Women's History Month is observed every March to learn about, honor and celebrate the achievements of women throughout our nation's history. In this special edition newsletter, we are recognizing the contribution of Atlanta women of many faiths. 
Dr. Houda Abadi 

Dr. Houda Abadi joined The Carter Center in June 2014 as Associate Director of the Conflict Resolution Program. For the first two years, Dr. Abadi worked on Syria and the Israel-Palestine conflict. During that time, she developed what is now The Center's inclusive approaches to preventing violent extremism project. Dr. Abadi holds  a Ph.D.  in Political Communication and Media Studies, an  MA in International Relations and Diplomacy, with a concentration in Middle East Studies and Conflict Resolution,  and a graduate certificate from Duke-UNC in Middle East Studies.  She was the 2013-2014 Transcultural Conflict and Violence Presidential Fellow. Dr. Abadi has been active in writing, presenting, and organizing events around peace-making processes in the Middle East, social movements, political Islam, propaganda, terrorism, Muslim women's issues, and aesthetic forms of resistance. Prior to joining the Center, Dr. Abadi served as the Director of Education in two non-profit organizations that facilitated Jewish and Muslim interfaith dialogue. She also served as a researcher for Muslim Women's issues at Women's Islamic Initiative in Spirituality and Equality. She speaks English, French, Arabic, and Spanish.
Dr. Nazeera Dawood

Dr. Nazeera Dawood is currently the Chief of Staff for Chairman John Eaves, Fulton County Board of Commissioners. She received her medical doctor degree from Bangalore University in India and master's degree in public health from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.  Nazeera  worked as a research project manager at Emory University for over 5 years and was recognized as the 2010-2011 'We are Emory, 100 Community Builders'. She is currently the president for the South Asian Public Health Association (SAPHA), an adjunct professor at Morehouse School of Medicine and is the founder of the Health Promotion Action Coalition organization. She has previously served on the Fulton County Schools Health Advisory Board. 

October 1st, 2014 was proclaimed as 'Dr.  Nazeera  Dawood Appreciation Day' sponsored by Fulton Board of Commissioners. She is a Johns Creek resident and a graduate of Leadership Johns Creek and Johns Creek Community Police Academy.

Lauren Menis

Lauren Menis is the founder of the Atlanta Initiative Against Anti-Semitism (AIAAS), an effort focused on creating a community response to the rise of anti-semitism in Atlanta and the U.S., guided by the vision of a community united in action against hate. Ms. Menis, along with co founder Danielle Cohen and a small group of likeminded women, formed AIAAS in response to a lack of outcry against increasing acts of anti-semitism in Atlanta and across the country. 

former CNN producer who took time off from her career to raise her two children, Ms. Menis lives in Dunwoody, Georgia with her husband Michael and her two children.

Chief Erika Shields 
Erika Shields was appointed Chief of the City of Atlanta Police Department in December 2016.  Chief Shields joined the Atlanta Police Department in 1995 and most recently served as Deputy Chief of Field Operations. During her 22-year career she has served as a Patrol Officer, Sergeant, Lieutenant, Major and Deputy Chief.  After working for eight years as a beat and plain clothes officer, she began working her way through the ranks to include being the Chief of Staff, managing the daily activities of the Chief's office, Deputy Chief in command of the new Strategy and Special Projects Division which included identifying new technological measures to support the crime analysis. She also commanded the Support Services Division to include managing the $168 million budget, Training Academy, and the E-911 Center.
Noor Abbady

Noor has been an educator for the past 12 years. She currently works with Educational Testing Service, and is an adjunct ESL instructor at the Interactive College of Technology. Noor's passion for both education and interfaith integrated through her speaking career with the Islamic Speakers Bureau of Atlanta for the past nine years, in which she currently serves as the operations manager.  Noor also serves as the program manager for the Interfaith Speakers Network.  Named the ISB Speaker of the Year in 2013, Noor believes education is the only tool towards less stereotypes, less prejudices, and more acceptance between people of different faiths and cultures. Besides prayer, Noor finds her spiritual pursuit through piano and running. Currently, she lives with her husband and two sons in Atlanta, Georgia.

Fairyal Maqbool-Halim

With a  degree in Biological Anthropology and extensive  work experience in the area of Human Rights,  Fairyal Halim spends a lot of her time volunteering. She has been a speaker with the Islamic Speakers  Bureau for approximately four years and has had the opportunity to create content for the ISB. She was named ISB Speaker of the Year in 2015.   Fairyal  provides coaching to high school students seeking college admissions and organizes Parent Education seminars for her High School parenthood community. She serves on the board of the Women's Interfaith Network comprising of dynamic and diverse women. She also serves on the advisory board of Independent Political Action Committee (IPAC) Georgia. Currently, she lives with her husband Tajammul, 2 sons, a daughter, and dog in Milton, Georgia.