A self-identified Black Muslim feminist and proud Gambian-American, Fatou Waggeh is a recent graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Law School and she completed her undergraduate education at New York University (NYU). Currently, she is a Litigation Associate at Shearman & Sterling, where she also works on the firm’s pro-bono matters.
Prior to law school, she was a Corporate Paralegal at the law firm Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz and a Civic Organizer at an African immigrant rights organization called African Communities Together. As a Civic Organizer, Fatoumata helped advocate for the unique challenges facing African immigrants on the local and national landscape. She successfully helped mobilize the inclusion of French and Arabic into New York City’s language access plan and coordinated a coalition to combat the refugee ban and the termination of TPS and DACA. Also, she helped organized a number of rallies and protests to combat President Trump’s Muslim Ban and Refugee Ban. On the eve of the Muslim Ban, she spoke at Washington Square Park to over 500 individuals. On World Refugee Day in 2017, during the holy month of Ramadan, she organized a 300 person rally and inter-faith Iftar outside of the United Nations to counter President Trump’s action that restricted the migration of refugees into the United States. She has also facilitated Know Your Rights workshops for her community, including organizing one at her local Masjid which drew over 150 community members. She has also transcribed a Know Your Rights session in her native language, Soninke, in which she informed individuals on what to do when in contact with immigration enforcement. She has been featured in the New York Times and The Observer for her activism as an Organizer.
Fatou is also a co-founder of the Smiling Coast Women Empowerment Network (SCWEN), an initiative that mentors young West-African Muslim females and help them in their journey towards college. In her role with SCWEN, she has organized college readiness workshops and discussions sessions around women empowerment and social justice issues at her local Masjid. She is the co-curator of a social media platform called "Black Muslim Series," which seeks to uplift the Black Muslim voice and experience in America. Fatou is also a member of the Muslim Democratic Club of NY.