Join the Islamic Speakers Bureau

The San Francisco Bay Area Islamic Speakers Bureau (ISB) provides education about American Muslims and their faith as a means of clarifying misconceptions and promoting mutual respect and understanding among diverse audiences, including middle and high schools, universities, faith-based and community organizations, and other venues. 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 counties.

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.” The interactive presentations include colorful digital presentations and Q & A with the presenter.

Prospective speakers become certified by ING after a rigorous process of professional development, testing, and observation in a live setting by veteran speakers. ING speakers adhere to strict guidelines which are outlined in ING and the First Amendment Center. These guidelines emphasize adherence to the highest level of academic neutrality and objectivity when teaching about religion.

Why should I consider joining the Islamic Speakers Bureau and what does it entail?

At a time when Islamophobia and hate rhetoric against American Muslims has reached unprecedented levels in recent years, it is critical that American Muslims clarify common stereotypes, educate about their faith, and seek to define themselves, rather than allowing others define them. With over 22 years of experience teaching about religions in numerous venues to diverse audiences ING has both the track record and expertise to do so.

The first step to becoming a speaker is to attend a 4-6 hour training which ING holds 2-3 times a year usually on a Saturday. The training covers presentation scripts and answers to frequently asked questions as well as guidelines for speaking in a public forum.  A community member who previously attended ING’s training emphasizes its value: I did the training couple of years back and it helped me a lot. I would also recommend it even if you are not planning to become a volunteer. It will still help you in your workplace, in your neighborhood, or any other place in clearing misconceptions, stereotyping etc. I feel like doing a refresher training again.

One of ING’s current speakers stresses the importance of getting trained through ING to educate others:

As an ING speaker myself, I speak at middle and high schools and cannot tell you how rewarding it is to supplement existing curriculum through professionally prepared presentations and scripts. Just last week, I spoke at two local high schools: one regular 11th grade and an ESL class. The 30+ students were from Asia and were blown away at how many similarities exist between Muslims, Christians, and Jews. The other class had three Muslim kids who thanked me later on for normalizing Muslims, which made them feel good about themselves. I am now able to engage very professionally with anyone on common misconceptions about Islam and drawing parallels between Abrahamic faiths, which not only helps to build bridges and peace but, best of all, respect for Muslim kids who are part of a class you speak at. All thanks to a well organized training by ING! This is imperative especially during these days when ignorance about Islam and misinformation about Muslims is spewing hatred and fear.

What is Included in the Training?

* First Amendment guidelines
* An Overview of ING’s main presentations
* A copy of answers to FAQs developed by scholars
* Speaker guidelines and tips
* Light refreshments

Apply today