thesajidakhan thesajidakhan

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Sajid Khan  Public Defender, Writer, Muslim, Cal alum/fan, A's enthusiast, Co-host of The @aiderandabettor Podcast. Rooted in San Jose, CA.

We just never know when someone or something might shift our frameworks and perspectives or when we might stumble upon words or advice that leave a lasting, profound impression on our lives.
Dr. Sulayman Nyang stands as one of those influential figures in my existence and his talk at the Muslim Public Service Network (MPSN) house in DC during the summer of 2005 when I was a law student made a mark on my being. Dr. Nyang emphasized the power and need of Muslim American storytelling. His directive drives and influences me to this day, inspiring and spurring my attempts to add to the Muslim American narrative through writing, podcasting, public defending and public speaking.

May God bless Dr. Nyang and may he rest in peace.

"...they are alive with their Lord, receiving provision... Rejoicing in what God has bestowed upon them of His bounty..."

‪Sigh.
A year and a day ago, on October 26, 2017, my sister Sumiya Khan called, telling me my beloved brother in law, Dr. Ather Ali, departed this world. ‬ ‪366 days later, I still struggle to process his loss, to accept that he's gone.
As I wrote last year, "his death jars the soul, presses tears from my depths. The staple that quietly sat on our family sofa missing, the humble, dignified doctor departed, the wise, deliberate thinker lost." I pray for Ather, Sumiya and their kids Yasin and Rayhan everyday and ask you to do the same today. ‬

Grateful to join Raj Jayadev and Charisse Domingo (and their son Nanji) of Silicon Valley De-Bug to promote the Participatory Defense Movement and model at the National Juvenile Defender Center (NJDC) 2018 Juvenile Defender Leadership Summit.
Together, we shared how to empower and utilize families and community partners to meaningfully contribute to the defense of their loved ones ensnared in the criminal justice system. Citing specific case examples, we asked attendees to consider the benefits of expanding the legal team beyond just the public defender to include family and community members who can offer unique information and expertise, thereby facilitating optimum outcomes for the criminally accused by shining a light on their humanity and demanding that courts and prosecutors consider their contexts, not just conduct.
#protectyourpeople #publicdefender

Was a good day on the flag football field today: Picture day today for Sulaiman and our Bears' squads, both teams we coach (pre-k/k and 1st/2nd) won their games and... Sully got into the end zone for the first time ever (after many seasons of zero yard rushes) when he scored an extra point conversion on a handoff.
#gobears #alhamdulillah #badgermode

Tomorrow in Dallas: sharing my experiences and reflections as a public defender on a "Crimmigration" panel at the annual National Association of Muslim Lawyers (NAML) conference. I hope to discuss the nexus between immigration detention, mass incarceration and family separation and brainstorm on how to relay the human stories and traumas of immigration and utilize them as mitigation in criminal cases.

i stand up
in court
to confront
cross examine
to fulfill my client's
constitutional rights

i feel you
close
beneath my collar
breathing into my neck
my voice
layered upon
inspired by
yours.

#cocounselor

Thank you to the @mercnews and @nbcbayarea for the space to share our unwavering support for #sb1391 and the end of prosecuting 14 and 15 year olds as adults. I appreciated the chance to counter misleading, inflammatory rhetoric from the Santa Clara County DA's Office. Thanks to Nisreen Baroudi for trusting me to be our offices' voice in this critical crossroads of juvenile justice reform. “ 'It’s disappointing to see the District Attorney’s Office is still trying to circumvent what has been signed into law,' said Sajid Khan, an attorney with the county Alternate Defender’s Office. 'Prop. 57 was part of a continuum of juvenile justice reform in the state … SB 1391 is just the next step forward.'" “We should not be making law based on unique or exceptional circumstances or offenders,” Khan said. "14 and 15 year olds don't belong in adult court," said Sajid Khan. "They are young people, kids. And the law should treat them as such."

Many people don't know that my older brother Salman Khan, having never played high school football (because my parents wouldn't let him), walked onto the Cal Berkeley football team in the early 90s as a fullback, donning the number 38 when he got to suit up for home games at Memorial Stadium. He likely was among the first, if not the actual first, Indian-American college football players in the PAC-10, let alone the country.
Fast forward 20+ years. I shared Salman's football journey with my close friend, former public defender colleague and fellow Cal bear Cuong Nguyen. Cuong, on his own accord, went out and ordered a customized Cal number 38 "Khan" jersey to honor my big bro who had no idea. A couple weeks ago, Cuong wore the jersey to the Cal v. Idaho St. game as we sat together with Salman and his family, waiting quietly for my brother to notice. In the 4th quarter, Salman finally spotted the jersey bearing his name and number- he beamed with a massive smile and proudly pointed it out to his son Saleh, daughter Serene and wife Andrea. We took some photos, shared some laughs and reveled in a beautiful moment. #GoBears

Our Ammi Malika Khan, a young 70 years old, accepted a nomination for the MCA (Muslim Community Association in Santa Clara- our hometown mosque/Islamic center) Board of Trustees and is up for election this weekend, the only woman on the ballot.
Regardless of whether she gets elected, proud of Ammi for her continued passion, commitment to the betterment of our community, sacrifice and willingness to serve.

Grateful for how beautifully Sully & Shakur entertained themselves while I played basketball this morning. #alhamdulillah #masterpiece #vehicles #andtrains

36. Grateful, alhamdullilah. The journey to God continues.

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