2020 PBK Key into Public Service Scholar
Wasiq Javed, on stage known as WiseIQ, is a spoken word artist, community organizer, and second-year Honors Political Science student with a minor in Leadership Studies at the University of Houston (UH). Born and raised in Houston, Texas to Pakistani immigrants, Wasiq is passionate about increasing Muslim involvement in public service and civic engagement to add a growing voice to the American civic and political discourse. He has previously organized voter campaigns, protests, and education events across numerous social issues and founded a youth civic-engagement organization at his high school, Lakes for Lives. Wasiq is a current member of the Mayor’s Commission Against Gun Violence and a former Senator in the Student Government Association at UH. He has previously interned with Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, Council on American-Islamic Relations, and the Raj Salhotra Campaign for Houston City Council.
As a public speaker, Wasiq fundraises for charitable causes, emcees community events, and delivers sermons in the Houston Muslim community. Moreover, his talents in spoken word poetry have allowed him to compete with the UH CoogSlam Poetry Team, placing 4th in the nation at the College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational Tournament (CUPSI). His poetry has been featured on television, radio, and in the Houston Chronicle. Wasiq is a former Critical Language Scholarship recipient, where he studied Urdu abroad in Lucknow, India. He intends to pursue a joint JD/MPP degree and concentrate in civil rights or public interest law to prepare him for a career in representing minority populations.