Celebrating 25 years of education and interfaith engagement

February 1993-January 2018

January 2018 marks ING’s 25th year of promoting peace through education and interfaith engagement. That’s a quarter-century of providing face-to-face presentations that introduce audiences to American Muslims and other faith traditions, a quarter-century of bringing people together across religious and cultural difference to engage in dialogue and mutual understanding for the common good, a quarter-century of educating millions of Americans about the vibrant religious freedom and pluralism that the United States was founded upon. Here's a quick snapshot of what we've accomplished in the past 25 years

Since 1993, our staff and volunteer speakers have carried ING’s work to nearly every state in the union and more than a few foreign countries. Founded by Maha Elgenaidi, ING began with a vision—a vision of a world in which people of diverse backgrounds are understood and respected and their contributions valued, and in which American Muslim communities play a vital role in promoting values of inclusion and coexistence. Watch videos from ING staff members about our work and programs by clicking here

While we have been doing this work for 25 years, our journey, filled with many milestones, is just beginning. We are excited to be celebrating the past while looking forward to a future of new opportunities for promoting understanding and peace. View our accomplishments in detail below by exploring the images in the next section. 

We invite you to celebrate with us throughout the rest of 2018, as we continue to recognize the people and institutions that we have partnered with for the last 25 years. View some of these organizations endorsements of our work here

Learn more about our programs and their impact
by clicking on the images below:

Islamic Speakers Bureau

Program Overview

The San Francisco Bay Area Islamic Speakers Bureau (ISB), initiated in 1993, provides education about American Muslims and their faith to clarify misconceptions and and promote mutual respect and understanding among diverse audiences and venues, including middle and high schools, universities, faith-based and community organizations, and others. ING continuously recruits volunteers to join the Islamic Speakers Bureau (ISB) which operates in the following eight San Francisco Bay Area counties: Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Monterey, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, and Santa Cruz.

ISB speakers deliver a variety of presentations, including “Getting to Know American Muslims and their Faith,” “Muslim Women Beyond the Stereotypes,” “A History of Muslims in America,” and “Muslim Contributions to Civilization.” Trained speakers deliver these interactive presentations using colorful digital presentations and Q & A with the audience.

Over the past 25 years, the ISB has delivered around 21,000 presentations in the San Francisco Bay area to a total audience of over one million students and others.


ISB Affiliates

Starting in 2000, ING has established affiliate Islamic Speakers Bureaus in 20 states and one Canadian province that use ING’s content and approach to provide face-to-face education by and about Muslims and Islam in their regions. An ING Affiliate is an independently operated regional non-profit organization or group of speakers which models ING’s outreach educational programs and methodology and utilizes ING’s content in its local area. ING currently has 16 affiliates in different states. For a listing of current ING affiliates see here.

ISB Online Content

Our curricula were designed to supplement content standards in social studies and world history and address many of the themes created by the National Council for the Social Studies Curriculum Standards and the National Center for History in the Schools at UCLA. Many of these themes are also addressed in state social studies content standards of leading states like California, Texas, and New York. Initiated in 2012, hundreds of educators in 47 states and three Canadian provinces have downloaded these resources which include power points, lesson plans, and other classroom-friendly content.
Our educator content includes a wide variety of resources, including Lesson Plans on Islam and Other Faiths, PowerPoints and Scripts on Current Topics, Know Your Neighbor Content for Educators and Communities, and Answers to Frequently Asked Questions about Muslims and their Faith.

Cultural Diversity Seminars

Through its cultural diversity seminars, ING, trains professionals in law enforcement, education, health care, and business in how to deal sensitively and appropriately with Muslims. These seminars provide valuable information and resources for increasing awareness, enhancing cultural competency skills, and developing relationships with American Muslim communities. Since 1997, ING has conducted educator seminars both locally in the San Francisco Bay Area and nationally. Since 1997, ING has conducted about 350 of these to 35,000 leaders in these professions

ISB Impact

We have created a number of impact reports analyzing our efforts, which you can view here. These are based on surveys of audience attitudes to Muslims and Islam before and after ISB presentations. These surveys reveal that after an ISB presentation:

  • The frequency of Islamophobic responses to our survey questions falls by almost 50%.
  • The percentage of those believing that Muslims are prone to violence falls by 66%. 
  • The percentage of those believing that American Muslims are insular and foreign falls by 50%. 
  • The percentage of those believing that Muslims are intolerant of other religions falls by 33%
  • The percentage of those believing that American Muslims are “Islamists” hostile to the United States falls by 40%.
  • The percentage of those believing that Muslims view women as inferior falls by over 50%.
  • The percentage of those believing that American Muslims are disadvantaged and in menial occupations falls by 40%.


Testimonials

ISB Speaker Testimonial:


ISB Speaker Testimonial:

Cultural Diversity Seminar Testimonial:


Interfaith Speakers Bureau

Program Overview

Initiated in 2007, the Interfaith Speakers Bureau (IFSB) provides educational presentations on various topics related to five major world religions (Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism), promoting religious literacy and mutual respect among all faiths. Modeled after the Islamic Speakers Bureau, the IFSB organizes panels consisting of two or more representatives of these religions speaking on a variety of topics to schools, colleges, universities, and other venues.

IFSB speakers share a brief overview of their faith and then speak on a variety of contemporary topics, including “Living the Faith in the SF Bay Area,” “Shared Values Between Faiths,” and Contemporary Issues such as “Pluralism” and the “Separation of Church and State.” Additionally, the Jewish-Muslim panel addresses common issues related to living as religious minorities in the United States. Since its founding in 2007, the IFSB has given close to a thousand presentations to over 30,000 people.


Impact of Our IFSB Presentations

  • The most recent evaluation results show 98% of audiences rating the panel they attended as “excellent” (62%) or “good” (36%), with only 2% rating it “fair” and 0% “poor.”
  • Among the most frequent responses to the open-ended questions on the evaluation form are the following:
    • Surprise and pleasure at seeing people of different faith convictions and backgrounds coming together as friends 
    • Increased understanding of and the dispelling of prejudice against certain religious groups, above all Muslims, but also Jews and Buddhists 
    • Increased appreciation of the ethical and moral values that different religious traditions hold in common
    • Increased understanding of, and often surprise at, all that different religious traditions have in common, especially in the values they encourage


Testimonials

IFSB Speaker Testimonial:

IFSB Speaker and Educator Testimonial:

IFSB Educator Testimonial:


INGYouth

Program Overview

The INGYouth program trains and certifies young American Muslims as speakers to supplement education about Islam and Muslims through informal conversations and student-run presentations, giving students the tools needed to prevent or respond to bullying and equipping Muslim youth to deal with today's difficult political landscape. It also imparts important skills in public speaking and synthesizing information and connects participants with their peers across doing similar work across the country, thus fostering an increased sense of belonging and community.

Initiated in 2016, INGYouth has trained over 250 Muslim teens and their parents nationwide in bullying prevention and school participation, and 85 Muslim teens in eight states have been trained and certified as speakers in their schools. So far, 17 youth speakers have given 31 presentations to audiences of about 5,000 people in various schools around the country.


Impact of the INGYouth Program

After a youth workshop:

  • The most recent evaluation results show 98% of audiences rating the panel they attended as “excellent” (62%) or “good” (36%), with only 2% rating it “fair” and 0% “poor.”
  • The number of students who stated they would alert a superior or a friend if they were bullied rose by 82%, while the number who stated they would ignore the incident dropped by 60%. 
  • The number of students who stated they would report bullying against them to an Islamic organization rose by 100%, while those who said they would alert a parent rose by 55%. 
  • The number of students who viewed education as one of the ways to promote a more positive view ofIslam and Muslims at school rose by 45%.
  • Increased understanding of, and often surprise at, all that different religious traditions have in common, especially in the values they encourage

Students reported, using a scale of 1 to 5, a 19% increase in their knowledge and comfort level answering difficult questions about Islam and a 22% increase in confidence in their ability to give a classroom presentation about Islam if asked to do so.


Testimonials

INGYouth Speaker Presentation:

INGYouth Speaker Presentation:

INGYouth Speaker Presentation:

Know Your Neighbor: Multifaith Encounters

Program Overview

Know Your Neighbor: Multifaith Encounters (KYN-ME) is a national grassroots interfaith program that is the outgrowth of the Know Your Neighbor coalition of around 15 groups that was launched at the White House in December 2015 to work on policy concerning civil rights.

Founded on American values of religious freedom, pluralism, and inclusion, and motivated by a desire to build peaceful communities at the grassroots level through community engagement, the KYN-ME program was created by Islamic Networks Group (ING) in February 2016 to promote understanding and mutual respect among Americans of diverse religious and ethical traditions.

KYN-ME has grown into a collaborative effort of 100 partners with diverse missions and objectives who work together on social media campaigns that push back against bigotry and discrimination while promoting civil dialogue across differences, building relationships and peaceful communities, and advancing human rights and justice. These #KnowYourNeighbor social media campaigns have so far generated 13.2 million impressions with a reach of just under 7 million.


Past Social Media Campaigns


In 2017, KYN-ME started to launch online social media campaigns that focused on encouraging dialogue across differences, raising cultural awareness and understanding, and increasing mutual respect. Each campaign had a different theme:

  • Summer Campaign (June 8th-August 30th, 2017) shared ways that adults, youth, and communities could get to know people of various backgrounds and ideologies through a variety of resources and tools created by our national partners.
  • Share Your Story (July 20th-27th, 2017) presented simple yet impactful tools for dialogue and encouraged participants to share stories and information about themselves and their faith tradition that they wanted their neighbors and fellow Americans to know about.
  • Back-to-School (September 7th-15th, 2017) shared best practices to help educators, students, and parents counter bullying and exclusion at school and encouraged individuals and organizations to share their success stories, concerns, and best practices and resources for countering bias and bigotry and creating more inclusive classrooms and schools.
  • Aggregated Content for Educators and Communities (October 30th-November 6th, 2017) presented curated resources from both the Back-to-School and Share Your Story campaigns. The shared curricula and videos aimed to help educators supplement social studies content standards relating to religion and to help community leaders facilitate conversations among adherents of different religious and ethical traditions.
  • New Year’s Resolutions (January 8th-15th 2018) called participants to focus on one simple resolution: to get to know our neighbors and encourage mutual learning and understanding among diverse Americans. Individuals and organizations were invited to share on social media their plans to better their community this year.
  • Be An Upstander (April 2nd-4th 2018) encourage Americans to stand up for the neighbors of all ethnic, racial, religious and political identities. Individuals and organizations were invited to share on social media ways to be an upstander for their neighbors of all backgrounds and ideologies.


Impact of Our KYN-ME Program


View our KYN-ME Impact Report to learn more about the success of this program and social media campaigns. Some highlights include:

  • Our social media campaigns had a combined reach of over 6.5 million, with 13 million impressions.
  • Donor analysis by the Silicon Valley Community Foundation found that our campaigns had an efficacy rate of 98%.
  • 92% of our partners participated in at least one social media campaign. 
  • Over 80% of participants believed that their participation in campaigns was beneficial to their organization.
  • 77% of organizations indicated interest in organizing local grassroots events.

  • Testimonials

    Know Your Neighbor Partner Testimonial:

    Know Your Neighbor Partner Testimonial:

    Know Your Neighbor Partner Testimonial:


    Listen to our staff talk about ING's programs
    by clicking the images below:

    Maha Elgenaidi, Executive Director

    Maha Elgenaidi


    Ishaq Pathan, Deputy Executive Director

    Ishaq Pathan


    Kate Chance, Community Engagement Manager

    Kate Chance


    Henry Millstein, Content Manager and Analyst

    Henry Millstein


    Ameena Jandali, Content Manager

    Ameena Jandali


    Tim Brauhn, Communications Manager

    Timothy Brauhn