DANIEL JOHNSON, 24, is
the founder of 3
organizations. At age
18, he founded People
Against the NDAA
(PANDA), which became
one of the largest civil
in America, and passed
laws protecting the
right to trial by jury
in 7 cities and
counties. After PANDA,
he founded the Solutions
Institute, the first
training center in the
United States. Together
with his board of over
30 of the top activists
in the US, he brought
local, national and
attention to dozens of
protests and rallies,
and helped over 70
defeat, and raise
awareness about various
public policies in the
We the People already
provide most of our
however, government gets
most of our resources.
Instead of directly
taking on government and
policies, Dan Johnson is
now the Executive
Director of We Do
Better, an organization
dedicated to allowing
the people to direct our
money to the
provide better public
services than the
achieve that standard.
Dan also presided over
We Do Better Relief,
which, along with the
over 4 million pounds of
disaster relief to the
Caribbean in 2017.
Public services of acceptable quality are not available to all
Americans who need them. There are at least two ways of providing
most of them. Invariably, one is better than another, providing
better services to more people for each dollar spent. People do
better when we use, promote and even expand those means that do
better. And it turns out that those means all have one thing in
State of California Becomes First State to Introduce We Do Better's
Only three months into the new year and We Do
Better has already taken a giant leap in the advancement of its
signature legislation, the
Universal Charitable Credit (UCC).
On February 16, 2018, California State Senator Mike Morrell (R)
SB1485, which marked the first time in We Do Better’s short
history that its legislation was sponsored at any level of
government. (The Senate Governance and Finance
Committee hearing is on May 9, 2018 at 10am)
“We are thrilled to be able to provide communities across the state
of California with the opportunity to improve their public services
by directing more resources to organizations that provide the best
services,” We Do Better Executive Director Dan Johnson said of the
If enacted, the
California UCC would allow taxpayers in the state to send a
portion of their tax dollars (up to $500 for both individual and
married filers) to the qualifying charitable organizations (QCOs) of
their choice. These taxpayers would, in turn, receive a
dollar-for-dollar reduction on their state income-tax bill.
in California: Thank you San Diego!
Promoting the We Do Better model on both sides of the aisle, We Do
Better Executive Director Dan Johnson spoke to the San Diego
Federation of Republican Women at the beginning of April. We were
well received, with great hospitality and support. Several of the
women in attendance came up to us afterward and expressed that they
"never knew these problems could be addressed outside of
We are changing minds, and hearts, one presentation at a time.
Dan will be speaking in California again on May 19th-22nd, 2018.
Details will be in the May newsletter.
“There are two ways to tell your story. Stand up and
tell it or wait for someone else to do it.” – Soraya
Soraya Deen is
the founder of the
Muslim Women Speakers Movement, and Co-founder of
Peacemoms (Promoting Christian Muslim /Dialogue). She is
a spiritual activist, lawyer, certified Nonviolent
Parent Educator and author of the book PEACE MATTERS –
Raising Peace Conscious children. Her vision is to
create 10,000 VOICES OF HOPE.
She brings together Muslim Women and women of all faiths
empowering them to resolve conflict, and be effective
communicators, social activists and say “YES” to civic
Soraya is a FELLOW of the Omnia Institute of Contextual
Leadership, working extensively internationally to
empower women to Counter Violent Extremism. She calls on
her community to rethink some CENTRAL concepts of the
Islamic Religion. She is one of the top contributors to
the recently published manual on VIOLENT EXTREMISM,
encouraging Muslim Women not to stay at the bottom
because it is too crowded.
She is also a FELLOW of the Shalom Hartman Institute and
The Sikh coalition.
Soraya also organized the first Interfaith Women’s
Leadership conference at the Los Angeles City Hall
October 2016. She also convened the first Women’s
Leadership conference in NE Nigeria 2017. Of utmost
importance today is to give power and place to Muslim
Women’s Voices. Just as we confront the Islamophobic
movements that are spreading far and wide, we must
confront the patriarchy and misogyny in our communities.
She led the Inaugural prayer service at the first
Women’s Mosque in Berkeley.
We can’t deny that an extreme ideology is living and
thriving in some Muslim communities. Muslim women
everywhere are read a BillOfRights that must conform to
an epistemology of the 7th century. We must take serious
cognizance of the quotidian struggles of Muslim women to
be heard, to be relevant, to be taken as a solution. We
must confront the tough issues that are crippling our
community. We must recognize that all theology is
Soraya speaks regularly to various religious groups,
women’s groups, universities (Yale) and school
assemblies, conducting highly interactive workshops and
presentations. She has shared the stage with renowned
motivational speakers and transformational leaders. She
is a member of the world famous motivational speaker Les
Browns group of Platinum speakers.
Soraya was the Director Chapters (2015) and won the
President’s Award at ATDLA. (www.atdla.org)
Soraya is the Founder of THE WORK PLACE COMMUNICATIONS
SYSTEM: A systems approach to COLLABORATIVE
COMMUNICATION at the WORKPLACE. The system empower the
individual and the team to resolve conflict, deal with
difficult people and build strong personal and
professional relationships. She was a featured speaker
on DIVERSITY at Sony; PlayStation.
Soraya blends her legal expertise of over a decade with
her uniquely diverse background to inspire people to
navigate conflict and promote Human Connection. As an
INTERFAITH CONSULTANT, she believes that people of faith
must choose GOOD as much as they choose GOD.
One of the greatest challenges
facing America is how to confront violent radical Islam.
And moderate American Muslims have a crucial role to
play in facing this problem head on and promoting a real
and honest dialogue—free of political correctness and
comforting lies—about the true nature of radical Islam.
A study done by the Pew Research Center on Muslims and
Islam found that 49% of Americans find US Muslims anti
American. About a quarter say there is a fair amount of
support (24%) for extremism among U.S. Muslims; 11% say
there is a great deal of support.
Islam desperately needs a revaluation and American
Muslims must lead the way in openly calling for reform.
We must candidly and honestly admit and acknowledge that
some challenging verses in our scripture have given
doctrinal legitimacy to violent extremism and our
failure to recognize this fact and educate the community
on the contextual realities has legitimized the
Our continued refusal and unwillingness to acknowledge
this phenomenon has frozen much of our faith to a 7th
century dogma. Our rush to blame, shame and obstruct the
very few who call for reform and change undermines the
freedom of expression which is a hard and long fought
battle and a strongly enshrined American value.
Just recently the vicious attacks by the Muslim Student
Association of Duke University on Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, an
American Syrian who reads and understand the Arabic
Quran and is one of the pioneers of the Muslim Reform
Movement, necessitated that meeting venues be changed
and event sponsorships rescinded. He was called an
Islamophobe and an anti-Muslim bigot. Journalist,
Jennifer Kabbany noted “Jasser’s talk has generated
heated protest from Duke’s Muslim Students Association,
which has denounced the Muslim reformer and his planned
speech. So intense is the controversy surrounding this
event that the Alexander Hamilton Society had revoked
its sponsorship and the remaining sponsors—the Duke
Political Union, College Republicans and Young Americans
for Liberty— renamed the talk from “The American Muslim
Identity: Patriot or Insurgent” to simply “The American
Muslim Identity,” The MSA went further to allege
potential for harm and the lack of safety on campus if
Dr. Jasser spoke at Duke.
This dangerous posture of the irrational fear of the
exchange of ideas is too dangerous to be left without
scrutiny because at risk is our safety and security and
the steps we must all take to combat violent extremism.
It is also dangerous because it stifles the voices of a
vast majority of Muslims here and abroad who genuinely
support reform and are desirous of acknowledging how a
political Islam has swept across our nation and the
I recall with sadness the slings and arrows that came my
way for calling out radical Islam. This too found its
origins at Duke by a well-respected scholar there, the
first Muslim chaplain and the founding director of Duke
University’s Center for Muslim Life, a maverick who
initiated the MLI (Muslim Leadership Initiative
program), a forum that brings together Muslim leaders
committed to better understanding American Jews, Zionism
and Israel. I was a Fellow of the program until that day
when the chaplain from Duke said to me that my
fellowship was rescinded because of my associations with
certain right groups and my stance on the call for
Last year, the Southern Poverty Law Center published a
list of individuals it labels as particularly
threatening anti-Muslim extremists. In the list were
prominent practicing Muslim liberal thinkers and
I have watched with great dismay the compromises that we
continue to make in the name of religious sensitivities.
If we continue to silence Muslim reformers, it will
become nearly impossible for Muslims to abandon an
extreme belief in religious purity and embrace a
All religions are a set of ideas and must be open for
critique. Sadly in the Muslim world we believe that
Islam is above and beyond critique—that Islam, and only
a group of Muslims, have everything to teach the world
but nothing to learn from it. This is quite contrary to
the great mosque at Cordoba, in A.D. 785, a thriving
cultural and intellectual center. It was a center for
learning that attracted Jewish scholars, philosophers,
poets and scientists. Non-Muslims played an important
part in the intellectual life of Cordoba, true and
lasting commitments to preserve intellect through and
across lines of faith took root here.
It’s time for American Muslims to open any and every
channel of review of our faith, scripture, and
traditions. We must carefully, candidly, and
collaboratively address the causes of radical Islam. And
we must share some responsibility for the global trends
in all terror committed by Islamists. Crucial to reform
is the need to engage and empower Muslim women in
religious leadership and promote gender equality in our
mosques. We must teach our youth a new brand of Islam,
one that is compatible to American values and not that
of the Middle East.
Only free speech and an open and honest discussion on
campus, in the media, and in our daily lives as citizens
about the threat posed by Islamic radicalism will allow
moderate voices to come to the forefront to expose and
drown out radicals.
—Soraya Deen is an international activist, founder of
the Muslim Women Speakers Movement, and a Clarion
Project Advisory Board member.
Clarion Project is a non-profit organization
that educates the public about the dangers of
Clarion’s award-winning films, seen by more than
85-million people, expose how radical Islamists
use terrorism, murder, subjugation of women,
indoctrination of children, religious
persecution, genocide of minorities, widespread
human rights abuses, nuclear proliferation and
cultural jihad —
to threaten the West.
The ClarionProject.org web site delivers news,
expert analysis, videos, and unique perspectives
about radical Islam, while giving a platform to
moderate Muslims and human rights activists to
speak out against extremism.
Clarion Project engages in grassroots activism
to achieve its goals.
Clarion Project is a registered 501(c)(3)
organization based in Washington, D.C.