If you need inspiration today (or ever), binge-watch “Voices of Fire” on @Netflix. American Idol meets gospel music. Every featured contestant has overcome adversity, even tragedy, to audition for... the world’s most soaring church choir. Come for the songs, stay for the stories. 🔥

Our role as educators is not to make our students comfortable. Our role is to help them feel safe in their *discomfort.* How do we achieve this on sensitive issues around diversity, equity & ... inclusion?👇🏽At the end, ask me tough q’s so I can model the skills I teach you!

Let Grow@LetGrowOrg

Educators, have you participated in our "Don't Label Me" book study yet? Led by @MoralCourage founder @IrshadManji, this professional dev experience will take your #SEL and #DEI efforts to a new level. https://letg.ro/2Iy5oLf

1 week ago

Irshad Manji

Meet “Lilby,” an injured seal who’s been rehabilitated by the Marine Mammal Rescue Group in Vancouver, Canada.

My sis, Ish, donated and was surprised to receive naming rights to the seal. So she combined the names of Lily (my late great rescue dog) and Libby (the late gentle rescue of my other sis, Fatima Boorman). Hence, “Lilby,” who couldn’t wait to be back in her natural habitat! Watching this splashy return makes my heart soar.

I confess that only recently have I come to appreciate the breathtaking panoply of our non-human friends. My evolution is thanks largely to Ish, who, as an underdog since childhood, relates to other underdogs. She volunteers several hours a week at two sanctuaries and has adopted sickly kitties for years now. Even our clean-freak / control-freak Mom is in love with Ish’s adoptees. May more human beings overthrow our “species supremacy.”

This week, the The New York Times columnist Margaret Renkl explained the link between Covid-19 and humanity’s neglect of wildlife. Despite being mostly bored by the NY Times, I find Renkl’s short piece fascinating. I think you will too: nyti.ms/3fqxfsR. Reading it took 5 minutes — yet they were transformative because I’ve come closer to understanding what 2020 is trying to tell us.

Meanwhile, Lilby, just flip, flop, and live your best life. For our own survival, we’ll have to learn not to tread on you.
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3 weeks ago

Irshad Manji

We all know about Brexit. Well, this week, America has voted for Bragxit.

No more bragging about the “biggest” this, the “most tremendous” that, and “the likes of which we’ve never seen.” It’s time for truth — and a dash of humility. It’s time for a president for all Americans.

Congratulations, friends. Now let’s get to work not just on the country, but also on ourselves.
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1 month ago

Irshad Manji

This post is about the power of communicating with grace. Before all else, here's the back story...

Soon after President Trump announced Amy Coney Barrett (ACB) as his next nominee for the Supreme Court, I posted about one of the many ways that Trump is trying to make Americans believe they shouldn't bother to vote. These were my specific words: "Telling Americans he'll win this election no matter what -- thanks to his new sugar mama on the Supreme Court -- is a form of voter suppression."

A young man named Denver messaged me to ask, diplomatically, that I refrain from calling a respected professional such as ACB a "sugar mama."

Now for substance of my response to Denver: "Please know that I did not mean to imply this is how **I** view her; rather, it's how President Trump is using her. I truly do not believe that he holds her credentials in high regard on their own merits. Instead, it's how he can exploit her worthiness for his (not the country's) short-term ends that effectively casts her in the role of his sugar mama. My bad. I should've been more precise in my language and explanation."

As you can see from the graphic below, Denver and I started and ended on a dignified note. And that's the point. Had Denver sneered, berated, or ridiculed me for writing something that he disagreed with, I probably would've ignored his request. But he communicated with grace, which is what motivated me not only to reply but, first and foremost, to reflect.

Thank you, Denver, for role-modeling that in the way we express ourselves, we can seek common ground even as we stand our ground. Let's all heed the power of grace as we approach Nov 3 -- and its aftermath.
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1 month ago

Irshad Manji

Some of you know that I had a sassy senior rescue dog named Lily. Although she passed away in the middle of writing my latest book, Lil's spirit is alive and well. Every night, we talk. (She calls me from heaven -- "collect," of course.)

In my humble view as her mama, Lily would be a better candidate for President of the United States than either Biden or Trump. Here's the passionate pitch that I made to Lil, complete with a Constitutional case for her eligibility...
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1 month ago

Irshad Manji

This is my response to the gruesome decapitation of a teacher in France simply because he used the Prophet Muhammed cartoons in his lesson about free expression.

He knew that Muslim students might be offended — which is why he gave them the choice to leave the classroom ahead of time. It seems this teacher appreciated what the Qur’an clearly states about matters of offense: Do not retaliate; just walk away. (I unpack this verse further in my book, “Allah, Liberty & Love: The Courage to Reconcile Faith & Freedom.”)

I’m sick to my stomach over the assassination of an educator. My heart goes out to his family and colleagues. Not only am I praying for them; I’m fighting for them.

Education must prevail, so if you have friends in the Arabic- and Urdu-speaking parts of the world, where my books are banned, please direct them to *free-of-charge* translations of my work: irshadmanji.com/the-trouble-with-islam-today-banned-editions/.
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2 months ago

Irshad Manji

Today is Indigenous Peoples’ Day — the perfect moment to reveal a brand new design for the United States flag as envisioned by a 14-year-old American citizen named Zoe.

She took part in the “Fly Your Flag” contested sponsored by Kidizenship, a Nashville-based media platform that inspires young Americans to get active in their democracy. I’m one of the judges for this contest, along with Beto O'Rourke, Lila Nieves Lee (Vice Chair of the Young Republican National Federation), and Amber Coleman-Mortley, Director of Social Engagement for iCivics.

We gave Zoe first prize in the teen category.

Here’s how Zoe describes her flag design: “I’ve drawn an ear of corn to honor the indigenous peoples of North America. The color of the kernels is a mix of the red, white and blue that we see on our current flag. These colors represent the hardiness, valor, innocence, purity, vigilance, perseverance, and justice of our country. The green of the husk represents the earth and all that came before us, and on the ribbon it says, ‘in radices speramus nobis,’ which means ‘in our roots we trust,’ in Latin.”

BTW, today is also Thanksgiving in Canada — another opportunity to express gratitude to the Indigenous peoples for sharing land with the rest of us. May we become better stewards of it. If Zoe is emblematic of her generation, that day is coming for both countries... and beyond.
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Diversity Dilemma #3
Diversity Dilemma #3

posted on: October 30, 2020

This is the third installment of a special series that I've contributed to "Modern Mentor," a podcast that explores what helps and hinders success in the workplace. If you've read the first and second installments, you know the context of...Continue reading ...

Diversity Dilemma #2
Diversity Dilemma #2

posted on: October 16, 2020

Welcome to the second installment of my series for "Modern Mentor," a podcast that explores what helps and hinders success in the workplace. In this post, I'll explain why we should avoid the kind of diversity that slices and dices...Continue reading ...

Diversity Dilemma #1
Diversity Dilemma #1

posted on: October 01, 2020

"Modern Mentor," a podcast that explores what helps and hinders success in the workplace, invited me to address several dilemmas that professionals experience when trying to practice diversity without being divisive. The catch? I'd have to address each dilemma in...Continue reading ...

Can democracy survive without religion?
Can democracy survive without religion?

posted on: September 17, 2020

In most of the world today, organized religion is being rejected. More and more young people are flipping the bird to theological authority, even in Muslim countries! At the same time, those who abuse political power appear to be filling...Continue reading ...

When corporate diversity programs are like chicken wings
When corporate diversity programs are like chicken wings

posted on: September 06, 2020

In America's transactional culture, workplace diversity often amounts to slapping labels on individuals. Professionals wind up being packaged like products. They're crammed into prefabricated molds ("Black woman," for example) and get showcased to make the company look cutting-edge. Emphasize look....Continue reading ...

AMERICA IS CHANGING. THE LEFT SHOULD, TOO
AMERICA IS CHANGING. THE LEFT SHOULD, TOO

posted on: August 16, 2020

Let's face it: For all our gushing about diversity, many advocates of it hold a hefty slice of America in contempt. We assume that Republicans despise difference, that Trump voters are lodged in a backward past, and that they plan...Continue reading ...

Never Again? It’s Happening Again — This Time, to China’s Muslims
Never Again? It’s Happening Again — This Time, to China’s Muslims

posted on: July 31, 2020

Imagine that millions of people of one faith, one heritage, and one community are being targeted by their government. Imagine that these people are being rounded up by the hundreds of thousands and forced into so-called "re-education camps," where they...Continue reading ...

SHAMING WHITE PEOPLE WILL NOT END RACISM
SHAMING WHITE PEOPLE WILL NOT END RACISM

posted on: July 22, 2020

Last year, an organization that promotes dialogue invited two authors to hold a "respectful exchange" about racism. I was one of them. The other was Robin DiAngelo, author of White Fragility. I accepted the invitation. DiAngelo declined. And that was...Continue reading ...

LIFE LESSONS 101
LIFE LESSONS 101

posted on: July 15, 2020

How do you avoid being manipulated -- whether it's by family, friends, bosses, politicians, or media pundits? You must always remember: If you don't have a vision for your life, someone else will have an agenda for it. I taught...Continue reading ...

LADY LIBERTY’S STRANGE STORY, AND MY STRANGER CONNECTION TO IT
LADY LIBERTY’S STRANGE STORY, AND MY STRANGER CONNECTION TO IT

posted on: July 04, 2020

What you're about to read is a journey -- and I launch it with the most famous line in the U.S. Declaration of Independence: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are...Continue reading ...

How #BLM Can Surprise its Detractors
How #BLM Can Surprise its Detractors

posted on: June 04, 2020

For most kids in America, the school year is coming to a close. But the civics lesson has only just begun. With protests against police brutality sweeping the nation, there's a lot to learn about how to be effective, engaged...Continue reading ...

Yes, And…
Yes, And…

posted on: May 10, 2020

In work and in life, one of the scariest things to do is negotiate with someone who disagrees with you. It takes moral courage to start, and sustain, that conversation. When I teach this skill, a crucial part of my...Continue reading ...

HEALING DOESN’T MEAN CHEERING UP
HEALING DOESN’T MEAN CHEERING UP

posted on: April 24, 2020

I teach courage for a living. Over the course of  20 years, I’ve researched, studied, written, filmed, and spoken about the skills needed to exercise “moral courage,” which means doing the right thing in the face of fear. For all...Continue reading ...

YOU WIN BY NOT STRIVING TO WIN
YOU WIN BY NOT STRIVING TO WIN

posted on: April 08, 2020

Bruce Lee, the martial arts master, would teach his students to "be like water." What he meant was, water always gets to where it needs to go -- even in the midst of obstacles. Water doesn't demand that those obstacles...Continue reading ...

Constructive Conflict
Constructive Conflict

posted on: March 02, 2020

Increasingly, I’m speaking at colleges and universities about the hottest topic going: how to achieve diversity and inclusion. Most educators see diversity as a matrix of skin colors, genders, religious affiliations and sexual orientations. But diversity is also about airing...Continue reading ...

MARTIN LUTHER KING: GUTSY GLOBAL CITIZEN
MARTIN LUTHER KING: GUTSY GLOBAL CITIZEN

posted on: February 03, 2020

On MKL Day 2020, I had the honor of speaking from the very pulpit that the man himself once did -- at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta. The Rev. Dr. Bernice King, daughter of Martin and Coretta, invited me to...Continue reading ...

Divorcing courageously
Divorcing courageously

posted on: January 14, 2020

Without a doubt, it was the wrong thing to do. And I knew it. I did it anyway. “You think you can bulldoze anybody,” I sneered at her. “Nobody calls you out on your behavior, so you feel entitled to...Continue reading ...

“We are the answer to meeting this moment. And civility is not enough. It will take what my friend Irshad Manji calls @MoralCourage — doing the right thing in the face of your fears.” - @esanzi,... who role-models open-minded, big-hearted, ego-effacing citizenship every day. 👇🏽 https://twitter.com/esanzi/status/1324330766055165953

Erika Sanzi@esanzi

My monthly column in the local paper runs today -- I highlight the important work of @braverangels and my pal @IrshadManji because of how vital they are to putting us back together.
cc: @JohnRWoodJr

https://m.valleybreeze.com/2020-11-03/cumberland-lincoln-area/erika-sanzi-don-t-let-road-rage-become-who-we-are#.X6PxMPc1iEc

4.5 hours have passed since the news broke that the FBI stopped a group of domestic terrorists from kidnapping the Governor of Michigan, and still no word from @POTUS @realDonaldTrump.

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3 months ago

Moral Courage
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3 months ago

Moral Courage

From Irshad Manji:

- Register to vote. And if you think you’re already registered, double-check. Every state has a deadline; in next few minutes, visit VoteSaveAmerica.org/be-a-voter/.

- If you’re a U.S. citizen who lives overseas and wants to ensure that your voice gets counted, go to OverseasVoteFoundation.org.

Democracy doesn’t work unless we do. Make it a labor of love — for your country as well as your future. ❤️The Rev. Dr. Bernice King, MLK’s daughter, always says that if a vote wasn’t powerful, nobody would try to suppress it. Amen!

So, America, don’t let your constitutional power be diluted or deleted. Register to vote. And if you think you’re already registered, double-check. Every state has a deadline; in next few minutes, visit VoteSaveAmerica.org/be-a-voter/.

By visiting that link, you can also find out how to volunteer on a campaign. It beats bitching. (Or adopt an abundance mindset and do both. 🤣)

Last thing: If you’re a U.S. citizen who lives overseas and wants to ensure that your voice gets counted, go to OverseasVoteFoundation.org.

Democracy doesn’t work unless we do. Make it a labor of love — for your country as well as your future. ❤️
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