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Princeton NJ Non-Profit Press Releases

Local West Windsor Family Recognized for Work with La Convivenica


West Windsor resident Tasneem Sultan and her son Bilal Sultan, were recognized on May 19, 2019, as the New Jersey 2019 State Governor’s Jefferson Honorees for the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Champion for Justice award for their meaningful interfaith, social justice, and community service programs on behalf, La Convivencia, the non-profit organization they created and co-founded in 2017, and in which Ms. Sultan serves as executive director.

Tasneem Sultan also received the 2019 Mercer County Women of Achievement Award on March 26, 2019, for her contributions to her community through La Convivencia.

Both, Tasneem and Bilal Sultan, were nominated for these awards by Michele Kaish, who currently serves as president of the West Windsor-Plainsboro Board of Education.

These awards recognize Tasneem and Bilal Sultan for their work in creating and leading La Convivencia – which means co-existence – a NJ based non-profit whose mission is to bring people together across a multiplicity of faith and cultural backgrounds in dialogue over civic and spiritual exploration, with opportunities for community service, social justice, and interfaith discourse. 

La Convivencia grew out of Bilal’s National History Day project in 7th grade. He learned about the history of multiculturalism with a focus on “Medieval Spain” from 1711 to 1492. Through his research of Al-Andalusia, Bilal concluded that when people, regardless of their faith/ethnicity and background, collaborate, it is the human civilization who benefits the most.

In addition, the organization was co-founded by Zain Sultan, Brandi Hebert, and Lynne Azarchi. The founders and board members represent a diverse set of faiths and ethnicities. Other board members are Nancy Chen, Jay Tyson, and Margaret Frantz.

La Convivencia centers on volunteer work to fuel its mission to create an inclusive society. It strives to strengthen relationships between all religions, including Christians, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, Sikhs, Hindus, Bahais, and atheists. Stereotypes, hate, and prejudice can be defeated in our contemporary world through dialogue, civic and social justice engagement, and engaging in community service projects.

As the Executive Director of La Convivencia, Tasneem created and organized many programs based on the social needs of the community, including community conversation forums, interfaith programs, and the annual social justice and interfaith leadership conference.

Bilal Sultan has dedicated himself to recruiting youth volunteers and service projects. With the help of his brother and co-founder, Zain Sultan, he raised public awareness of the lack of food/toiletry items for struggling families in the community. To date, they have organized four “Days of Service” where, cumulatively, 450 attendees were tasked with writing messages of encouragement and packing care/food item kits for at-risk families at RISE and Arm in Arm. The need to help others in our community is growing and is more important than ever.

Through dialogue and service, we find that the core similarities between our diverse cultural and faith traditions can draw us together. La Convivencia is a great platform for all ages, especially for middle and high school youth to get involved in their communities.

The Sultan family hopes that La Convivencia will help our community focus more on our shared values and less on our differences so that we may all see more peace in the world.

To learn more about La Convivencia, to volunteer, or open a chapter, please visit at

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