WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, Independent Women’s Network, a project of Independent Women’s Voice, is thrilled to announce that Asra Nomani has joined the organization as a senior fellow in the practice of journalism.
Since June 2020, when she first challenged her school board for its activist agenda, Nomani has been known best as a “mama bear” inspiring parents nationwide to assert their power in their kids’ education.
A former staff reporter for the Wall Street Journal, Nomani has tapped her expertise in investigative reporting to document wasteful spending by school boards, disturbing lessons by teachers and the alarming multimillion dollar contracts of the “woke-industrial complex,” as she calls the consultants profiting as they push divisive indoctrination in schools,
Last year, Independent Women’s Forum honored Asra Nomani at its annual gala with the Resilience Award, which recognizes an individual who exhibits bravery, courage, and inner strength in order to create and fight for better outcomes and more freedom in communities.
“Asra Nomani exemplifies the kind of energy and activism that we want to support at Independent Women’s Network. She fights for fairness and exposes corruption. Asra supports and encourages others to also use their voice to fight for change. She is going to be a tremendous asset to our team,” said Carrie Lukas, president of Independent Women’s Forum.
“Nationwide, members of our Independent Women’s Network are already forming chapters, getting together online, and collaborating on social media to push back on government overreach, forced masking and political indoctrination in schools,” added Independent Women’s Network Director Julie Gunlock. “We are fighting to prevent women from being erased as a legal term. We are pushing back against harmful government regulations and economic policies that are fueling inflation and hurting our communities. Asra will lead our efforts to help more Americans push back on these policies. Her track record of demanding transparency and accountability in our schools makes her an ideal choice for the job.”
Nomani said, “When I became an accidental activist in the summer of 2020 as a mother, challenging my school board for its incompetence, there was a special network of women who had my back: the women of Independent Women’s Forum. It is my honor today to join them and channel my talents as a senior fellow in the practice of journalism for their grassroots community activist arm — Independent Women’s Network. We established the mama bear movement to stand up for America’s cubs, and it is so important that we transcend identity politics and encourage political leaders whom America’s mama bears and papa bears can trust with not only the future our beloved children but also our cherished nation.”
Asra Nomani is Senior Fellow in the Practice of Journalism at Independent Women’s Network, the national grassroots and advocacy arm of Independent Women’s Voice.
A former reporter for the Wall Street Journal, Nomani is cofounder of Coalition for TJ, a group of parents and community members in Virginia that have brought a historic case advocating for academic excellence and equal rights to the courts. She is cofounder of the Pearl Project, an investigative reporting initiative, and cofounder of the Muslim Reform Movement.
Born in Bombay, India, Asra moved to the United States at the age of four, learning English as a second language. She grew up in Morgantown, W.V., where she earned a BA in liberal studies from West Virginia University, and then later graduated with an MA in international communications from American University. At the age of 23, Asra became a staff reporter for the Wall Street Journal, reporting on airline industry, money and politics and cultural zeitgeist.
After the tragic 9/11 attacks, Asra became a correspondent for Salon.com in Pakistan, where tragedy and hope changed the trajectory of her life. There, on Jan. 23, 2002, her friend and colleague, WSJ reporter Daniel Pearl, visited a home Asra was renting when he left for an interview from which he was kidnapped and then later brutally murdered. During the search for Danny, Asra learned she was pregnant, and after her boyfriend abandoned her, she chose life, giving birth to her baby in her hometown in West Virginia, with the loving support of her parents.
Since then, Asra has become an advocate for women’s rights within the Muslim faith, in pieces she has written for The Washington Post, The New York Times and Time magazine, and numerous other publications. The author of two books – “Tantrika: Traveling the Road of Divine Love” and “Standing Alone: An American Woman’s Struggle for the Soul of Islam” – she was a lead organizer of a woman-led Muslim prayer in New York City in March 2005, the first public mixed-gender prayer led by a Muslim woman in 1,400 years.
Since 2020, Asra has emerged as a leader for parents nationwide in a movement she has coined as the mama bear movement. No matter the issue, Asra is a fearless advocate, whether it is against intolerant religious leaders, murderous terrorists, or corrupt school boards and education systems, championing civility, tolerance, and opportunity for all.
Independent Women’s Network, a project of Independent Women’s Voice, in partnership with Independent Women’s Forum, is a private community for women to come together to inspire, interact, influence, and have impact.