"I think change happens when we're truly being inclusive by prioritizing it, being vocal about what we want and thinking about how we spend our dollars," says Noor Tagouri. The Libyan American journalist, activist, and motivational speaker has not only become an affecting political voice but is also making the case for representation both as a Muslim woman and a person of color within mainstream media. After producing documentary series like The Trouble They've Seen: The Forest Haven Story that underlined the discrimination against people with mental disabilities in 2016 and the groundbreaking doc Sold in America: Inside Our Nation's Sex Trade, which was later turned into a podcast, Tagouri also became the first Muslim woman to appear in Playboy wearing a hijab. And now, the journalist has partnered with Pulse Films for In America With Noor, a new series, that will investigate some of the most pressing U.S. issues. — Jeena Sharma
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What's the biggest misconception about you?
That I care what people think of me lol I feel like that's a cliche thing to say — but I've always operated this way. I know my heart and my intentions, i keep a close circle of family, friends, and mentors. The noise never matters.
What was the last text you sent?
Last text was to Jelani Day, Dapper Dan's son. I sent him a series of photos taken during an interview of Dap and I.
What's something no one knows about you but you wish people did?
That I get so genuinely happy to see others WIN.
What's an interview question you never want to be asked again?
Anything related to my Playboy interview.
What's the craziest thing you've done in 2019?
Hang out with Mrs. Prada in Milan — spent the entire time debating about politics, feminism, and eating tiny sandwiches.
What's the most stressful thing about being you?
Being away more days than I am home.
Do you Google yourself?
No, but sometimes I search my name up on Twitter and like tweets of people talking about me *eyes emoji*.
When was the last time you cried?
Last night, I cried in gratitude.
What's the last screenshot you took?
It was a screenshot of an email that read:
Good Evening Noor,
I had the privilege of hearing your story at Wingate. You had such a fantastic story. I learned so much from you. Coming home from overseas as a soldier was tough. I tended to judge Muslims because that is what I was taught to do. You opened up my eyes to help me understand 99% of Muslims who are not radical.
What gives you hope in 2019?