Kamil Khan (he/him/his) is a Field Organizer at Unemployed Workers United (UWU). As a first generation immigrant to the United States from Pakistan, Kamil grew up in Houston while keeping strong roots in his birthplace of Islamabad. Living in the most diverse city in the United States is a powerful experience; Kamil was exposed to challenges faced by refugee and immigrant communities at an early age. The full circle moment in his life arrived when he used his Master’s in Public Administration degree as a tool to increase the capacity of refugee empowerment organizations in three different continents.
Kamil worked for a year in a refugee camp along the Thailand-Myanmar border as a Community Development Instructor where he trained local social workers on project management, proposal writing, political science, and teacher training. He played a pivotal role in organizing peacebuilding sporting events where opposing Myanmar armies send their cadets to compete as diplomatic representatives. Kamil continued working with refugees as an Urdu Interpreter with UNHCR Thailand and helped 350+ Pakistani asylum seekers escaping religious persecution obtain refugee status.
The desperate yearn for American BBQ coupled with the lethargy from watching NBA games in the wee hours of the morning compelled Kamil to move back to the United States. He next served as an Employment Specialist with the International Rescue Committee in Boise, Idaho. However, if you are from Texas then you know Y’ALL, there is no place like home. After a year of making potato jokes at the expense of unamused Idahoans, Kamil returned to Houston and started working with Interfaith Ministries where he managed over 235 volunteers, oversaw 4 refugee service programs, and maintained partnerships with hundreds of organizations in the nonprofit and private sector.
After seeing the pandemic snaffle the livelihoods of lower-income families and daily reportings of labor abuses corroborating that economic mobility for the marginalized working class is an insidious illusion, it became clear to Kamil that his role in the justice movement was towards making an impact in the lives of his clients where they can be most vulnerable; their places of employment.