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Noor Abukaram


Noor Abukaram is a Marathon runner and student from Ohio. After facing religious discrimination during a cross country meet, she founded Let Noor Run in 2019, which aims to fight discrimination and injustices in doing what we love and advance gender equality for women by making sports more inclusive. Athletics has always played a big part of Noor’s life, however she was always aware that there were never many Muslim girls in sports. When she was disqualified from multiple races for wearing the hijab, she realized how essential it was to safeguard future Muslim female athletes to ensure they reap the benefits of sport. Hijabi athletes deserve to embrace sport without feeling disregarded, which is why Noor decided to take action and wrote an article telling her story.

Her story gained global attention and featured in both The Washington Post and The New York Times. Her unique circumstance suddenly became a shared reality receiving messages from people worldwide who had faced similar discrimination, and this motivated her to start the Let Noor Run initiative. She has fought diligently for her right to run in a hijab and worked with Ohio State Senator Gavarone to pass Senate Bill 181, which prohibits organizations from implementing discriminatory policies in extracurricular activities, which after 2 years was signed into law in February 2022. This new law will protect students ’rights to express religion, including wearing the hijab, in school sports and extracurricular activities.

Let Noor Run has facilitated opportunities that promote gender equality from female-led panel discussions around discrimination towards the hijab, virtual
5k runs donating funds towards providing sport hijabs for young Muslim athletes in need, and frequent talks where Noor has used the power of
storytelling to ignite change. Noor now plans to encourage other states to adopt Senate Bill 181 to protect runners like herself and enforce gender
equality, as well as continuing to user her voice and platform for others to share their stories.

Recently Noor Attended the ESPYS and was awarded the Billie Jean King Youth leadership award for her work in advancing gender equity in sport. She was also recognized by CAIR National as Muslim of the Year.

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