faculties at Calhoun Community College and at Alabama A and M University in Huntsville, Alabama. He converted to Al Islam during the 1970s.
For nearly fifteen years, Dr. Hameed has dedicated his life to working with the Imam W.D. Mohammed Educational Program, after being commissioned by Imam Mohammed [RA] to contribute to this great work, by assisting in the development of the Creation Inspired Curriculum. Dr. Hameed is spearheading the effort by educators working on the Clara Muhammad School’s curriculum, about which a colleague from the University of California at Los Angeles, at the annual meeting of the American Education Research Association [AERA] in Toronto, Canada, described as a new approach to the representation of knowledge.
He is the author of two books. Dr. Hameed is married to our beloved Sister Linda and lives between Huntsville, Alabama, and Detroit, Michigan with his wife, children, and grandchildren.
Katara P. Aleem - Secretary
Katara P. Aleem was raised in Springfield, Massachusetts. She graduated with highest honors from American International College with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education. Sister Katara converted to Al-Islam in the 1970’s. For fifteen years, she has actively participated with The Clara Muhammed Schools Consortium. She brings to the Board over 40 years of experience in the Field of Education: Kindergarten teacher, Springfield Public Schools; Director of Education, Robert M. Hughes Academy Charter School Springfield, Mass; Co-founder and Head Teacher for Al-Nur Home Education Center in Springfield MA; Team Lead at Clara Mohammed School, New York City; Teacher at Clara Mohammed School Washington DC.; Teaching-Administrator at Clara Mohammed School Washington DC; Kindergarten Team Lead, Arts and Technology Academy Public Charter School, Washington DC.; Lower School Resource and Mentor, Arts and Technology Academy Public Charter School, Washington, DC. Sister Katara is presently Curriculum Coordinator at Masjid Muhammad Youth Weekend School, Washington, DC. Sister Katara lives with her family in Bowie, MD.
Sister Laila Muhammad – Board Member
Laila Muhammad is a fifth-generation African American Muslim, ( Bilalian ). She is an educator and community advocate born in Philadelphia, PA, raised in Chicago, IL and now living in Roselle, NJ. She graduated from the University of Islam school, now known as the Sister Clara Muhammad School System. Currently, Laila is one of the directors of Sister Clara Muhammad Memorial Education Foundation (SCMMEF) and with a team of educators, works on curriculum and policy. Laila holds a degree in Child Development from Chicago City College Olive Harvey, studied Behavioral Science at National Lewis University, and working towards a Master degree in Islamic Leadership at Bayan Islamic Graduate School, Claremont.
As she continues in the footsteps of her parents and grandparents, she, as an independent consultant, works to build healthy community life for the betterment of humanity, through individual life coaching, art therapy and collaborations with serval NGO's. She is cofounder of Ummi Collectivity Campus, www.ummicapus.org
From the age of fifteen, she has traveled the world, falling in love with the diversity of the human family. Her travels are a major part of her interfaith efforts. Moreover, Sister Laila was the first African American Muslim woman to participate in the US presidential inaugural prayer service, under the Obama administration.
Laila is an author, poet, and lecturer. To learn more visit, sisterlaila.com
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Roselle, NJ 07203
Dr. Adella Baseemah Alim
Dr. Adella Alim is a retired Educator from Detroit Public Schools. She was born in Gadsden, Alabama, raised on a small farm in Ashland, Alabama and later moved to Detroit, Michigan. Dr. Adella received a Bachelor’s Degree in Science Education with a minor in Mathematics from Wayne State University in 1985. She taught one year at Clara Muhammad School in Detroit, Michigan, 1985-1986. While teaching 9th grade students in Detroit Public Schools, she obtained a master’s degree in Science Education with a minor in Mathematics from Wayne State University, 1988.
In 1992, Dr. Adella received an Administrative Certification from Wayne State University. She received her EdD in Educational Administration, Supervision and Policy Study from Wayne State University in 2008.
During her years as a teacher and an administrator, Dr. Adella designed and developed programs for the Michigan Educational Assessment Program test; The Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) program; Teacher use of Diversity in the classroom; Communities in School; Improved achievement for Title I students; Classroom Management, Teacher Efficacy; Lesson Planning; and Grant writing.
Since retiring, Dr. Adella, a widow of three years, has dedicated her time to the community. She currently serves on Masjid Wali Muhammad’s Board of Trustees for Education; a member of “Neighborly Needs,” an organization dedicated to revitalizing neighborhoods near Masajid in Detroit, Michigan, and conducts staff development in lesson Planning and Teacher Efficacy for Al-Iklas Academy and Tawheed School. Dr. Adella is the mother of six children, eleven grandchildren, and three great grandchildren.
Finally, she has strong ties to the community in which she lives. She has been a member of Police Athletic League (PAL) for the past 25 years. This organization, United Youth Sports, uses football, basketball, baseball, bowling to teach children good sportsmanship, communication skills, discipline and team spirit, self- esteem, with the goal of providing youth activities to deter juvenile delinquency. Although retired, she is extraordinarily busy working for good neighborhoods and community life.