Wajahat Ali in conversation with Jim Fallows
Friday, August 18, 2017
Location Hall of Philosophy
Gate pass required. Purchase at our Main Gate Welcome Center, (716) 357-6250
Wajahat Ali is a journalist, writer, lawyer, an award-winning playwright, a TV host, and a consultant for the U.S. State Department. As Creative Director of Affinis Labs, he works to create social entrepreneurship initiatives that have a positive impact for marginalized communities, and to empower social entrepreneurs, young leaders, creatives, and communities to come up with innovative solutions to tackle world problems. Beginning in early 2017, Affinis Labs is launching a global startup incubator network, aimed at identifying and fostering “emerging entrepreneurial talent from around the world that understands what makes the global Islamic economy special.”
Previously, Ali helped launch the Al Jazeera America network as co-host of Al Jazeera America’s The Stream, a daily news show that extended the conversation to social media and beyond. He was also a National Correspondent, Political Reporter, and Social Media Expert for Al Jazeera America. He focused on stories of communities and individuals often marginalized or under-reported in mainstream media. Ali is also the author of The Domestic Crusaders—the first major play about Muslim Americans, post-9/11—which was published by McSweeney's and performed off-Broadway and at the Kennedy Center. Currently, with Dave Eggers, Ali is writing a television show about a Muslim American cop in the Bay Area. He was also the lead author and researcher of “Fear Inc., Roots of the Islamophobia Network in America,” the seminal report from the Center for American Progress.
In 2012, Ali worked with the U.S. Department of State to design and implement the “Generation Change” leadership program to empower young social entrepreneurs. He initiated chapters in eight countries, including Pakistan and Singapore. He was honored as a “Generation Change Leader” by Sec. of State Clinton and as an “Emerging Muslim American Artist” by the Muslim Public Affairs Council. Ali has given many presentations, from Google to the United Nations to Princeton to The Abu Dhabi Book Festival. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, the Atlantic, Washington Post, the Guardian, and Salon.
A national correspondent for The Atlantic, James Fallows is co-creator, with his wife Deborah, of the publication’s American Futures project. Through that project in partnership with Marketplace, the Fallowses travel the country reporting on the people, organizations, and ideas re-shaping the country. They have just completed a book based on their travels ready for publication in 2017.
James Fallows has written for The Atlantic since the late 1970s, living and reporting in Seattle, Berkeley, Austin, Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur, Shanghai, and Beijing. He is currently based in Washington, DC. In addition to working for The Atlantic, Fallows spent two years as chief White House speechwriter for Jimmy Carter and two years as the editor of US News & World Report. He has won the National Magazine Award and the American Book Award among other recognitions, and a N.Y. Emmy award for the documentary series “Doing Business in China.”
Founding chairman of the New America Foundation and a frequent public-radio commentator, James Fallows has written 11 other books, including National Defense, Breaking the News, Blind Into Baghdad, and two books based from China, Postcards From Tomorrow Square and China Airborne.