In a world where the fight for justice and equality has become paramount, there are those remarkable individuals who dedicate their lives to making a tangible difference. Aliyah Tihani Salim is one such visionary leader, a driving force behind transformative initiatives that challenge the status quo and strive to end mass incarceration in the United States. Born in Berbice, Guyana, and raised in Ozone Park, New York, Aliyah’s upbringing instilled in her a deep appreciation for her cultural heritage and a passion for advocating for education, diversity, gender equality, and human rights. She holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Science degree from New York University, equipping her with the knowledge and skills necessary to effect meaningful change in the world.
As the program officer for the Galaxy Leader Fellowship, Aliyah plays a pivotal role in awarding grants to individuals who are committed to reshaping the U.S. criminal legal system. Over the years, the GLF has awarded more than $5 million to exceptional individuals working tirelessly to challenge systems of oppression. By providing unrestricted funding, training, mentorship, and peer-to-peer learning, the fellowship empowers these leaders to maximize their impact and effect meaningful change. Aliyah’s journey towards effecting change began long before her involvement with the Galaxy Leader Fellowship. She worked as a field liaison for the renowned international think tank Freedom House, where she actively contributed to advancing human rights and democracy around the globe. Additionally, she led the digital media efforts for Women Across Frontiers Magazine, amplifying the voices of women and advocating for gender equality.
Aliyah’s remarkable work is made possible through the support of Galaxy Gives, a private grantmaking foundation established by the Novogratz family. Galaxy Gives was born out of a deep sense of injustice, with a mission to tackle the unfair and brutal criminal legal system by ending mass incarceration. By focusing on healing and accountability, Galaxy Gives aims to redefine the concept of justice and create a society that uplifts and rehabilitates individuals rather than perpetuates cycles of punishment.
Aliyah’s commitment to creating opportunities for marginalized communities led her to co-found ReCoded, an organization dedicated to forging pathways to technology jobs for refugees. Through this initiative, Aliyah has empowered countless individuals by providing them with the tools and resources they need to succeed in the ever-evolving digital world. Her work with ReCoded exemplifies her unwavering belief in the transformative power of education and technology. Aliyah understands that the advancement and well-being of women are fundamental to achieving true social justice. She sits on the steering committees of Glamour Gals and Jahajee Sisters, two organizations committed to empowering women and addressing the unique challenges they face.
Aliyah’s love for community extends beyond her professional endeavors. She has organized grassroots initiatives aimed at empowering girls, providing them with the necessary tools to access higher education and overcome barriers. Recognizing the importance of social and economic justice, Aliyah has dedicated her time and efforts to fighting for marginalized communities in the United States, amplifying their voices and working towards a fairer society.
While juggling her numerous responsibilities and commitments, Aliyah is also a devoted mother to her amazing five-year-old child, who serves as a constant source of inspiration and motivation in her pursuit of justice and equality. Aliyah life and work exemplify the power of community engagement, education, and intersectional activism. Her Indo-Guyanese roots, combined with her unwavering dedication to uplifting marginalized voices and advocating for social justice, make her a formidable force for change. Through her efforts, she continues to inspire and empower individuals, fostering a more inclusive and equitable world for all.
Cloyette Harris-Stoute is a proud Guyanese based in Queens, New York. She's the founder of the Guyanese Girls Rock Blog, Founder & President of Guyanese Girls Rock Foundation, Inc. and Owner of Guyanese Girls Rock Apparels. A self-professed techie, she's an IT Manager at a prestigious New York City Hospital. She also owns her own fine jewelry business, Twin Elegance.