Top Three Reasons to Join AHA Foundation Campus Program

Are you thinking about joining CTF in a new school year, or know a student to recommend for this program? In this blog, Julia O’Donnell, Campus Program Manager, gives the top three reasons why college students should join CTF.

The Critical Thinking Fellowship (CTF) works to bring scholars from many fields, including ex-Muslims and Muslim reformers, to speak at events on college campuses. Event topics range from dangerous traditional practices such as female genital mutilation (FGM), child and forced marriage to the Muslim reformation movement in the U.S. and Canada.

There are three great reasons to join this exciting program—okay, there are more, but I’ll give you the top three! 

1. You will make a real and lasting impact in the fight for free speech on your campus and in the public sphere more broadly. 

Free speech, especially on campus, is one of the most talked-about issues today. There’s a hysteria on college campuses where call-out and shout-down culture is becoming the norm, despite the fact that there are plenty of students who seek real, robust debate of differing ideas. Does that sound like you? Through CTF, you will be on the front lines, promoting free speech, ideological diversity, and respectful dialogue on your campus.

How? You can spark conversations on your campus about controversial, but important, topics like the adaptability of Islam with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the protection of women and girls from harmful cultural practices. 

2. You will gain and develop skills while expanding your network, both with experts and other student leaders across the country.

As a CTF fellow, you will develop and sharpen skills that you can use in any and every career path. You will learn how to:

  • Successfully plan and market a large-scale event
  • Write engaging and convincing opinion pieces
  • Promote your opinion pieces in the media
  • Network with other changemakers and activists

Whatever your major—political science to astrophysics—we know you will gain valuable skills from being a CTF fellow. 

Mrs. O’Donnell engaging with students at the 2018 CTF training program in Boston, MA

CTF offers an unmatched opportunity to network with experts on women’s rights, free speech, and counter-extremism from across the country and around the globe. Last year, at our annual summer training, fellows heard from and engaged with Joe Cohn, Lead Policy Counsel at FIRE (Foundation for Individual Rights in Education). Fellows can also invite noteworthy speakers to their campus and connect with them over intimate dinners with other students. 

If you want to make a career out of activism or are simply passionate about subjects such as women’s rights and the reformation of Islam, then CTF is for you.

Read about past CTF events

In addition to the numerous experts and intellectuals you will have a chance to meet and work with, CTF allows you to connect with like-minded changemakers on university campuses across the U.S. and Canada. 

3. Help Ayaan’s vision become a reality by hosting events that educate your peers about these important topics.

Julia O’Donnell (left), poses with Dr. Elham Manea (middle), and former CTF fellow, Andy Ngo, at Portland State University

As a CTF fellow, you are given a unique opportunity to host events covering issues that most people are unaware of, such as FGM, forced or child marriage, Islamism and much more. All of these are subjects that Ayaan is passionate about and the entire reason she started the Foundation.

Help Ayaan’s vision of liberty for all become a reality by hosting events that educate your peers about the severity of these issues.

Do you know someone who would be a great fit for a Critical Thinking Fellowship fellowship? Share this blog with them!