As a formerly incarcerated young woman of color, Rabia Qutab is honored to serve her community in promoting higher education, embracing both social justice and the paradigm of equity, diversity, and inclusion. Influenced by Pakistani cultural expectations of a young woman, she graduated with honors as a pre-med student with a degree in Biology (minor in Chemistry) from University of North Texas, however, she was facing a sentence of incarceration in the State of Texas, due to deviating from social cultural norms.
The power of education and academia, however, saved her life, and allowed her to reintegrate into society upon her release in 2020, and become a dedicated social justice advocate.
Rabia believes in the power of building a “prison-to-school pipeline,” in order to reduce recidivism and inspire and connect formerly incarcerated leaders and scholars to combat the effects of mass incarceration by pursuing and promoting mass education. Her work as an advocate and a freedom worker seeks to include students with similar lived experiences, exposing the dangers of marginalization, by empowering them with support, financial sustainability, enhanced wellness, and self-reliance.