Hi, I'm Zakareya Hamed.
I'm working to build a better education system while advocating for equity & access.
In 2021, I co-founded Saphron Initiative, a national youth-led advocacy organization with the mission of opening educational opportunities to a broader range of individuals and advocating for public education for all. As the only high schooler-led Network for Public Education member organization, Saphron Initiative spans multiple states and in addition to advocating for access-broadening education policy, Saphron Initiative provides free peer-to-peer programs in collaboration with Title I schools and teachers unions.
As Saphron Initiative's Advocacy Director, I've led Saphron Initiative's work alongside offices of Sen. Bernie Sanders and Reps. Cori Bush, Mike Thompson, Kathy Castor, and Jason Crow on advancing intersectional legislation, with Saphron Initiative being an official cosponsor of the Virginia Green New Deal and California Green New Deal and having issued organizational comments to the state legislatures and USDOE. In the past, Saphron Initiative has worked in coordination with prominent organizations such as Greenpeace, Stand.Earth, branches of the national teachers unions AFT and NEA, Public Citizen, Maryland Society for Educational Tech, National STEM Honor Society, and the Youth Latinx Leadership Conference, and with Schools for Climate on promoting H.Res.975 in congress among other organizations.
My writing has been featured in Justice for Society Magazine and on Saphron Initiative's Medium page. I also serve as current president of the McLean High School Muslim Student Association. Along with my passion for public education, I believe in strengthening the Muslim community's civic and social participation and presence in the political sphere. I am a 2022 Fall cohort Rhizome Fellow and also interned for Mike Levin for Congress (CA-49) in the 2022 midterms.
Press Conference Media Advisory: Teen Advocates Meet with Congress Urging Action on Youth Climate Anxiety