Priority areas for this year 

  1. Redistricting and Unity Maps: We are working with the Muslim community to achieve fair representation for Muslims and other communities of color during the Redistricting process of 2021. We are educating local community members on Redistricting (including legal redistricting principles) and training them to provide community-based input and testimony during the legislative session. Our goal is fair maps and redistricting that acknowledges Texas’s growing diversity and keeps communities of interest together. If you are interested in being part of this effort please contact us at nmansoor@emgageusa.org.
  2. Leadership Pipeline Project: Emgage Texas will be identifying key community leaders that are interested in running for elected office. Our goal is to assist in developing their leadership skills and investing time and resources for their candidacy. 
  3. 2021 Emerging Leaders Program: We are searching for the next generation of Muslim leaders. The Muslim community is pivotal to our civic engagement process which is why Emgage’s Texas Emerging Leaders program is designed to help unlock the potential of the next generation of American Muslim leaders. College students and young professionals who want to develop leadership skills while gaining insight into the political system, community building and civic education will take part in our 2021 cohort. In our Leadership and Engagement retreats, participants will gain skills through interactive workshops, advocacy training and thoughtful presentations by local civic leaders. Participants will further their understanding of local, state and federal political systems and this knowledge will benefit attendees of any discipline and background. This year’s Leadership and Engagement retreats will be held virtually to accommodate COVID safety protocols. The program will conclude with an international trip. This will be a unique opportunity to directly engage with the Muslim community in another country. Past international trips have taken students to Turkey, South Africa and Tanzania. Upon completion of the program and all its requirements, our Emerging Leaders will be provided a stipend for all their efforts and continued civic engagement. You can find more information about our Emerging Leaders Program at https://emgageusa.org/educate/
  4. Voter Registration Initiative: We are continuing to build on our efforts from 2020 to register new voters from underrepresented communities. We will be doing outreach to mosques, community organizations and neighborhoods to ensure Muslim Americans are registered to vote.
  5. Policy and Legislative Agenda: For 2021, Emgage Texas has established a framework for our policy priorities and will continue to advocate for policies in that arena. Our framework includes:
  • legislation that directly impacts the Muslim community
  • legislation that impacts religions, religious freedoms and minority rights
  • legislation that Islamic and Muslim community values

In line with our framework, we will be working with our coalition partners to support criminal justice and policing reforms, legislation impacting refugees from Muslim countries and anti-discrimination legislation. We are also actively opposing bills rooted in voter suppression.

Recent achievements 

  • Running for Office Workshop: We conducted an informational session on January 31st, 2021 that walked participants through the planning process for running and executing a successful campaign. All participants were given tools needed to seriously pursue an elected position, including a detailed planning workbook and an opportunity for a one-on-one follow up. Please contact us if you are interested in learning more.
  • In 2020, Emgage Texas executed our biggest Get-Out-The-Vote effort by maximizing voter turnout in target districts through direct voter contact, endorsements and digital outreach. With the help of our coalition partners and our voter database, we identified key districts with the highest populations of Muslim Americans and then directed our resources to engaging them about key issues and civic participation. Our team sent almost 400,000 text messages, called over 200,000 voters and mailed 36,000 endorsement cards. In addition to direct outreach, we also engaged with ethnic media and held multiple virtual and in-person rallies to get out the vote.
  • Census 2020 – Emgage began continuous planning efforts for the 2020 Census in the Spring of 2018. Our focus was on shining a light on the importance of the Census to the Muslim community and building trust in undercounted communities. We spoke at the Census Day Press Conference with Mayor Sylvester Turner and County Judge Lina Hidalgo, conducted Facebook videos, webinars, town halls and census outreach phone banking and texting events. Once the pandemic hit, much of our work was imparting census info at food drives and PPE giveaways.  Emgage was featured as a partner spotlight on the U.S. Census Bureau website here. We are proud of our partnership with the U.S. Census Bureau, City of Houston, Harris County, Fort Bend County, Houston in Action, Empowering Communities Initiative, Austin Asian Complete Count Committee, and Asian Americans Advancing Justice.

Upcoming events 

  • 2021 Emerging Leaders Program: Our 2021 Emerging Leaders Program will kick-off on February 20th, 2021. The dates for our leadership retreat are as follows:

Leadership Retreat – February 20th-21st, 9 am to 12 noon

Engagement Retreat – March 6-7th, 9 am to 12 noon

Service Retreat 2021 – International Trip TBD 

More information on emgageusa.org/educate/.

  • Redistricting Day of Action – Every 10 years following the federal decennial census, all federal, state and local election district boundaries must be redrawn or revised. Redistricting begins when the new census data is delivered to the state. Even though that data will not be delivered until later this year, Emgage is asking Muslims across Texas to take action and ensure the voting power of communities of interest are not diluted. Emgage Texas is planning a Redistricting Day of Action on Feb. 27, 2020.  More information coming soon!

Location: 11122 Richmond Avenue, Houston, TX 77042, Suite 111.