Activist and Former Executive Director of the Arab American Association of New York, Social justice, Civic and political engagement, Women’s March
Hijri 1400-Present (AH); Common Era 1980-Present (CE)
Linda Sarsour is a Palestinian-American award-winning racial justice and civil rights activist. Linda counters stereotypes of Muslim women while also treasuring her religious and ethnic heritage. Sarsour was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. She is the author of We are not here to be bystanders: A memoir of love and resistance; a book that tells her story as a young Muslim activist who fights back Islamophobia in New York City during the post 9/11 time. Sarsour served as the executive director of the Arab American Association of New York from 2011-2016. During her tenure, she was part of a coalition that successfully advocated for Muslim holidays to be recognized as public school holidays in New York City. In 2017, she served as co-chair for the Women’s March, during which she highlighted the American Muslim experience and advocated for the acceptance and inclusion of Muslims in everyday life. Also, Sarsour is a co-founder of the first Muslim online organizing platform, MPOWER Change. Linda has been at the forefront of major civil rights campaigns, including calling for an end to unwarranted surveillance of New York’s Muslim communities and ending police policies like stop and frisk. In the wake of the police murder of Mike Brown, she co-founded Muslims for Ferguson to build solidarity amongst American Muslim communities and encourage work against police brutality. She is a Justice League NYC member, a leading NYC force of activists, formerly incarcerated individuals, and artists working to reform the New York Police Department and the criminal justice system. She has received numerous awards and honors, including “Champion of Change” from the Obama White House, YWCA USA’s Women of Distinction Award for Advocacy and Civic Engagement, the Inaugural American Muslim of the Year from the Council on American Islamic Relations, the Hala Maksoud Leadership Award from the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, the Radical Leadership Award from the Center for Constitutional Rights, Changemaker Award from Asian Americans Advancing Justice, Angela Davis Award from New York Communities for Change, the Eleanor Roosevelt Award from the Universalist Unitarian Service Committee, the Gloria Award from Ms. Foundation for Women, 2017 Webby Awards, the Andrew Young Foundation’s Annual International Leaders Award, the Shirley Chisholm Award by the New York City Council and recognized by the NAACP New York State Conference amongst others. Sarsour was named among 500 of the most influential Muslims in the world, 50 of the world’s greatest leaders by Fortune Magazine, Essence Magazine’s WOKE 100, and featured on the Time 100’s list of the world’s most influential people. She is a fellow at the NYU Wagner School of Public Service.