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Western welcomes journalist Noor Tagouri

nooriwebErotic pictures and provocative captions are the things that tend to come to mind when someone hears the brand Playboy, but in late September Noor Tagouri shattered the raunchy stereotype by being the first woman in the magazine’s history to wear a hijab. Photographed fully clothed and poised, Tagouri is a prominent American journalist, established speaker and an international advocate for social justice.The Center for Multicultural Education welcomed Tagouri to campus Tuesday, Nov. 15, to share her personal story and speak on overcoming obstacles.   As a first generation American, Tagouri’s love of journalism began at the age of eight years old, after spending weekday afternoons watching Oprah with her mother. After attending the Philip Merrill school of journalism at the University of Maryland, Tagouri aspired to be the first hijabi woman on a commercial news station in the United States.   The hijab is a headscarf traditionally worn by Muslim women as a sign of modesty and privacy.Among American Muslim women the decision to wear a headscarf, burka or other traditional clothing comes with many social and cultural implications,and is at the sole discretion of the individual. One of Tagouri’s online followers Khitam Jabr traveled from Kansas City to attend the presentation and discuss the stereotypes of Muslim women in the workforce. “I don’t think the government or anyone can tell a woman how to dress in any facet, whatever her background, faith, or skin color is,” Jabr said. The traditional Arabic name Noor means light, and in 2012 Tagouri launched the social media campaign #LetNoorShine to encourage others to pursue their dreams. The campaign increased Tagouri’s international presences, making her one of the nation's most notable young adults. “The purpose of LetNoorShine is to inspire other people to let their inner lights shine. It was absolutely amazing, because this journey ended up taking me all over the world; and the  people online who were sharing the hashtag were able to share their journeys and their struggles and their pursuits,” Tagouri said. “We became this community of bundles of passion and vulnerable spirits; I have never felt such a sense of freedom and purpose than from the moment I realized just being yourself gets you places.” Playboy fame aside, Tagouri professional portfolio continues to grow; she is currently working as a producer and anchor for Newsy, an online broadcast news station based out of Columbia, MO and recently produced the investigative documentary ‘The Trouble They’ve Seen: the Forest Haven Story’.  

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