Women's Activism NYC

Jerin Arifa

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Jerin Arifa has impacted millions of lives. She co-spearheaded the sexual harassment, assault, domestic violence and anti-stalking policy for the largest urban university system in the U.S. The City University of New York policy passed in 2010 and has impacted hundreds of thousands of students and staff annually. In addition, she has been successful at teaching others about intersectional feminism through her NowThis video with over 1,000,000 views. Jerin’s leadership has not gone unnoticed. She received multiple accolades, including being chosen to attend the historic 2016 White House Summit on the United State of Women. Jerin’s activism began in childhood in Bangladesh, where she taught literacy skills to homeless youth to help them escape poverty. She follows in the footsteps of the women in her family. Her grandmother was a child bride turned activist, who instilled the feminist spirit in Jerin’s mother. When Jerin’s grandfather refused to allow his daughters to continue their studies, her grandma instructed them to go on a hunger strike – only to feed them when her grandpa would leave home. He had no choice but to allow his daughters to continue their education. Jerin’s mom received an advanced degree in Bangladesh, worked in a male-dominated field, and sheltered domestic violence survivors. Jerin is a first-generation Bangladeshi and Muslim-American feminist who is happily married to an atheist man. She is adept at uniting diverse groups and engineering safe spaces for marginalized populations – including sold-out events for LGBTQAI+ Muslims and their interfaith allies. Seeing the need to uplift the leadership of young people and make activism more accessible to feminists across the country, she founded the first virtual chapter of the National Organization for Women (NOW), called Young Feminists and Allies. She served as its president, along with two terms on the NOW National Board, and multiple terms as the chair of the National and New York State Young Feminist Task Forces for NOW. Through these and other roles, she has trained changemakers across the U.S. Jerin understands that intersectional feminism encompasses fighting all forms of injustices and causes of suffering. As such, she volunteered for the American Cancer Society for over a decade, and the Humane Society for years. Diverse publications from The Washington Post to Cosmopolitan Magazine have featured Jerin’s work, and her words have inspired local, national and international audiences. Jerin’s goal in life is to pet as many dogs as possible.

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