DCFunemployment: Tell the people – Who are you?
Noor Tagouri, Newsy , Anchor
Since launching the viral #letnoorshine campaign in 2012, Noor Tagouri has gained international attention as one of the most talked about young adults in the country. Determined to become the first hijabi journalist on commercial television in the United States, Tagouri has embarked on a unique journey to achieve her dream, breaking down significant barriers in the process. She has since become an associate journalist for CBS radio in Washington D.C, graduated from one of the top journalism schools at the age of 20, become a local news reporter in the DC metro area for CTV News, and has traveled all over the world as a motivational speaker.
With more than 300,000 social media followers, Tagouri has gained significant support for her efforts to break normative stereotypes and has established a strong platform to encourage others to realize their own potential in a multi-cultural society. From weekly YouTube videos to YouNow livestream discussions, to creating the #journeywithnoor bracelet that promotes accomplishing goals and creating pen pals, blogging for the Huffington Post, Tagouri is successfully creating an inviting space for people to celebrate their individuality and embrace diversity. Her latest endeavor is a collaboration with the streetwear brand Lis’n Up Clothing and the launch of #TheNoorEffect — a line of women empowerment clothes aiming to combat sex trafficking.
As a first generation Libyan-American, her passion for storytelling stems from the desire to expose cultural injustices and combat the challenges facing women on a global scale. Her extraordinary rise as a young journalist and budding cultural figure is proof of what can happen if you dare to ask the right questions. As she continues to break down barriers, Tagouri inspires others to do the same, to let their own light shine.
DCF: What does being funemployed mean to you & what was your path to funemployment?
NT: Being funemployed means living your purpose, and doing what you absolutely love and are passionate about! I found my passion for story telling at a very young age. About 8 years old. I loved telling stories and asking questions…and after years of writing and tv camps, I went on to interning for a newspaper, then writing for it, interning for a radio station, then working two jobs there, then interning for tv, and working at different tv stations until I got to where I am now! (DCF: If you hustle hard you can definitely do anything!)
DCF: Who was your first cheerleader?
NT: Both of my parents. 100%. They knew from when I was young this was my passion and pushed me into it. My dad especially pushed me into journalism and encouraged me to become a fearless story teller.
DCF: What experiences in your life prepared you for where you are now?
NT: I think honestly, just coming across certain people with different stories, and all of the jobs I’ve taken on. Putting on the hijab was a huge part of it, because I was struggling with self identity, and when I put it on, it made me embrace who I am and be unapologetic in living my life as a Muslim Arab American and a journalist. (DCF: No one should ever be made to feel bad for who they are!)
DCF: Where do you get your inspiration and/or motivation?
NT: The incredible people I surround myself with and the amazing followers on social media I have who send me stories of their journey and how our movements have inspired them too. (DCF: Sounds like the inspiration goes both ways which is incredible!)
DCF: What does balance mean to you and how do find balance?
NT: Sleep? haha. Balance is making sure to find time for yourself and loved ones. To meditate. Read. Watch Netflix. Eat good food and travel for yourself, and make sure to always make time for that during your chaotic work filled life. (DCF: Amen to that!)
DCF: What sacrifices did you have to make to get here?
NT: Hm..I know I’ve sacrificed some friendships and relationships which at the time seemed like good things in my life, but now I know that those were sacrifices that needed to be made to make my journey better and to get here.
DCF: What struggles have you faced as a women in your industry?
NT: I think being a Muslim, hijabi, woman is kind of a double whammy…not only do I need to prove myself as and work twice as hard in a male dominated industry, but I have to also work to dispel the stereotype of the so-called “oppressed Muslim woman.” But it doesn’t take much when I’m around, because I am loud and I talk a whole lot. haha. I think the hardest has been when I’m out on stories and get harassed for how I’m dressed. (DCF: It frustrates me how ignorant some people continue to be!!)
DCF: What is the early advice you didn’t listen to that you wish you had?
NT: To not be friends with certain people. I’m pro now at keeping only certain people in my life. (DCF: Amen to that, you have to protect yourself).
DCF: What was your greatest failure and what did you learn from it?
NT: hmm that’s tough. I don’t know if I’ve had an obvious clear failure that sticks out. Just a lot of little ones I’ve learned from. I guess the main lesson would be to trust in whatever happens and know that when you seek guidance and have good intentions, whatever is best for you will happen.
DCF: What is your proudest moment?
NT: I’m really proud of the Forest Haven documentary I produced. It was a team of me, my cousin and my editor, and a story that I worked endlessly on investigating for 4 months. and I felt like it came out great and it reignited a fire I have for story telling. I had to take the leap of quitting a reporting job at a local station and doing the documentary on my own. (DCF: Looks like a leap well taken cause it’s a great piece.)
DCF: What’s next?
NT: I just started working as an anchor for Newsy!! And I’ve been working on a clothing line with Lisn Up Clothing, the profits go to combat sex trafficking. I’m also touring as a motivational speaker and working on some incredible upcoming projects.