The Domestic Crusaders
Wajahat Ali—a New York Times contributing op-ed writer, TED speaker, CNN commentator and playwright —is a new kind of public intellectual: young, exuberant, and optimistic. He speaks on the multifaceted American experience, covering our growing need for cultural unity, racial diversity, and inclusion to combat forces of hate and division. In hilarious, politically up-to-the-minute talks, Ali shows how to learn from, and join with what he calls “the multicultural coalition of the willing”—the emergent generation poised for social change.
“Wajahat Ali is one of the more exciting writers I know.”— Dave Eggers
Wajahat Ali is a New York Times Contributing op-ed writer, a CNN commentator, a TED speaker, an award-winning playwright, a recovering attorney, and a former consultant for the US State Department. Ali has given keynote speeches around the world from TED to The Aspen Ideas Festival to Google to the United Nations to the New Yorker Festival. His writing appears regularly in The New York Times, The Atlantic, The Washington Post and The Guardian. He helped launch the Al Jazeera America network as co-host of The Stream, a daily news show that extended the conversation to social media and beyond. He was also a National Correspondent, Political Reporter, and Social Media Expert for Al Jazeera America. There, he focused on stories of communities and individuals often marginalized or under-reported in mainstream media. As a playwright, Ali is the author of The Domestic Crusaders—the first major play about Muslim Americans post-9/11—which was published by McSweeney’s and performed off-Broadway and at the Kennedy Center. He is a Peabody-nominated producer of the series The Secret Life of Muslims, a series of short-form, first-person documentary films featuring a diverse set of American Muslims. Ali was also the lead author and researcher of “Fear Inc., Roots of the Islamophobia Network in America,” the seminal report from the Center for American Progress.
Previously, as Creative Director of Affinis Labs, Ali worked to create social entrepreneurship initiatives that have a positive impact for marginalized communities, and to empower social entrepreneurs, young leaders, creatives, and communities to come up with innovative solutions to tackle world problems. Recently, Affinis Labs launched a global startup incubator network, aimed at identifying and fostering “emerging entrepreneurial talent from around the world that understands what makes the global Islamic economy special.”
Ali worked with the US State Department to design and implement the “Generation Change” leadership program to empower young social entrepreneurs. He initiated chapters in eight countries, including Pakistan and Singapore. He was honored as a “Generation Change Leader” by Sec. of State Clinton and as an “Emerging Muslim American Artist” by the Muslim Public Affairs Council.
“Wahajat Ali was superb—he made the evening.”Legal Aid at Work
“What made Wajahat so perfect was that he had both a deep sense of social justice and a great sense of humor.”Legal Aid at Work
“Wajahat was an outstanding speaker—one of the most engaging we have had in recent years”Legal Aid at Work