Moral Courage College
The No-Shaming Approach to
Anti-Racism, Justice-Seeking, and Power-Sharing
We need remedies for racism. And, to be effective, any remedy has to be enduring. That’s why it can’t be imposed. Buy-in gets cultivated by giving space to different viewpoints in service of honest conversations.
The “white fragility” approach amounts to shaming. But shaming people leads to humiliation, and humiliation sows the seeds of blowback.
At Moral Courage College, we teach diversity without shaming. Our specialty is to equip people to turn disagreement into engagement and, ultimately, into shared action.
Moral Courage College teaches this skill to three audiences:
Schools: Equipping educators to teach moral courage
This video shows the impact of Moral Courage College on a high school. Now, we’re developing an online course for certified teachers who want to introduce moral courage to their students. And after completing the online course, educators can deepen their commitment to moral courage by taking an in-person, multi-day, immersive course with Irshad. Here’s more about the MC philosophy and methodology.
Raquel Majeski, Dean of Equity, Inclusion and Professional Growth, Lawrence Academy (MA):
“Irshad Manji’s visit truly catapulted our community in the right direction. As someone who’s been leading diversity initiatives for years, I can attest that Moral Courage College is the next step. It’s one thing to talk about social justice. But when you are empowering students, faculty, and staff to courageously address differences and discord, that’s the real work. And that’s the beauty of Moral Courage. I’m so appreciative for what it has done to launch my community in a positive direction.”
Hanna Hollett, Teacher, Kopachuk Middle School (WA)
“Moral Courage is a big idea, yet Irshad inspired our kids with her message and humor! I’ve never seen them so rapt.”
Dr. Patrick Finnessy, Master Chair in English, Lake Forest Academy (IL)
“Moral Courage College helped reshape the culture of our upper school. Irshad showed us how to create a space where we could ask our questions out loud, build empathy, and help one another recognize the importance of making a life, making a living, and making a difference.”
Deryn Lavell, Head, Bishop Strachan School (Toronto, Canada)
“The Moral Courage Method is our pedagogy of choice for fostering the engaged citizenship of our students. It is quite simply brave, delivering on our expectation of action.”
Businesses: Diversity without division
Let’s face it, companies are terrified of inflaming the culture wars at work. But conventional “diversity training” so often plants the seeds of conflict among co-workers. It demoralizes people. And it drains productivity. Why does this happen? Our founder, Irshad Manji, explains in this article.
Moral Courage College offers a different approach to diversity and inclusion — an approach that the renowned sociologist, Jonathan Haidt, has described as “humble, loving, humane, and therefore likely to work for many more people.” Here’s more about the MC philosophy and methodology.
Riley Folds, Director, Global Diversity and Inclusion, Lockheed Martin
“Moral Courage does diversity in a refreshing way, and the excellent results are proof. Our HR managers felt heard, engaged, and understood by Irshad, even as she taught them how to hear, engage, and understand employees throughout the corporation. She role-models what she teaches, showing (and not just telling) how the Moral Courage Method can be integrated into our workplace culture. The approach is simple yet deeply powerful.”
Wei Hopeman, Chair, World Presidents Organization, Pan-Asia
“Irshad got us out of their comfort zone to understand how we can harness all that we are for a life of higher performance and deeper meaning. Moral Courage is a game-changer for anyone who desires both success and significance.”
Nadir Ansari, CEO, Isherwood Geo-Structural Engineering, Toronto
“In engineering, having the courage to ask uncomfortable questions can mean protecting infrastructure and saving lives. Irshad has inspired my employees to voice difficult questions early on – not just with colleagues but also with clients. Our team, as well as our value proposition, are stronger for Moral Courage.”
Prof. Bruce Buchanan, Chair in Ethics, NYU Stern School of Business
“I have seen Prof. Manji engage with the brightest of our business students. She is principled, compassionate, brave, and understanding. Today’s MBAs have much to learn from how Moral Courage represents timeless values in an era of instant gratification.”
Soulla Tsioupra-Lewis, United Business Media, UK
“Prof. Manji received the highest rating ever for a keynote speaker in our Business Leaders Program. We fell in love with her warmth, humour and, of course, backbone. Her guidance about how to embody moral courage is visionary yet practical, ethical yet actionable. Each of us left the room with optimism that our daily decisions really can make a difference.”
Leaders Quest India:
“I am a corporate executive who watched Irshad model moral courage like I have never seen it. I feel forever changed.”
Communities: A global network of moral courage mentors
Moral Courage College is training a global network of moral courage mentors who — as the name suggests — will mentor individuals and groups in their own locales. Mentors might even earn money doing this: Turning caustic polarization into constructive conversation requires skills that the market increasingly values. After graduating from Moral Courage College, mentors will continually be equipped with resources that are produced by the college. Here’s more about the MC philosophy and methodology.
Prof. Rajni Shankar-Brown, Endowed Chair in Social Justice, Stetson University:
“Moral Courage is a powerful message in a polarized time. It changes the hearts of people who would otherwise view one another with deep and lasting suspicions. Divided communities across the country desperately need Moral Courage Mentors. Please become one!”
Caroline Wang, MD:
“I am striving to make change in my professional medical community, and Moral Courage is my go-to guide. Years ago, I moved from Vancouver to New York just to take Prof. Manji’s class. Now that she is preparing to teach it online, I will be taking it again. I cannot wait to be certified as a Moral Courage Mentor.”
Nina Sigish, student:
“I’ve been training as a Moral Courage Mentor since my sophomore year in high school. I’m a pretty hard-headed person. Learning how to be vulnerable really helped me grow and for that, I’m eternally grateful.”
Kennedy Hayes, student:
“Now that I’m a college freshman, I’ve found that Moral Courage isn’t just something you learn in high school and that’s it. Moral Courage is a piece of character that you take with you for the rest of your life, because the skill to speak up and stand out for what you believe is invaluable. But the best part is that Moral Courage shows how you can be heard, even by people who disagree with you. I’ll be teaching these skills to others.”
Those who complete their training in moral courage will be awarded a diploma from the Initiative for Global Ethics and Human Rights at Oxford University, where our founder, Irshad Manji, teaches. Moral Courage College is based in New York and offers many of its teachings online. If you’d like any of the services that we’ve described above, email us: [email protected].