Lawyer | Activist | Bush Fellow
Taneeza Islam is an immigration and civil rights lawyer with a private practice in Sioux Falls SD. In 2017, she led the first coalition of immigrants, refugees, Muslims, interfaith, and social justice communities to defeat Islamophobic and anti-refugee resolutions and a bill in the state legislature, with a 3-0 record.
With this momentum, she founded and is the executive director of SD Voices for Peace working to share accurate information about Islam, Muslims, immigrants and refugees to fight Islamophobia and anti-immigrant bigotry in the state. In the last three months, SDVP has organized sharing of stories of new US Citizens in Sioux Falls, featured on the front page of the Argus Leader on Citizenship Day; organized a solidarity vigil for SD Dreamers with an attendance of 200 people; and set up a DACA renewal hotline for eligible DREAMers in SD. Taneeza is a frequent speaker and media spokeswoman on Islam/Islamophobia and immigration law/issues throughout the state.
In 2013 she was awarded a prestigious Bush Foundation Leadership Fellowship and started the first legal incubator in the state, which is now evolving into the first nonprofit law firm in the state. In 2017 she was awarded EMBE’s Woman of the Year in Law & Government and named Top 17 people to watch in 2017 by the Argus Leader. She is a mentor for the Embe Women’s Leadership Program, a member of the Bush Foundation SD Advisory Committee, Bush Foundation SD Fellowship Selection Committee, SD Rural Action Advisory Member, Lemonly Advisory Member, and sits on various committees to the SD State Bar Association including Diversity & Inclusion, Legal Services, Strategic Planning and is a co-chair of the Immigration Committee. Most importantly she is mother to two rambunctious boys. Taneeza’s family lives in Sioux Falls, SD.