Zulfat Suara first made headlines a few months ago after she became the first Muslim woman to ever run for any position in the state of Nashville, Tennessee.
Nigerian born Suara made history on September 12 after becoming the first Muslim in history to be elected to Nashville’s Metro Council.
She was elected to fill one of the five At-Large council seats.
Here are a few things to know about her.
- Zuarat Suara attended The Polytechnic, Ibadan, Nigeria from 1985 – 1990 where she obtained an HND in Accountancy.
- She came to the U.S. in 1993 but settled in Tennessee as her new home in 1998 when the opportunity for her husband to do a fellowship at Vanderbilt presented itself.
She founded an accounting firm that has worked with county governments in Hardeman, Haywood, Lake, and McNairy counties.
She is currently the Assistant Controller of a local university in Nashville.
She started the Hardeman County Chapter of Junior Achievement in 2004 and continues to advocate for children and young people as a board member of the PENCIL Foundation.
Suara has served in a number of leadership positions, including the chair of the American Muslim Advisory Council.
She has supported women, serving two terms as State President of the Business and Professional Women, a century-old organization promoting equity for all women in the workplace, from 2009-2011.
- She is active politically as treasurer of the National Women’s Political Caucus and chair of Day on the Hill, a joint legislative day for several women’s organizations on issues affecting Tennessee women and children.
She has also been a speaker at the Nashville Women’s March each year since 2017.
10. She has been recognized with the FBI Directors’ Community Leadership Award and featured in the Jackson Sun’s Twenty Most Influential Women in West Tennessee.
11. She was named the 2018 Muslim Policy Advocate of the Year by Islamic Society of North America, and The Tennessee Economic Council on Women inducted her into its Tennessee Women Hall of Fame in 2015.
12. She recently received an award for Outstanding Service to Human Rights from the TN Human Rights Commission and currently serves as a board member of the Nashville Metro Action Commission.
13. Suara has been married for 27 years to Dr. Rahaman Suara and they are blessed with five amazing children.