Founder’s Message

As a young boy, I would listen to my grandfather talk about his exploits and battles. He lived by the sword. My father, on the other hand, was more concerned with the pursuit of education and made sure that we went to school. He said, “Education is more important than your father’s wealth.” My path towards prosperity and changing the lives of the tribal, nomadic, and indigenous people through the tools of education is far different from my grandfather’s warrior path. I and many of my generation chose to make changes through non-violence, promotion of human rights, secular education, and equal treatment of men and women.

Even in the 21st century, there are still regions in the world where children are deprived of social and economic justice such as lack of education and illiteracy. As a result, people resort to extreme means to desperately escape from poverty in hopes of being able to pursue justice. In this  age where we live in “one global village,” it is imperative for us to find ways to help improve life for these people. In order for people to co- exist, there must be understanding among nations. The first step towards this goal is making education a priority and a right for all.

-Hakim Said, Founder and Executive Director

Executive Director Hakim Said with Myrna Cunningham Kain, former chairperson of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues