Suzanne Barakat speaking during the Injustice and Health panel at a UCSF Teach-In in February 2016.

Do you love TED Talks? So do I. Today’s post is a continuation of our Girls of TED Talks series, which focuses on young girls who have presented at TED events around the world with their inspiring ideas.

On February 10, 2015, Suzanne Barakat’s brother, sister, and sister-in-law were murdered by their neighbors in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. The story made national headlines, and it was eventually released that the murders had been motivated solely by Islamophobia. The neighbor stated that he killed them over a traffic dispute, but Suzanne knew better. Speaking at a press conference, she declared the true nature of these hate crimes.

Suzanne continued to speak out – not just for justice, but also for an end to the Islamophobia gripping society. Speaking at TEDWomen in 2016, she called for an end to the hate and shared how her family reclaimed their narrative and is now advocating for a world free from bigotry and discrimination.

Since the murders, Suzanne has emerged as a leading Muslim-American voice calling attention to Islamophobia. She frequently speaks at venues across the country, and works to combat Islamophobia in her work as a physician at UCSF-affiliated Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital.

“Part of why I am here is to encourage you to be advocates,” she said. “Your silence is acceptance of the bigotry.”

-Tiffany Rhoades
Program Developer
Girl Museum Inc.

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