South Dakota Voices for Peace builds power and enables healing in immigrant, refugee, and Muslim communities by amplifying their voices and working in solidarity with all who dismantle bigotry and racism. They imagine a South Dakota that is diverse, inclusive, and anti-racist.
In 2017, two resolutions and a bill were introduced that instilled fear about Islam, Muslims, immigrants, and refugees in the state of South Dakota. Taneeza Islam took a stand and organized people to be present & heard during committee testimony in Pierre while also utilizing social media and the local news to build awareness. Every time, people showed up to fight. These pieces of legislation led to a rise in Islamophobia and anti-immigrant/refugee activities. The initial group that took a stand came together to form South Dakota Voices for Peace.
South Dakota Voices for Peace is the first organization devoted to advocacy against Islamophobia and anti-immigrant/refugee activities, committed to empowering impacted communities to use their voices and become civically engaged. Taneeza Islam, Executive Director of South Dakota Voices for Peace, and the members of this organization continue to meet, grow, and openly resist the imported hate in their state. This organization, in partnership with their 501(c)(4) sister organization South Dakota Voices for Justice, work on grassroots empowerment, building strategic allyship, and countering top-down legislated hate against Muslims, immigrants, and refugees in South Dakota.