Muppies is introducing the world’s largest Muslim leadership development conference on September 21, 2019, in Chicago.

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Muppies is pleased to announce Kalia Abiade as a speaker for this year’s conference:

Kalia Abiade

Managing Director for Strategy and Partnerships, Pillars Fund


Investment Strategy | Journalist | Racial Equity

Kalia Abiade is the Managing Director for Strategy and Partnerships at the Pillars Fund, an organization that amplifies the talents, narratives, and leadership of American Muslims. She has transformed Pillars’ grantmaking by creating a long-term investment strategy that aims to empower and support American Muslim communities in all of their complexities. In addition to overseeing the annual grant cycle, she is responsible, more broadly, for sharpening and operationalizing the organization’s vision and strategy.
At the center of Kalia’s professional experience and community life is a commitment to racial equity and expanded opportunity. Prior to joining Pillars, she spent four years working with community-based organizations, faith groups, and national coalitions to advance justice for immigrants, Muslims, and communities of color in the U.S. She is an experienced facilitator and has trained hundreds of advocates and activists to hone their media and communications skills and increase their capacity to tackle societal inequities. Through the federal TRIO programs, Upward Bound and Talent Search, she worked closely with high school students in Southwestern Virginia in their pursuit to become the first members of their family to graduate from college. She has more than 15 years of experience as a local newspaper journalist and editor, and her work and analysis have been published and cited in The New York Times, the Washington PostThe Nation, National Public Radio, Public Radio International, and In These Times, among other outlets. She currently serves as a board member for Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees and is a graduate of the University of Florida.
Kalia lives on Chicago’s South Side with her husband and their children.