April 19, 2024

FBI Pittsburgh Honors Ibtesam Sue Barazi with Director’s Community Leadership Award

On Friday, April 19, 2024, FBI Director Christopher Wray presented Ibtesam Sue Barazi of Charleston, West Virginia, with the FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award (DCLA). Mrs. Barazi is dedicated to serving her community in West Virginia where she works with the interfaith community to spread peace and understanding and promote awareness and education to eliminate misconceptions about immigrants, specifically Muslim Americans.

In 2023, Barazi hosted multiple Interfaith Relationship and Dialogue trainings across West Virginia, which shared information on different religious traditions, taught how to create successful interfaith partnerships, and trained participants on how to overcome the barriers of religious difference. Barazi and members of the Islamic Association of West Virginia Sister’s Program became aware of a food and supply shortage at food pantries across Charleston, West Virginia. The women identified five centers to support. Every month, they coordinated with the centers and purchased needed food and supplies. Additionally, Barazi serves as a plank holder on the WV Civil Rights Working Group where she organized United Against Hate events and faith-based events to promote cross-cultural understanding, most recently tied to the conflict in the Middle East.

The FBI established the DCLA in 1990 to publicly acknowledge the achievements of those working to make a difference in their communities through the promotion of education and the prevention of crime and violence. Each year, one person or organization from each of the FBI’s 56 field offices is chosen to receive this prestigious award.

“Our success as both a law enforcement and an intelligence agency hinges on our ability to foster and maintain genuine partnerships with people in all communities,” said FBI Director Christopher Wray. “People like this year’s Leadership Award recipients not only identify what others need, but they are willing to roll up their sleeves and provide services. They are building bridges and relationships while putting in the work to have hard conversations and find a common purpose. They do it out of kindness and compassion with a sincere belief that justice—in its many forms—requires all of us to do the right thing in the right way.”

“West Virginia is known as a place where people help one another through their hardest days. The Muslim community of The Mountain State, whom I am proud to represent, is no exception – we go above and beyond to help those in need every day,” said award recipient Sue Barazi. “I’m honored and humbled to accept the FBI Pittsburgh Community Leadership Award on behalf of all my many fellow Muslim volunteers, especially the women of our community who continue to inspire me with their passion and vision.”

“It is people like Sue who are making our neighborhoods, our communities, our state, and our country a better place,” said FBI Pittsburgh Special Agent in Charge Kevin Rojek. “Sue’s remarkable dedication is changing lives, and this award celebrates her extraordinary impact. We express our deepest gratitude for her service to the community.”

Director Wray hosted the 2023 DCLA winners in a special ceremony at FBI Headquarters today, emphasizing the importance of community partnerships in keeping our shared communities safe. These partnerships—as exemplified by the breadth of the work by the DCLA recipients—have led to a host of crime prevention programs that protect the most vulnerable in our communities, educate families and businesses about cyber threats, and work to reduce violent crime in our neighborhoods.

Learn more about the Director’s Community Leadership Award program, the FBI’s general outreach efforts, and the Pittsburgh Field Office online.

For media inquiries please call (412) 576-9396 or email bsarick@fbi.gov.

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