Hamza Iqbal of Plano has, in the words of Plano Mayor Harry LaRosiliere, “made us Plano proud.” Hamza, 16 and a Plano ISD student, received the Young Hearts Matter Activist of the Year award, presented annually by the Texas Council on Family Violence (TCFV). The Young Hearts Matter award annually recognizes one young person from across Texas who inspires and leads efforts in their communities to promote healthy relationships and prevent violence.
In an effort to bring awareness to teen dating abuse, TCFV honored this Plano student, who turned Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings’ 2013 challenge to men to “stand against domestic violence” into action by mobilizing and educating his community.
At age 15, Hamza began his effort titled Young Men Against Domestic Violence, wrote a pledge to non-violence and created a movement that has been taken online. You can view and sign his Millenials Against Domestic Violence pledge at change.org. At the Texas Muslim Women’s Foundation’s 2017 gala, he led over 200 men to take the pledge and to stand against domestic violence.
At the Feb. 17 TCFV award ceremony at the Junior League of Collin County, Hamza said, “To be honest, standing up here on this stage—this award doesn’t feel as much as a staple of the work that I have accomplished—but an award that places me at the start line of the race against violence.”
Hamza first learned about the problem of family violence from his mother who gave him a purple awareness bracelet following a conference she’d attended. She shared details and statistics with him. “I was shocked, which was immediately followed up with white-hot anger. I was around 13 at the time, and since then I have felt compelled to do something about it. It’s shocking to imagine that one in three women experience abuse from an intimate partner in their lives, and nearly 1.5 million teenagers nationwide experience abuse from a dating partner in a single year. And just like that, one alarming stat after another led me to want to do something about it.”
Mayor LaRosiliere was on hand to commend Hamza for his good works and to present him with a commendation from the City of Plano. As the mayor presented Hamza with special recognition, he said, “You got involved and decided to take leadership. You are truly a leader already, and you will continue to grow. You’ve made us Plano proud. Thank you.”Texas Council on Family Violence > Millenials Against Domestic Violence >