As a formerly incarcerated young woman of color, Rabia is honored to serve her community in promoting higher education embracing both social justice and the paradigm of equity, diversity, and inclusion. Influenced by Pakistani cultural expectations of a young woman, she graduated with honors as a pre-med student with a degree in Biology minor in Chemistry from University of North Texas, however, she was facing a 20-year sentence in Texas due to deviating from social cultural norms.
The power of education and academia, however, saved her life, and allowed her to reintegrate into society upon her release in 2020, and become a dedicated social justice advocate.
Rabia believes in the power of building a “prison-to-school pipeline,” in order to reduce recidivism and inspire and connect formerly incarcerated leaders and scholars to combat the effects of mass incarceration by pursuing and promoting mass education. Her work as an advocate and a freedom worker seeks to include students with similar lived experiences, exposing the dangers of marginalization, by empowering them with support, enhanced wellness, and self-reliance.
Rabia is currently a Project Expert with Rising Scholars at Mt. SAC, where she helps formerly incarcerated students succeed in their academic journey and a 2021-2022 Justice Fellow with the Education Trust where she utilizes her lived experience to inform, review, amplify, and reflect on higher education policy recommendations for incarcerated and justice-impacted students. As a 2021 member of California Justice Leaders, she held the role of a Reentry Specialist, working with formerly incarcerated folks to help them excel in their reentry journeys. She participates in the Los Angeles Regional Reentry Partnership academy where she engages in policy recommendations for integrated health agendas for both incarcerated and formerly incarcerated people. In 2021, she graduated from the Pathways 4 Equity Fellowship and was granted fellowship with Young Professionals of Color with National Institute of Criminal Justice Reform.