2019 North Star Award - Linda Sarsour
Born and raised in Brooklyn, Linda has a long history of “from the ground up” leadership, which began locally and has led her to have national and international impact.
Linda joined the staff of the Arab American Association of New York in 2001, in time to deal with the dramatic rise of anti-Muslim policing after the September 11th attacks. She assumed the position of director after the tragic death of mentor and then Executive Director Basema Atweh in 2005.
Under Linda’s leadership, the organization grew into a force to be reckoned with that reined in police abuse and bias while building deep connections among communities of color, Jewish communities and Muslim communities.
She has since used the same intersectional, from-the-ground up approach as a national co-chair of the Women’s March and as one of the co-founders of MPower Change, the first online Muslim organizing platform.
She is a member of the Justice League NYC, a leading force of activists, artists, youth and formerly incarcerated individuals committed to criminal justice reform through direct action and policy advocacy. She is one of the most recognizable Muslim women in the U.S. political landscape and has proudly described herself as “every Islamophobe’s worst nightmare.”
We’re recognizing Linda for her bold solidarity building, her ability to advance towards accomplishments that many people say are impossible and her principled leadership in challenging times.