Linda Sarsour, Executive Director
Linda Sarsour is a working woman, racial justice and civil rights activist, every Islamophobe’s worst nightmare, and mother of three. Ambitious, outspoken and independent, Linda shatters stereotypes of Muslim women while also treasuring her religious and ethnic heritage. She is a Palestinian Muslim American and a self-proclaimed “pure New Yorker, born and raised in Brooklyn!” She is the Executive Director of the Arab American Association of New York and 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 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 member of the Justice League NYC, a leading NYC force of activists, formerly incarcerated individuals, and artists working to reform the New York Police Department and the criminal justice system.
Linda co-chaired the March2Justice, a 250-mile journey on foot to deliver a justice package to end racial profiling, demilitarize police and demand the government invest in young people and communities. Linda Sarsour was instrumental in the Coalition for Muslim School Holidays to push New York City to incorporate 2 Muslim high holy holidays in to the NYC Public school calendar. This year, New York City will be the largest school system in the country to officially recognize these holidays. This year, Linda joined leading social justice faith leaders as a Senior Fellow at Auburn Seminary.
She has received numerous awards and honors including “Champion of Change” by the White House, YWCA USA’s Women of Distinction Award for Advocacy and Civic Engagement and the Hala Maksoud Leadership Award from the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee. Sarsour was named among 500 of the most influential Muslims in the world. Most recently, Linda was profiled on the front page of the New York Times Metro Section and dubbed “Brooklyn Homegirl in a Hijab” and introduced Linda to their readership as “ Mixing street smarts, activism and her Muslim identity, Linda Sarsour has become a political force”. She has written for and has been featured in local, national, and international media discussing impact of domestic policies that target Arab and Muslim American communities, criminal justice issues and Middle East affairs. Linda is well respected amongst diverse communities in both in New York City and nationally. She is most known for her intersectional coalition work and building bridges across issues, racial, ethnic and faith communities.