Urooj Arshad is the Senior Program Manager, Dignity for All, LGBTI Assistance Program at Freedom House. Dignity for All provides emergency assistance; security, opportunity, and advocacy rapid response grants (SOAR grants); and security assessment and training to human rights defenders and civil society organizations under threat or attack due to their work for LGBTI human rights. Prior to Freedom House, Urooj was the Director, International LGBTQ Youth Health and Rights Programs at Advocates for Youth, where she built the capacity of organizations working on sexual and reproductive health and rights in the global south. She has also designed a project that addresses the reproductive and sexual health needs of Muslim youth. She is the co-founder of the Muslim Alliance for Sexual and Gender Diversity, which addresses the intersectional impact of islamophobia, homophobia, and transphobia.
Urooj has presented at the International HIV/AIDS Conferences; the European Science Foundation’s conference on Religion, Gender and Human Rights; the White House’s LGBT Pride and Heritage Event; the National Press Club, Capitol Hill, the State Department, Funding Forward and at national convenings of Muslim leaders including at (re)Presenting American Muslims: Broadening the Conversation organized by Harvard University’s Alwaleed Islamic Studies Program.
Urooj was a member of the Center for American Progress’ Women’s Health Leadership Network and its Faith and Reproductive Justice Institute and a fellow with the American Muslim Civic Leadership Institute. She is on the board of the Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership. Urooj is the recipient of the Latino GLBT History Project’s annual Mujeres en el Movimiento award; National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance’s Community Catalyst Award and the Young Women of Color HIV/AIDS Coalition’s We Speak award. She was also inducted as an honorary member of the Lavender Leadership Honor Society-University of Maryland, College Park. Urooj served on the U.S delegation to the 59th Session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women.