Muppies is introducing the world’s largest Muslim leadership development conference on September 21, 2019, in Chicago.

Muppies is pleased to announce Manzoor Cheema as a speaker for this year’s conference:

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Manzoor Cheema

Regional Organizer, Project South


Social Justice Activist | Movement to End Racism and Islamophobia

A resident of Raleigh, NC, Manzoor Cheema has been a social justice organizer for the last 16 years. Originally trained as a veterinarian in Pakistan and receiving a graduate degree in veterinary immunology in 2003, Manzoor closely witnessed the rise of Islamophobia and the launch of the global war on terror post 9/11. As a response, Manzoor launched a grassroots social justice TV show, “Independent Voices” to highlight consequences of bigotry, war, and other forms of injustice. This show ran for five years and depicted the peace movement and its connections to the anti-racism movements, women’s rights movement, and other progressive movements. The show won the award for the best documentary-based TV show by Chapel Hill, NC.

Manzoor partnered with North Carolina-based Black Workers for Justice to launch campaigns against structural racism, environmental injustice, and other forms of oppression in North Carolina. Members of Black Workers for Justice and Manzoor co-founded Muslims for Social Justice, an organization dedicated to building Muslim leadership on the issues of social justice. In early 2015, North Carolina made a tragic global news story when three Muslim youth – Yusor, Razan, and Deah (Our Three Winners) were murdered in Chapel Hill. As a response, Manzoor and friends launched the Movement to End Racism and Islamophobia (MERI), a network of 17 social justice organizations to fight racism and Islamophobia.

In 2017, Manzoor joined Atlanta-based Project South, a 33-year old organization dedicated to pursuing the Black Freedom Movement and eliminating all forms of oppression. Manzoor travels throughout the U.S. South to conduct workshops for building an intersectional movement against racism and Islamophobia. Manzoor is the recipient of the International Human Rights Award by the Human Rights Coalition of North Carolina and the Self-Determination Award by Black Workers for Justice. Manzoor Cheema’s work on social justice has been covered in the local, national, and international media.