|Education:||Kingsborough Community College, Brooklyn College|
Linda Sarsour is a Palestinian American political activist and former executive director of the Arab American Association of New York. She was a co-founder of the Women's March on Washington and a national co-chair until July 2019.
Sarsour was born in 1980 in Brooklyn, New York. After being placed in an arranged marriage at the age of 17, Sarsour attended college at Kingsborough Community College and Brooklyn College with the goal of becoming an English teacher.
Shortly before the September 11 attacks, Sarsour began volunteering at the Arab American Association of New York. Her activism has included defending the civil rights of Muslim Americans following the attacks, protesting police surveillance of Muslim Americans and a push to recognize Muslim holidays in public schools. In 2005, Sarsour became executive director of AAANY. As director, she advocated for passage of the Community Safety Act in New York, which created an independent office to review police policy and expanded the definition of bias-based profiling in New York. Following the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, in August 2014, Sarsour helped organize the Muslim community response and Black Lives Matter protests, and has worked extensively with BLM since.
After the November 2016 presidential election, Bob Bland and several other women independently launched Facebook events for a march on Washington to be held after the inauguration. After thousands of women signed up, the events were merged and Sarsour, Tamika Malory and Carmen Perez were invited to be co-chairs with Bland for the 2017 Women's March. The march advocated for women's rights, immigration reform, LGBTQIA rights, healthcare reform, environmental reform, racial justice and racial equality. An estimated 500,000 people attended the march and millions more participated in sister marches across the country, making it possibly the largest single-day protest in U.S. history. Sarsour was also a co-chairwoman of the 2017 Day Without a Woman strike and protest. Malory, Bland and Sarsour resigned from the board of the Women's March in July 2019 amid accusations of anti-Semitism, infighting and financial mismanagement.
Following the 2017 Women's March, Sarsour was named one of Time magazine's "100 Most Influential People."