The Tennessee Justice Center is honoring Hanaa Muhammed for her dedication to her family and community and her advocacy for ensuring that no Tennessean goes hungry based upon where they were born.
Nashville’s community is a better place because of Hanaa Muhammed-- mother of five and advocate for many. After immigrating to the United States from Kurdistan around her 9th birthday, Hanaa has spent most of her life in Middle Tennessee. Three of Hanaa’s children now live on their own, but she still cares for her 10 and 14-year-old daughters who live with her. In her free time, Hanaa is an excellent cook and prays for her community and family. Over the years, Hanaa has become familiar with navigating the bureaucracy of state and federal programs in Tennessee, including programs like TennCare and SNAP. Amidst inflation and rising food prices, Hanaa and her husband Noman turned to SNAP to help cover the cost of groceries. Hanaa and Noman, who drives for Lyft, were facing difficulties getting DHS to correctly count their income and accept the correct deductions.
TJC worked with Hanaa to make sure DHS counted their income accurately and fairly, and she and her family were approved for SNAP. After Hanaa’s SNAP case was resolved with TJC, she turned towards her community—specifically the Kurdish community in metro Nashville—and served as a TJC liaison to other families who needed assistance navigating complex programs like SNAP, P-EBT, and TennCare. Hanaa’s friends and community members know her as a strong mother and fierce advocate. She will do whatever it takes to support her community, whether it’s driving a close friend into the city for counsel on immigration status, spreading the word about local resources and organizations, or helping to interpret at an important doctor’s appointment. Hanaa recognizes how important federal safety net programs are in supporting the well-being of children and immigrant communities, and she believes in making the programs stronger and accessible to more families around Nashville.
The Tennessee Justice Center is incredibly proud to honor our client, fellow advocate, and friend Hanaa Muhammed for 2023 Mother of the Year.