Muna, as a scholar, activist, poet, and campaigner epitomises the role of a contemporary academic, with her tireless and unswerving commitment to social justice. Her grasp of relevant issues combined with the capacity to provide both substance and culturally relevant solutions to areas of concern ensures that the outcomes will be transformative. As society faces many uncertainties, there is a need to create new ways of seeing, changing and transforming, which Muna provides. Equally as important is the location of her work that brings together her intellectual capacity and strong commitment to community centred ideas. I would highly recommend Muna and her work to anyone wanting change, transformation, and insight into the changing nature of community and society.
Dr Martin Glynn – Senior Lecturer at Birmingham City University.
Muna is an accomplished and progressive thinker whose work connects everyday narratives with professional practices in ways that have profound implications for social justice and reform. She is a powerful speaker and highly respected within both local community and institutional settings. Working with Muna has changed my practice, in ways that allow me to foreground the ethics of collaboration, reciprocity and care in teaching, community activism and research. Without Muna’s professional support, I would be a different educator and researcher, and I would be making more mistakes.
Dr Will Mason- Lecturer at the University of Sheffield
I have worked with Muna for the last three years. In that time she has helped me to settle into a new academic role, being the main person I would turn to for help especially if the problem was student related. Muna is friendly, supportive and really wants the best for the people who she works with. Students seem to gravitate to her and I think this is testament to her open, easy-going manner which makes students feel safe with her to be themselves and show their vulnerabilities. Most recently I have sought help from Muna in my own research, she was more than happy to share resources and time to help me to get my head around tricky concepts and ideas. Her passion and dedication shine through in everything that she does but especially when she speaks about the work she does in the community.
Steph Hannam-Swain, Lecturer in Education and PhD researcher – Sheffield Hallam University
Dr Muna Abdi, has been instrumental in my journey of personal growth and a great source of inspiration. From the first time I met her I was entranced by her dynamic teaching, refreshing insight and kind manner. During my time as a student she has helped me find direction and purpose in a time where I was unclear about my next step’s she pushed me to apply for an internship. I have benefited immensely from her guidance and support I have been able to challenge myself, which has enabled me to grow into who I am today.
I count myself lucky to have such a great mentor who cares deeply about her students taking time out of her busy schedule on multiple occasions. It is encouraging to know that there are individuals who are willing to listen whenever you need advice and are invested in your success. I am now more confident about my career plans. I thank Dr Muna Abdi for her support throughout the years as she is a trailblazer in the field of Education and has provided with invaluable tools for the future.
Nabeela, MA student at Sheffield Hallam University
I have worked alongside Muna as a fellow university lecturer and researcher for several years. Muna’s commitment and activism in the local community are infectious to fellow university staff and students. I lead a university course in which students find her inspirational. For me, Muna epitomises scholar-activism, as she not only offers in expertise in the realm of education, but on what she offers to those outside the classroom in the local neighbourhoods with families and young people. As a fellow colleague, I am still learning from her.
Dr Manny Madriaga, Senior Lecturer in Education at Sheffield Hallam University
Dr Muna Abdi is an incredible one-of-a-kind researcher, academic and mentor. In the three years I have known her, she has been one of the most creative and inspiring teachers I’ve had the pleasure of being taught by. Her professional advice has motivated and encouraged my growth in indescribable ways that have had a significant impact on the position I am in today. The unique insights she provides through her genuine care for others is palpable in every interaction and indeed infectious to those around her. Muna’s support has guided me through both my undergraduate and postgraduate studies, of which she has provided crucial support as my academic tutor and informal advisor. As one of a handful of black lecturers she continues to pave the way and inspire BME students and other disenfranchised groups to not simply complete their education but to excel. Simply put, Muna is a rare gem in academia, she is authentic, maintains intellectual integrity and has acted as the lifting anchor to those she works with.
Amira, Student at Sheffield Hallam University (July 2019)
During my undergraduate degree Muna was a great mentor and support, especially during my research project. As a dissertation supervisor she guided me through research. Introduced me to great literature and helped to stretch my academic capabilities. She helped me to receive my first high mark from an assignment and because of that I finished the degree with a 1st. She has continued to be a mentor during my Masters study, giving constructive advice and guidance. I am forever grateful for what she has done for me.
Kristina, Student at Sheffield Hallam University (2019)
Muna has been nothing but an amazing role model and a person of inspiration, always keen to provide educational support and advice to everyone who seeks it. A strong example of this has been her role in supporting myself and other interns within HE in exploring our talents, skills and career plans. Three years ago I wouldn’t have thought that I was capable of a career in academia. With Muna’s advice, tips and consultation, I am now fully confident that I would like to lecture and have applied for a PHD. She is exceptional at working with individuals to overcome any barriers they may face and is very encouraging in building those around her. A truly inspiring individual.
Sabiyah, Intern at Sheffield Hallam University (2019)
Muna is a true inspiration to me. The way she has constantly provided me with extremely valuable, constructive and tangible advice as well as emotional and empathetic support has changed the ways I approach and solve issues. Her brilliant ability to listen mindfully and attentively and to respond has been tremendously helpful for me to succeed in so many aspects of life, specifically education, self-reflection and development.
Sehrish, Intern at Sheffield Hallam University (2019)
Dr. Muna Abdi has had a powerful impact on the university, local, national, and global contexts she engages with. She has been particularly strong in helping communities uncover how dominant discourses on race and difference normalize oppression, i.e. how those discourses make the disparity that marginalized groups face seem like a normal part of daily life rather than the result of oppression by dominant groups. For me—an equity coach, professor of education, teacher educator, and researcher on racism in education—Dr. Abdi’s insights have helped me better understand how these discourses are used to marginalize students of color in public schools. Her knowledge has not only made my analysis stronger but also, by engaging me in critical and honest conversations about specific instances of racism, she has given me renewed impetus and motivation to intervene in marginalizing discourses and work in solidarity with educators of color.
Dr Benjamin Blaisdell, Assistant Professor, College of Education, East Carolina University