Session Type(s): Panel
Starts: Saturday, Aug. 12 9:00 AM (Eastern)
Ends: Saturday, Aug. 12 10:15 AM (Eastern)
In an age where breaking through echo chambers and opinion bubbles is harder than ever, learn how to use proven message testing research to create relevant content for a variety of audiences. In this panel, we’ll touch on a recent round of message testing research around combatting bigotry against Muslims, Arabs and South Asians, and then puts the most effective messages to use. Hear from content creators who implement those messages with varied audiences and come away with both an understanding of the issues Muslims face and a sense of allyship.
Zainab Chaudary is the President of Big Canvas and a Senior Advisor at New Heights Communications. She’s spent the last decade crafting communications strategies for progressive, social change organizations.
Her work has shifted public narratives and perceptions, achieved policy wins, built momentum around high profile litigation fights, promoted political thought leadership, and helped foundations innovate to improve how philanthropy serves the world. This cross-sector experience is in service to an overarching goal: to combine informed strategy with an authentic vision of what a truly just and equitable world could be, in order to achieve real change for the people living in that world.
Zainab has placed stories and opinion pieces in the New York Times, the Washington Post, Time Magazine, and USA Today (among others), facilitated reporter relationships at outlets ranging from CNN to the Wall Street Journal, pitched and prepared clients for television appearances on ABC, MSNBC, and CNN, and created and leveraged multiple viral social media campaigns.
An expert trainer, Zainab has coached and trained spokespeople around the country for organizations like MoveOn, CREDO, the ACLU, Indivisible, and numerous others. She is also deeply invested in developing communications talent amongst people of color and those from diverse backgrounds and elevating them to leadership positions through a responsive DEI framework.
Zainab is a 2022 fellow of Anat Shenker-Osorio’s Global Messaging Programme and an adjunct professor with GW’s School of Media and Public Affairs.
Other sessions: The Progressive Response to (Predictable) Emergencies: National Security Crises and Domestic Crackdowns in the Time of Trump, How to Turn a Social Media Moment into a Traditional Media News Story (and Get Funding for It!)
Tanzila “Taz” Ahmed is a political strategist, storyteller, and artist based in Los Angeles. She creates at the intersection of counternarratives and culture-shifting as a South Asian American Muslim 2nd-gen woman. She’s turned out over 500,000 Asian American voters, recorded her #GoodMuslimBadMuslim podcast at the White House and makes #MuslimVDay cards annually. Her essays are published in the anthologies Pretty Bitches, Whiter, Good Girls Marry Doctors, Love Inshallah, and numerous online publications. In Spring 2019 she was UCLA’s Activist-in-Residence at the Institute on Inequality and Democracy and in 2016 received an award from President Obama’s White House as a Champion of Change in Art and Storytelling.
Iram Ali is a senior Campaign Director and strategist at MoveOn, one of the largest progressive digital-first campaigning organizations in the country.
Since joining MoveOn in January 2016, Iram has led innovative campaigning that bridges research, data, digital campaigning, policy, and advocacy. From campaigning to successfully shut down a Bush-era Muslim registry, creating a messaging guide for how progressives should speak about the Muslim Ban, to calling on 2020 Democrat candidates to skip the AIPAC conference, Iram is consistently looking for the next opportunity to shift political power, create newly needed narratives, and build a society that is one step closer to justice.
Before joining MoveOn, Iram was an Associate Director of Development & Operations at Iraq Veterans Against the War (now, About Face: Veterans Against the War), a non-profit veteran-led organization seeking to dismantle the military-industrial complex.
Guthrie Graves-Fitzsimmons works at the intersection of religion and public policy. For the past five years, he has worked on major issue advocacy campaigns with the nation’s most prominent faith-based organizations. He holds a Master of Divinity degree in social ethics from Union Theological Seminary in New York City. His political and religious commentary has appeared in NBC News, Washington Post, New York Times Magazine, CBS News, Wall Street Journal, USA TODAY and many other outlets. He started “The Resistance Prays,” a daily prayer and action letter, in July 2017.