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We Are Not Here to Be Bystanders

A Memoir of Love and Resistance

Linda Sarsour, co-organizer of the Women’s March, shares an “unforgettable memoir” (Booklist) about how growing up Palestinian Muslim American, feminist, and empowered moved her to become a globally recognized activist on behalf of marginalized communities across the country.

On a chilly spring morning in Brooklyn, nineteen-year-old Linda Sarsour stared at her reflection, dressed in a hijab for the first time. She saw in the mirror the woman she was growing to be—a young Muslim American woman unapologetic in her faith and her activism, who would discover her innate sense of justice in the aftermath of 9/11. Now heralded for her award-winning leadership of the Women’s March on Washington, Sarsour offers a “moving memoir [that] is a testament to the power of love in action” (Michelle Alexander, author of The New Jim Crow).

From the Brooklyn bodega her father owned, where Linda learned the real meaning of intersectionality, to protests in the streets of Washington, DC, Linda’s experience as a daughter of Palestinian immigrants is a moving portrayal of what it means to find one’s voice and use it for the good of others. We follow Linda as she learns the tenets of successful community organizing, and through decades of fighting for racial, economic, gender, and social justice, as she becomes one of the most recognized activists in the nation. We also see her honoring her grandmother’s dying wish, protecting her children, building resilient friendships, and mentoring others even as she loses her first mentor in a tragic accident. Throughout, she inspires you to take action as she reaffirms that we are not here to be bystanders.

In this “book that speaks to our times” (The Washington Post), Harry Belafonte writes of Linda in the foreword, “While we may not have made it to the Promised Land, my peers and I, my brothers and sisters in liberation can rest easy that the future is in the hands of leaders like Linda Sarsour. I have often said to Linda that she embodies the principle and purpose of another great Muslim leader, brother Malcolm X.”

This is her story.

Linda Sarsour is a Brooklyn-born Palestinian Muslim American community activist and mother of three. Recognized for her award-winning intersectional work, she served as national cochair of the Women’s March, helping to organize the largest single-day protest in US history. The former executive director of the Arab American Association of New York and cofounder of the first Muslim online organizing platform, MPower Change, she is also a founding member of Justice League NYC.

Linda Sarsour is a Brooklyn-born Palestinian Muslim American community activist and mother of three. Recognized for her award-winning intersectional work, she served as national cochair of the Women’s March, helping to organize the largest single-day protest in US history. The former executive director of the Arab American Association of New York and cofounder of the first Muslim online organizing platform, MPower Change, she is also a founding member of Justice League NYC.

"Author Linda Sarsour narrates her life story in a confident, powerful tone that reflects her role as an activist who is particularly known for co-organizing the Women's March. Even when she speaks about exhausting hours and the death of her mentor, her volume is loud and her resilience unwavering. Her Brooklyn accent, with its hard, flat sounds, projects a steely quality that fits her. This Muslim–American leader has accomplished much in her young life because her perseverance matches her compassion in equal measure. Her toughness is evident when she tells off an intruder. Particularly chilling is her description of the aftermath of a car accident, when she juxtaposes her mentor's repeated cries of 'I can't breathe' with those same words being chanted by protesters demonstrating against police brutality."

– AudioFile Magazine