MANAR WAHEED has spent her adult life fighting for the most vulnerable among us – survivors of violence, immigrants, Muslims, undocumented Americans, and now she’s fighting for ALL of us.
As Legislative & Advocacy Counsel of ACLU National, Manar is literally on the front lines of challenging Donald Trump’s ongoing destruction of our federal government, and Constitutional rights and protections. Her journey is one focused on protecting people, building power and harnessing people power to meet this moment.
In this conversation, Manar shares some incredible stories and powerful learnings from her time:
- growing up in Texarkana, TX as the child of immigrants who came from humble beginnings in Pakistan
- working with domestic violence survivors through undergrad, law school, and the beginning of her legal career
- advocating with the government and in local communities for the rights of South Asians in America in the aftermath of 9/11
- serving in the Obama White House Domestic Policy Council where she helped develop and implement President Obama’s executive actions on immigration and helped dismantle a national Muslim registry program created after 9/11
- joining the de facto leader of the resistance to the Trump administration, the ACLU
Since election day, the ACLU has been mounting some of the most prominent legal challenges to the Trump administration. They’re fighting hard on more than 60 critical issues threatening fundamental rights, and they’ve scored a string of major victories.
For 98 years, the ACLU has defended our Constitution in the courts. Now, they’re coupling that legal power with People Power — and taking their fight to the streets with grassroots action to resist the Trump administration’s assault on our communities.
Links to stuff we mentioned in this episode:
- Follow Manar on Twitter (@manaro_77) and her work with the ACLU
- Manar’s blogs on current issues
- Her White House Essay: My Day One: From the Streets of Lahore to the Heart of Texas
- Her MIC.com Essay: Under Obama I Advised Undocumented Immigrants to Trust Police. Here’s What I’d Say Now.
- Attempts to silence Muslims, Arabs and South Asians Won’t Work (Religious News Service)
- ACLU People Power grassroots action campaign – input your zip code to find local actions you can be part of
- ACLU President Anthony Romero’s open letters to Donald Trump
- Muslim Americans in the Obama White House (White House Archives)
- Working the West Wing (Politico)
- NBC News profile of Manar’s work in the White House
- South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT)