40 Stories for 40 Years: Lamisa Mustafa

by Emily Roberts | Feb 21, 2018

Lamisa Mustafa got involved with The Family Place's Be Project last year during her senior year at Newman Smith High School in Carrollton. The Be Project’s Nikki Head sat in on a Human Rights Forum meeting, where she met Lamisa, who then helped set up a Be Project violence awareness prevention presentation at Newman Smith. Founded in 1999, Be Project reaches out to youth in area elementary, middle and high schools, and on college campuses teaching them about healthy relationships to prevent bullying, teen dating violence and sexual assault. The program is called the Be Project to encourage students to Be Safe, Be Kind, Be Courageous and Be More. The connection qualified Lamisa to apply for The Family Place’s 2017 Verizon Scholarship, which she won! She’s now using the $1,500 to help fund her studies at Southern Methodist University (SMU) where she is a first-year student double majoring in Human Rights and Sociology.

“The Family Place Be Project equipped me to stand up for victims of assault, violence, harassment and abuse and also empowered me to fight for myself,” Lamisa says. “I’m glad that organizations like The Family Place exist to remind survivors that they are never alone. It is on all of us to dismantle oppressive and discriminatory policies, practices, systems and cultures.”

Lamisa is also the Community Outreach Intern for the SMU Embrey Human Rights Program. In this role, she works on the annual Human Rights Youth Summit, high school recruitment, education and outreach, storytelling initiatives, and student mobilization to create connections between SMU, Dallas and beyond.

“I love my job, as I get to work with fellow champions of human rights to provide an inclusive community for students passionate about community outreach, activism and social change. It's like coming full circle, because I get to help plan the events and share the stories that convinced me to do this challenging yet rewarding work of changing hearts and minds in the first place.”