Masood Akhtar, Founder of We Are Many-United Against Hate Movement, to be honored at the White House by President Biden

Masood Akhtar, founder and president of We Are Many-United Against Hate Movement (WAM-UAH), will be among 21 “Uniters” from across the United States to be honored by President Biden on Thursday, September 15, 2022, during the “United We Stand” Summit at the White House.   

President Biden convened this day-long summit to engage in a national conversation about standing together against hate-fueled violence, and to put forward a shared, bipartisan vision for a more united America, and also issued a call to nominate extraordinary “Uniters” from communities across the country.  Akhtar was nominated by U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D- Wisconsin. 

Summit participants will include bipartisan federal, state, and local officials, civil rights groups, faith and community leaders, technology and business leaders, law enforcement officials, former members of violent extremist groups who now work to prevent violence, gun violence prevention leaders, media representatives, and cultural figures.

During the summit, the President will recognize the “Uniters” for their efforts in combating hate and violence and fostering unity. The honorees will include bipartisan faith leaders and teachers, police officers and mayors, civic leaders and volunteers, and everyday Americans who hold together their communities and reach across lines to heal communities. 

“I am proud to be included in this group, and grateful to Sen. Baldwin for nominating me,” said Akhtar. 

The message informing Akhtar that he would be among those honored said: “Your leadership in Madison, Wisconsin to address the root causes of bigotry and violence and empower youth to build inclusive communities has inspired our team, and the White House would like to share your story with the American people. ”

Akhtar, a proud Indian-American Muslim who lives in Madison, is an energy entrepreneur and has launched several businesses.  Alarmed by an increasingly hostile environment for Muslims in the United States and the rise in hate crimes against other minorities, he launched WAM-UAH in 2016 with the goal of building inclusive classrooms and communities.

Since then, WAM-UAH has been bringing together people from diverse backgrounds with a common mission to promote mutual respect and understanding and to stand up against hate, violence, prejudice and inequality. The organization has started several school chapters in Wisconsin and overseas, and recently began assembling an international board.  

Akhtar has been invited to speak at numerous public forums and events, where his messages have been well-received.

At the summit, Akhtar said, “I plan to continue promoting our two focus areas: education and non-partisan policies, including the idea of establishing Nonpartisan Unity Caucuses at local, state and national levels for Combating Domestic Terrorism. I believe in the importance of working across party lines to develop and implement strategies to foster unity in communities and classrooms. ”

He added, “ I look forward to connecting with others from around the nation who are engaged in this vital work. I am excited about discussing ways to share our messages with communities and schools, here and abroad. I see this as an important opportunity to expand our collaborative network working against hate and violence. ”

He also expressed deep gratitude to all those who have joined and supported the Movement he started.

In a message to WAM-UAH board members and advisors, he said, “I look forward to sharing my experience with you after the summit, as we move forward. ”