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April 17, 2013

What Do You Stand For? An Evening of Moral Courage with Irshad Manji & Dr. Cornel West

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Photography: Limité Magazine

Yesterday, we were invited to attend the launch of Founder and Director of the Moral Courage Project Irshad Manji’s, Moral Courage Project with Dr. Cornel West and listen to their inspiring discussion about power, democracy, innovation, and your own role in all three.  Moral courage means standing up when others want you to sit down, and it’s the big idea behind every movement for social change.

On April 16, Irshad launched Moral Courage TV, a web-based channel that tells the stories of morally courageous people worldwide. Partnered with YouTube, Moral Courage TV will be translated and distributed in several languages. The World Economic Forum identifies Irshad as a Young Global Leader. The Jakarta Post in Indonesia – the world’s largest Muslim country – has selected her as one of three Muslim women making a positive change in Islam today. Most recently, the New York Society for Ethical Culture gave Irshad its highest distinction: The Ethical Humanist Award.

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As Robert F. Kennedy told students at the University of Cape Town:

“Few are willing to brave the disapproval of their fellows, the censure of their colleagues, the wrath of their society. Moral courage is a rarer commodity than bravery in battle or great intelligence. Yet is it the one essential, vital quality for those who seek to change a world that yields most painfully to change.”

Those words are even more true today. The dream of diversity is increasingly twisted by the politics of identity, which puts us in boxes that we’re afraid to bust open. This is why Irshad Manji has founded the Moral Courage Project.

As innovator and instructor of the course, “Public Leadership and Moral Courage,” Irshad teaches that meaningful diversity embraces different ideas and not just identities. Her message to students: “When you exercise your unique voice, your community grows from talent that would otherwise be lost to self-censorship. Dare to develop individuality; it expands community.”

 

posted by: Limité Staff
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