Over the past twenty-two years, Nora Bashir has leveraged the interests and amplified the voices of the marginalized–women, immigrant communities, and low-wage workers–through community organizing, public advocacy, and seeking and securing resources. The ceaseless striving and continual work with the grassroots demonstrates Nora’s commitment and devotion to equity and social justice. These are the wellsprings of her desire, stirring her to work harder and smarter for her communities. Most recently, she was Executive Director at Chinook Fund, a statewide community foundation in Colorado whose function is build capacity for grassroots groups working on social and economic justice. Nora was integral in shaping both the organization’s broader strategic vision and an innovative donor organizing program that increased the regularity of donors to social justice. During her time at United for a New Economy, she designed and launched their Leadership Institute civic program on economic development, immigration, and healthcare. Prior to that, Nora was Outreach Coordinator for US Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, serving in the most diverse district in Chicago. Here she gained a broad knowledge in developing and utilizing effective working relationships with all sectors of the public, including elected officials, key stakeholders, and community-based organizations. At the same time, she deepened her role as a community activist and grassroots organizer by volunteering for Apna Ghar, a safehouse for South Asian women and children in Chicago, an issue close to her heart. She graduated from DePaul University with an undergraduate degree in Communications and Women’s Studies and a Masters in Multicultural Communication.
Nora started her organizing career as a student activist at DePaul University in Chicago, fighting race, gender and class discrimination on campus. She received a B.A. in Communications and Women’s Studies in 1996 and a Masters in Multicultural Communication in 2001 at DePaul University.
Born in Malaysia to an Indian Muslim family, Nora immigrated to the United States at twelve years of age. Her early childhood experiences in Malaysia along with the process of immigration and adjustment were formative in her understanding of both the virtues of diversity and the dangers that racism, xenophobia, and economic injustice pose to the social fabric and a flourishing society. She calls herself a proud liberal Muslim and currently resides in Aurora with her husband and seven year old twins where she works with a certain faith and steadfastness to develop and model the value of community and a respect for the power of diversity.