In honor of Women’s History Month, Orange County Human Rights and Relations will host Courageous Conversations with Linda Sarsour, an internationally known racial justice and civil rights activist and community organizer. The event will be held Sunday, March 31, at the Whitted Building in Hillsborough. No admission is charged, but capacity is limited and registration is required. Visit www.orangecountync.gov/sarsour to register, or call (919) 245-2487.
Linda Sarsour is every Islamophobe’s worst nightmare. A Palestinian-Muslim-American born and raised in Brooklyn, N.Y., she is the former Executive Director of the Arab American Association of New York and the co-founder of the first Muslim online organizing platform, MPower Change. 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.
“We are thrilled to have Linda bring her message of empowerment, social justice and activism to Orange County during Women’s History Month,” said Orange County Human Rights and Relations Director Annette Moore.
Most recently, she was one of the national co-chairs of the largest single-day protest in US history, the Women’s March on Washington. She has been named amongst 500 of the most influential Muslims in the world and has won numerous awards, including Champion of Change from the Obama Administration. Fortune recognized her as one of the 50 Greatest Leaders in 2017 and she was featured as one of Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world in 2017.
She is a frequent media commentator on issues impacting Muslim communities, feminism and criminal justice reform and most recognized for her transformative intersectional organizing work and movement building.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Why was Linda Sarsour chosen to speak at the Women’s History Month event sponsored by the Orange County Human Rights and Relations and the Human Relations Commission?
The Human Relations Commission wanted to bring in a powerful speaker who could discuss the ways women can become more involved in pursuing positive change in human relations. Linda Sarsour is known around the world for her political activism. A Palestinian-American, she was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., and advocates on many issues, including Muslim rights, social justice, women’s rights, immigration policy and criminal justice reform. She was named one of the 50 Global Leaders in the World in 2017 by Fortune Magazine and one of Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people of 2017. She is co-chair of the 2017 and 2019 Women’s March and the 2017 Day Without a Woman.
A national speaker on issues impacting the Muslim community, she is recognized for her transformative intersectional organizing work and movement building.
What will she speak about?
The title of her presentation is "Intersectional Feminism: How Women Will Win." It’s been near three decades since Dr. Kimberle Crenshaw coined the term “intersectionality." She saw the deficiencies in the ways in which we fight for justice and against oppression across multiple identities. Intersectionality and intersectional feminism require that we bring a holistic approach to social justice work – that we treat people as whole human beings impacted by a multitude of issues.
Can we learn from past mistakes of siloed movements? How do we fight for our bodies, selves, families and communities? How do we organize movements based on the understanding that unity is not uniformity? This lecture will be grounded in the words of Audre Lorde: “There is no such thing as a single-issue struggle because we do not live single-issue lives.” We will explore challenges of the past and put forth solutions and center the role and leadership of women.
Who made the decision to invite her?
Her appearance was recommended by Human Rights and Relations staff and discussed and approved by the Human Relations Commission prior to an invitation being sent.
How much does her appearance cost?
She is being paid $5,000 plus travel expenses from county funds.
Linda Sarsour has made several public remarks that some view as anti-Semitic. Why is she given a platform to speak in Orange County?
Ms. Sarsour has not been invited to Orange County to share her views on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. As an international leader for change, she has been invited to share her sentiments about nonviolent activism, community organizing and social justice and to empower women to be strong advocates on these issues. Suggested topics for her presentation include "Women in History,” “Islamophobia" and "Intersectional Feminism."
One of the charges of the Human Relations Commission is to “study and make recommendations concerning the problems of the field of human relationships.” This effort is accomplished by hosting Community Conversations and Town Halls, whereby residents hear from speakers and discuss topics that affect harmonious relations. The HRC seeks to spark curiosity and further research that provokes continued engagement and solutions to inequities.
The Human Relations Commission opposes language, beliefs, policies and actions that heighten inequities between people and create barriers to freedom and the full participation in society.