About

About the Name
The quote from The Matrix resonates pretty strongly with us, and our reasons for starting up this blog. Bending the spoon is impossible, so instead, you must become one with the spoon. Once you do that, there is no spoon, there is only you. Then all you need to do is bend yourself. It's the same way with the world. We can't change it by ourselves, but if we become one with it, we can make a difference just with our own actions.

About the Collective
We come from different backgrounds. We are academics, lawyers, grassroots organizers, teachers, artists, writers, journalists, and advocates. But most importantly, we are a group dedicated to critical thinking about our society. We worry about where we're going, and want to leave this world better off than how we found it. Too many people in this society are just asleep, programmed, and tuned out. We want to do our part to wake them up.

The No Spoon Team:

Ibrahim Abdul-Matin is the author of "Green Deen: What Islam Teaches About Protecting the Planet" and contributor to "All-American: 45 American Men On Being Muslim". He is a former sustainability advisor to Mayor Bloomberg in NYC and is currently lead sustainability consultant at The Frontier Project. Ibrahim is also a featured contributor on WNYC's nationally syndicated news show, "The Takeaway." Ibrahim was a linebacker at the University of Rhode Island and an NCAA scholar-athlete.


Junaid Ahmad is a member of the Faculty of Law and Policy at the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS). He served as president of the US-based National Muslim Law Students Association (NMLSA), and is on the board of the Muslim Peace Fellowship. He has also served on the Executive Board of the Domestic Violence Resource Project (DVRP). He has worked and done research for the National Interfaith Committee on Social Justice, Amnesty International, Educate Pakistan, AMAL Human Development Network, and Positive Muslims. He is a member of the following professional organizations: National Muslim Lawyers Association (NMLA), American Muslim Social Scientists (AMSS), American Academy of Religion (AAR), the Middle East Studies Association (MESA), and the South Asian Muslim Studies Association (SAMSA). His research interests include constitutional theory, political Islam, globalization, and Islamist social movements, and has lectured and written extensively on these topics.


Fatima Ashraf is former senior policy advisor for health and education to Mayor Michael Bloomberg in New York City.  She is one of the architect's of the NYC Young Men's Initiative and was also on the public health team that introduced the controversial ban on 16 ounce sodas. Fatima was a student leader at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, working specifically on minority rights and representation in university decisions. At the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, Fatima was the Political Action Chair of SCOR - Students of Color of Rackham (SCOR), a key organization within the university's graduate school. Currently, in her new role as a mother, she is committed to feeding her family and running her household in a pro-health, zero-waste, zero-exploitative way.


Shahid Buttar is a civil rights lawyer, hip-hop & electronica MC, independent columnist, and grassroots community organizer. He leads the Bill of Rights Defense Committee and also serves as co-Director of the Rule of Law Institute, a U.S.-based organization supporting international efforts to defend the Rule of Law against threats imposed by U.S. foreign policy. Shahid also writes for The Huffington Post.

From 2008-2009, Shahid directed a national advocacy program to combat racial religious profiling. He organized the first litigation seeking marriage equality for same-sex couples in New York; represented the campaign finance reform community in an ultimately successful appeal before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit; and built the media and communications operations of the American Constitution Society for Law & Policy, as well as the groundbreaking ACS ResearchLink program.

Shahid also served as a spokesperson for grassroots resistance at the 2005 Counter-Inaugural and the 2004 Republican National Convention – where Democracy Now! named one of his public addresses among "The Best of 2004." Shahid founded a variety of grassroots groups across the country, including the Stanford Spoken Word Collective; the San Francisco Collaborative Arts Insurgency; the DC Guerrilla Poetry Insurgency; the DC Resistance Media Collective and ShantiSalaam.

As a musician, Shahid has performed around the world, and his debut CD, Get Outta Your Chair, was released in 2008 and features Bumpin’ in My SUV and the Baghdad Blues.


R. L'Heureux Lewis-McCoy is an Assistant Professor of Sociology and Black Studies at the City College of New York – CUNY. His research concentrates on issues of educational inequality, the role of race in contemporary society, and gender equity.  The changing national and international landscape necessitate deeper, more sustainable, and meaningful engagement conversations and research. Through his writing, speaking, and commentary his work analyzes some of the most pressing issues facing the African Diaspora. With specializations in race and ethnic relations, his research and activism grapple with the areas of education, youth culture, and public policy. His commentary and analyses have been featured in national and regional media outlets such as the Detroit Free Press, National Public Radio, Diversity in Higher Education, Fox News, Keep Hope Alive Radio with Jesse Jackson, Ebony.com, TheGrio.com, TheRoot.com, and US World News Report.


Fouad Pervez is a writer and policy analyst. He has worked in health care policy research, focusing on financing and access to care for low income populations. He is currently finishing up his PhD, specializing in international political economy and international security. Fouad is an occasional contributor to Foreign Policy in Focus, where he has written on American foreign policy, South Asian security, the Middle East, and private military contractors. He was awarded a Larry Neal Writers Award and was a featured performer at the Hip Hop Theater Festival.



Reggie Miller is the Program Manager for the AmeriCorps VISTA program at the New York City Coalition Against Hunger.  A former VISTA himself, Reggie has dedicated much of his life to fighting hunger, homelessness, and poverty.  He is responsible for building organizational capacity for hundreds of soup kitchens and food pantries across NYC.  He is also pursuing a Masters in Social Work at Columbia University.