Activist Masih Alinejad, one of Time’s 2023 Women of the Year, to speak at CSU

Masih Alinejad

Iranian-American journalist, author and women’s rights activist Masih Alinejad is scheduled to speak at Colorado State University on Monday, April 3. Doors open at 4:30 p.m., and the talk is slated to begin at 5:30 p.m.

One of 12 women featured in Time’s 2023 Women of the Year list, Alinejad was recognized for her significant global impact in activism and as a leader using her voice to fight for equality worldwide. Many women honored on the list face immense challenges that inspired them to push for change.

Alinejad is one of the preeminent voices of resistance against the Iranian regime. She has made waves on social media by protesting against the compulsory hijab, recording videos removing her own hijab and spurring millions of her followers to do the same.

The “My Stealthy Freedom” campaign against compulsory hijab began when she posted a picture of herself on Facebook running freely in the streets of London with her iconic billowing curls and a glowing smile. Little did she know, Alinejad would resonate with hundreds of women in Iran who wished to feel the freedom to have the wind in their hair.

In Iran, women who appear in public without a hijab risk being arrested, imprisoned and fined. On the record as not being opposed to the hijab per se, Alinejad believes it should be a matter of personal choice and is a strong advocate for that choice and other civil liberties.

Her courage to use her voice against the oppressive regime hasn’t been without its costs; Alinejad now lives in exile in New York and has had several targeted threats against her. Her bravery in continuing to speak out has made her a beacon of inspiration in the fight for freedom.

“My weapon is my voice,” Alinejad said in an interview with MSNBC in January 2023.

The New York Times describes Alinejad as “The woman whose hair frightens Iran.” She used her life experiences to write a bestselling, widely acclaimed memoir, “The Wind in My Hair.” In it, she shares her extraordinary story about living in exile, leaving her country, challenging tradition and sparking impactful change.

Aliinejad’s lecture is free and open to the public. Tickets are required for entry at

Several security measures will be implemented at the event to ensure safety for all. No bags will be allowed, and metal detectors will be in place at all entrances. Those who refuse to be screened will be denied entry.

This lecture will also be available online at:

ACT Human Rights Film Festival

The ACT Human Rights Film Festival will show Alinejad’s film “Be My Voice” on Sunday, April 2, at the Lyric, which is located at 1209 N. College Ave. in Fort Collins.

Tickets are available at a discounted rate for CSU students, faculty and staff. The ACT Human Rights Film Festival screens artistically excellent films from around the world and fosters conversations about social justice and human rights. Its mission is to (A)waken audiences to issues happening around the world, (C)onnect them to film guests and each other in thoughtful conversations, and (T)ransform the ways in which audiences engage with people, communities, cultures and ideas.

The following organizations are partnering in this timely conversation:

  • Asian Pacific American Cultural Center
  • Office for Inclusive Excellence
  • Office of International Programs
  • Department of Ethnic Studies
  • CSU Libraries
  • Department of Journalism and Media Communication
  • University Marketing and Communications
  • Women and Gender Advocacy Center

For more information, visit

Adriana McClintock and Emily Kilburg