Ghazala Salam

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Ghazala Salam
Residence Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Nationality American
Ethnicity Asian
Alma mater Florida International University
Occupation Political and Social Advocate
Community and Government Relations
Template:Url (under construction)

Ghazala Salam [pronounced as G-ah-ZAA-L-aa-] is an Indian born American Muslim. Her name Ghazala /غزالة/ is of Arabic origin, meaning the Gazelle. She migrated to the United States during her fifth grade year with her parents. Her paternal ancestors migrated to India from the Afgan-Persian region, known as the Pashtuns /ˈpʌʃˌtʊnz/ or /ˈpæʃˌtuːnz/ (Pashto: پښتانه Pax̌tānə; singular masculine: پښتون Pax̌tūn, feminine: پښتنه Pax̌tana; also Pukhtuns), historically known by the exonyms Afghans (Persian: افغان, Afğān) and Pathans (Hindi-Urdu: पठान, پٹھان, Paṭhān).[1][2]

Early life and education

Salam’s family settled in Philadelphia, where she attended Catholic, then public school. When she was 15, her parents decided to move to South Florida to be closer to their extended family who had also migrated from India. She received a Masters of Science degree in Hospitality Management at Florida International University (FIU).

Democratic advocacy: Bridging gaps of understanding

Salam has served and made remarkable differences at the local, state and national levels in building bridges between the American Muslim Community and the community at large. A decade after the 9/11 attacks, Salam felt the exaggerated fear, hatred and hostility towards Islam and Muslims like never before.[3][4]

Despite her stance as a relatively secular, non-veil-wearing Muslim, Salam realized that being part of the Muslim faith placed her at odds with the typical American values she came to know and love so well. She realized that she was uniquely positioned to bridge gaps of understanding and collaboration in both the Muslim community and the non-Muslim community.[5][6]

As the president of the American Muslim Democratic Caucus she is focused on empowering her community through educational events, voter initiatives,[7] and leadership development for the purpose of creating a community of equitable, knowledgeable and motivated citizens.[8][9][10]

Salam also serves as the co-chair of the Annual Florida Muslim Capitol Day,[11] a statewide initiative to empower Florida Muslim communities and youth, to connect and have a voice in Tallahassee where policies and laws are passed.[12]

Role Model

Salam’s role as the Chair of the Broward Commission on the Status of Women is instrumental in promoting women’s rights, documenting the reality of women’s lives throughout Broward County, and shaping County wide standards on gender equality and empowerment of women.[13] Salam believes that human rights for all are indivisible and she works hard to give active support to the common cause of equity for all, especially those who suffer discrimination and deprivation.[14]

As the Co-chair of the Human Relations Committee for the Broward County School Board, she promotes diversity, inclusive educational opportunities from an early age which is crucial for achieving the district’s educational and civic character education goals for all the children.[15] Salam advocates for cross–cultural understanding, breaking down racial and other stereotypes and eliminating bias and prejudice.[16] She is the founder of the American Muslim Democratic Caucus,[17][18]

Philanthropic work

She has chaired the Day of Dignity charitable event in South Florida, working closely with Palm Beach County Homeless Coalition and over 40 other organizations to provide health and human services to marginalized families and homeless individuals in South Florida.[19]

Awards and Recognition

  • First American Muslim Women to be inducted to the Broward Women’s Hall of Fame in 2016.[2][20]
  • Recipient of the 2015 Florida Commission on Status of Women Achievement Award.[21]
  • Recipient of the Achievement for Excellence in Community Service Award Al-Hikmat Institute, May 2015.


  1. "Ghazala Salam". 2016-04-05. Retrieved 2016-08-18. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Ghazala Salam". Retrieved 2016-08-19. 
  3. Rashed Mian (2016-03-24). "For Muslim American Voters, ‘Stakes are High’ this Presidential Election". Long Island Press. Retrieved 2016-08-18. 
  4. "E Pluribus Muslim". Retrieved 2016-08-21. 
  5. "Florida Democrats name presidential convention delegates: At Large Delegates- For Secretary Hillary Clinton: Ghazala Salam". Long Island Press. 2016-03-24. Retrieved 2016-08-18. 
  6. "It shouldn’t be a secret: Muslims hate terrorists, too". 2016-06-16. Retrieved 2016-08-21. 
  7. "Ghazala Salam: New Action Chair for Broward League". League of Women Voters in Broward County, Fl. 2015-08-13. Retrieved 2016-08-17. 
  8. Larry Griffin (2016-06-08). "Dwight Bullard to be honored by American Muslim Democratic Caucus". Florida Politics. Retrieved 2016-08-26. 
  9. "Bill creates unfunded mandate, activist group says". 2014-04-21. Retrieved 2016-08-26. 
  10. Michael Collins (2016-07-26). "Women in Fla. delegation feel kinship with Clinton". Retrieved 2016-08-18. 
  11. Symone Davis (2016-02-11). "Muslim Americans Address Lawmakers at the Capitol". Retrieved 2016-08-19. 
  12. "Muslim Democrats step up political activity in South Florida". 2016-06-17. Retrieved 2016-08-18. 
  13. Anthony Man (2015-11-27). "Democratic Party outreach to Muslim-Americans aims to register voters". Retrieved 2016-08-17. 
  14. Wayne Washington (2016-01-21). "Interfaith panel discussion addresses extreme rhetoric, terrorism". My Palmbeach Post. Retrieved 2016-08-18. 
  15. Ghazala Salam. "Isn't It Time to Change the Dialogue?". Miami-Dade Democratic Party. Retrieved 2016-08-19. 
  16. "2016 Women’s History Month: Photo Gallery of Ghazala Salam". Retrieved 2016-08-19. 
  17. "officers- President: Ghazala Salam". Retrieved 2016-08-19. 
  18. "Ghazala Salam and Hans Johnson". Retrieved 2016-08-17. 
  19. "Area nonprofits unite to serve families in need". Sun Sentinel. 2012-12-13. Retrieved 2016-08-23. 
  20. "2016-Broward County Women's Hall of Fame: Ghazala Salam". Retrieved 2016-08-19. 
  21. "Commission Honors Outstanding Women for Volunteer Work in their Communities". Retrieved 2016-08-17. 

External links