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"Get involved. You can never be pushed out if you work hard and become a true ambassador for yourself. Just get involved, keep your head up, and work."

These were the words I heard from a fellow Muslim brown girl who was very involved in politics in Texas. I always saw her working hard, and building a bridge between the City of Sugarland and our Ismaili Muslim community and it was inspiring. As a young brown Muslim girl, it was taboo to get involved in politics because many of our families came from the corrupt dictatorship world of politics. I personally was always told stay away, but when I saw Mrs. Z ignoring everyone and just making it work. I was inspired to do it myself.

Mrs. Z's thought was if you never get involved how will you know that it’s not for you? How will you know you won't make a difference? So I took my first step and I got involved. My very first involvement led me to a positive wonderful opportunity to apply for Emerge New Mexico, which led to my current role as the Executive Director for Emerge Arizona. An organization that recruits, trains and provides a powerful network for Democratic women who want to run for office.

Now I have young women in my mosque asking me, "How can I do what you do, how can I get into politics?" It’s so empowering to hear that question being asked by young Muslim women because they see it’s possible just like I saw it was possible when Mrs. Z told me "get involved".

Now I’m telling you: Get involved.

Dr. Sharmin Dharas is the executive director of Emerge Arizona, which recruits, trains, and provides a powerful network to Democratic women who want to run for office.

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