BiographyLinda Sarsour is a working woman, community activist, 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!”
Currently, she is the Advocacy and Civic Engagement Coordinator for the National Network for Arab American Communities and ACCESS and locally serving as the director of the Arab American Association of New York, a social service agency serving the Arab community in NYC. Linda was a 2005 COROS New American Leaders fellow, 2009 graduate of the American Muslim Civic Leadership Institute housed at USC, named Extraordinary Woman by Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes and received the 2010 Brooklyn Do-Gooder Award from the Brooklyn Community Foundation.
Linda is also a board member of the New York Immigration Coalition, a coalition of over 250 nonprofit agencies serving the diverse immigrant communities of New York State. In the 2008 elections, Linda coordinated the largest and most successful get out the vote effort in the Arab American community in Brooklyn, with over 130 canvassers and 8000 doors knocked. She has been featured in local, national, and international media speaking on topics ranging from women’s issues, Islam, domestic policy and political discussions on the Middle East conflict. Linda’s strengths are in the areas of community development, youth empowerment, community organizing, civic engagement and immigrants’ rights advocacy.
My vision is to see the Muslim American community become a strong political force that is represented in all facets of government on a local and national level — a community that is strategic and consistent in its civic engagement. I hope to one day be a politician that will represent the issues of Muslims as well as issues that affect all those in our communities. My vision also includes the completion of the YWCA of Brooklyn’s community center which will be a hub for progressive thought and programming for women and girls, and a place that will cultivate young women leaders of all races and backgrounds and to see that the Arab American Association of New York purchase its own building, expand and serve beyond the Arab American community in New York City.
When I think of my experience as an AMCLI fellow I think of these words: inspiration, hope, and future. AMCLI is a program that has brought together the finest and brightest of the Muslim American community in the United States. They have created a network of young, energetic and passionate leaders whose mission is to change the world and make it a better place. Through this program I have made allies but more importantly friends that are working on my behalf as I am working on their behalf. The level of intelligence and passion in the room is remarkable. After each residency program, I leave feeling refreshed and reenergized to face any challenges that come my way because I feel secure to know that there are others just like me in the same struggle. This has been an unforgettable experience that has equipped me with new skills and ways of strategic thinking as how to move our community forward, how to build Muslim power. The difference between AMCLI and other programs is that it has put into consideration what we can do to keep these relationships alive and working for years to come. The AMCLI 2009 fellows truly are “the change they want to see in this world.”