MALA Young Leaders FAQ

The MALA Young Leaders Fellowship is a MALA initiative to provide leadership development and civic engagement opportunities to young Muslim Americans.

MALA Young Leaders are committed to promoting individual empowerment, independent thought, and diversity as they work to unite Americans of all backgrounds.

NOTE the deadline for our 2018-19 cohort has passed!


Frequently Asked Questions

Is the Washington, DC, orientation mandatory?

To participate in the program, we strongly recommend that you attend the September retreat in Washington, DC. MALA covers travel expenses for Fellows coming from New York and Chicago, and hotel and most meals for all Fellows, including those local to the DC area.

Do I have to be interested in politics to participate?

No! This is a leadership program. Fellows will learn about storytelling, cultural engagement, and the arts, in addition to civic engagement. A healthy interest in the world today is important, but you don’t need to be a politics geek or social activist to be a MALA Young Leader!

Do I have to be Muslim American to participate? 

In the application, we do ask you to share the story of your personal Muslim American identity. We ask that candidates have an authentic and genuine cultural connection with their Muslim American heritage. 

Do I have to be a practicing Muslim to participate?

MALA is not a religious organization and does not require applicants to be practicing Muslims.

Has this Fellowship been offered before?

No, this will be our inaugural cohort! We have a fantastic agenda of dinners and seminars sketched out, but feedback from our inaugural cohort will shape the program’s evolution.

What will I learn by participating in the Fellows program?

Fellows will participate in monthly seminars on leadership, storytelling, and community engagement. Fellows will also participate in off-the-record dinner roundtables and networking events. Expect lots of conversation! The goal is to equip young Muslim Americans to confidently represent the values of pluralism and tolerance, and to surround them with a network of support and resources.