Irshad Manji is Founder of the Moral Courage Project.
Irshad Manji is the winner of Oprah's first annual award for "audacity, nerve, boldness, and conviction." As founder of the award-winning Moral Courage Project, Irshad equips people to do the right thing in the face of fear.
She discovered her mission through a deeply personal journey. In 2004, Irshad released The Trouble with Islam Today, an open letter to her fellow Muslims about why religious reform is more necessary than ever. When her book became an international bestseller, The New York Times dubbed Irshad "Osama bin Laden's worst nightmare."
In 2007, Irshad turned the book into an Emmy-nominated PBS film, Faith Without Fear. And 2011, she published Allah, Liberty & Love, which shows how Islam can be modernized for our time, the most pluralistic era in human history.
Along the way, Irshad drew key lessons in morally courageous leadership. For example, when do you step up for the sake of honesty? When do you step back for the sake of humility? Combining her reflections with cutting-edge research, she realized that moral courage is needed by anyone who seeks to have enduring impact.
Irshad thus became the world's only professor of moral courage -- first teaching at New York University and now lecturing with Oxford University's Initiative for Global Ethics and Human Rights.
In 2019, Irshad came out with her third book: Don't Label Me, a provocative new take on diversity that makes us all rethink how we see one another -- and ourselves.
Her overarching message: Whatever your vision of progress, you will need to win over many holdouts. That requires listening to people who disagree with you, not labeling them. Curbing your ego demands exercising moral courage. Irshad teaches these skills through Moral Courage College, the program she is building to help educators become hi-impact leaders in social and emotional learning.
African by birth, Canadian by citizenship, American by immersion and universal by reach, Irshad inspires fresh perspectives on success, leadership, inclusion and integrity.
Irshad speaks about a teachable moment in her life. Click above to watch.