Razia's Ray of Hope

Razia Jan — Founder and President

Razia Jan, Founder AND PRESIDENT

Razia Jan

Razia’s Ray of Hope Foundation would not exist without the spirit, vision, and tireless efforts of founder and president Razia Jan.

Razia has worked for many years to forge connections between Afghans and Americans. Her humanitarian efforts are honored in First Lady Laura Bush's 2016 book We Are Afghan Women.

Born in Afghanistan, Razia moved to the United States in 1970. The proprietor of a small tailoring business in Duxbury, Massachusetts, for 20 years she served as president of the town’s Rotary Club. In the aftermath of September 11, Razia rallied her adopted New England community to send over 400 homemade blankets to rescue workers at Ground Zero after September 11. Her efforts expanded to include sending care packages to US troops in Afghanistan. Through her involvement in the military’s Operation Shoe Fly, she coordinated the delivery of over 30,000 pairs of shoes to needy Afghan children. Her handmade quilts commemorating September 11 have been exhibited at Madison Square Garden, the chapel at the Pentagon, and at fire stations in New York and Massachusetts.

Laura_Bush_Razia_JanRazia has received many awards for her humanitarian work (see below for chronology), including a 2012 CNN Top 10 Hero award, the 2007 Woman of Excellence award from Germaine Lawrence Inc., multiple Rotary Club International Peace Awards, and certificates of appreciation from the Army Corps of Engineers and the American Legion. She has spoken on women and children’s issues at venues across the United States as well as in Europe and Afghanistan. In 2014, Razia was named Social Innovator by the Lewis Institute at Babson College and in 2015 she was awarded a Woman of Action award from Rotary International at the United Nations in New York City. In 2016, she was honored with Rotary International’s Service Above Self Award.

Razia has served as a member of the Interfaith Council, the No Place for Hate Committee, and Jordan Hospital’s board of directors.

Today, in order to continue her humanitarian work, school administration, fundraising efforts, and spending time with family, Razia travels between Afghanistan and the United States.

Awards:

  • Service Above Self Award, Rotary International, 2016
  • Global Woman of Action Award, Rotary International, 2015
  • Agent of Change Award, Rotary Club of Concord, 2015
  • Social Entrepreneur Award, Babson College, 2014
  • American Muslim Women's Empowerment Council Award, 2013
  • John Quincy Adams Award, Bridgewater State University, 2013
  • Speak for Thyself Award, Alden Kindred of America, 2013
  • CNN Hero (Top 10), 2012
  • Germaine Lawrence Woman of Excellence Award, 2007
  • Certificate of Appreciation, Army Corps of Engineers, 2007
  • American Legion Certificate of Appreciation, 2006
  • World Peace Award, Rotary International, 2005
  • Duxbury Community Volunteer Award, 2004
  • Duxbury Concerned Citizen Award, 2004
  • Mary Lou Bigelow concerned World Citizen, 2002
  • World Peace Award, Rotary International, 2003
  • Presented with a piece of 9/11 glass rubble from the Pentagon by the Pentagon Chaplin

Speaking (selected):

  • World Bank; Washington, DC; March 2017
  • Women Deliver Global Conference; Copenhagen, Denmark; May 2016
  • International Women's Festival; Santa Barbara, CA; October 2014
  • Air Force Academy Keynote Speaker; Denver, CO; February 2014
  • Librarians and Resource Managers Conference; Denver, CO; September 2013
  • Omaha Rotary Club and Central High School; Omaha, NE; September 2013, October 2012
  • Woodrow Wilson Center; Washington, DC; June 2013
  • Claremont McKenna College; Claremont, CA; March 2013
  • Scripps College; Claremont, CA; March 2013
  • Oxford University, Department of International Studies; Oxford, England; February 2013
  • University of Heidelberg; Heidelberg, Germany; October 2012
  • Boston College High School; Boston, MA; October 2012
  • Johnson Speaker, Milton Academy, Upper and Lower Schools; Milton, MA; March 2012
  • Wellesley Middle and Elementary Schools at the Wellesley Country Club; Wellesley, MA; March 2012
  • Women of Excellence Awards Ceremony at the Harvard Club; Boston, MA; November 2007
  • Duxbury Interfaith Council; Duxbury, MA; September 2007
  • Woodward School for Girls; Quincy, MA; May 2007
  • American Legion; Duxbury, MA; May 2006
  • Beyond 9-11; Boston, MA; September 2005
  • Duxbury High School Commencement Speaker; Duxbury, MA; June 2005
  • The Pentagon; Washington D.C.; September 2003
  • World Peace District; Winchester, MA; March 2003
  • Rotary Club Local and Regional Meetings; South Shore, MA; September 2002 – present

Affiliations:

  • Founder and President, Razia’s Ray of Hope Foundation
  • Past President, Past Director of International Projects, Duxbury Rotary Club
  • Past Member, Board of Directors, Jordan Hospital, Plymouth, MA
  • Past Member, Duxbury Interfaith Council
  • Past Board Member, No Place for Hate, Duxbury Chapter