January 25, 2019

Marya Bangee is the executive director of Harness, an organization that promotes stories of marginalized communities in popular culture. She is also founder and chief executive officer of SILA Consulting, a social impact firm that offers strategic planning and consulting services to nonprofits and cultural and diversity consulting for companies in the entertainment industry. And she serves as the board president of Muslim Student Association West (MSA West), a grassroots nonprofit organization that represents college campuses across the West Coast.

“My company is working with studios in Hollywood such as Disney, Netflix, TriStar and ABC to ensure that Muslims and diverse communities are represented in an authentic and unbiased way,” Bangee says of SILA. “In my work as the executive director of Harness, we organize panels at studios where activists from minority and diverse communities can speak about their own experiences and highlight the importance of authentic and thoughtful storytelling.”

In her work with CAIR-LA, Bangee “was able to deeply invest in the Muslim community and understand what our community faces.”

Bangee earned her bachelor’s degree in English and sociology at the University of California, Irvine in 2009. She graduated as a Dean’s Merit Scholar from the University of Southern California in 2015. In 2017, she was selected by the Ford Foundation as a Public Voices Fellow, which aims to dramatically increase the impact of spokespeople from underrepresented communities.

Last book read: “When They Call You A Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir” by Patrisse Khan-Cullors and asha bandele.

Upcoming: Bangee will be speaking during a panel discussion on “The Road to Decolonization” at this week’s Sundance Film Festival.

Quotable: “I have a personal and deep connection with God and I’m in conversation with God every day. My spirituality shapes everything I do.”