Changing Hearts and Minds, Day After Day

Table of Contents:


ING’s Programs and People Change Hearts and Minds

With the election year upon us, some politicians are stoking Islamophobia with uninformed and often bigoted comments. Fortunately, their efforts have stirred a more positive backlash in the form of increased demand for accurate first-hand education about Islam and Muslims. Even without marketing, ING has had several busy months, and the remainder of the year looks to be even busier, as shown by the figures below. These figures reflect our work in the San Francisco Bay area, and the work of our nearly 20 Affiliates show that this phenomenon is reflected nationwide. Learn more about our new Affiliates here.

Since the start of the school year in September, ING and Affiliate Speakers presented or are scheduled to present to over 900 groups reaching over 35,000 people face-to-face. These presentations have a dramatic impact on attitudes toward not only Muslims, but the other religions represented on our interfaith panels: Judaism, Buddhism, Christianity, and Hinduism.

The following data are from surveys conducted with high school students from September 2015 to the present, and show that after an ING presentation:


Knowledge of Islam and Muslims rises considerably:



Those who believe that Muslims
view women as inferior falls by over 70%:

“On the way home from the mall, I saw a Muslim woman dressed modestly. My mother also noticed, and thanks to the ING speaker, I could explain it to my mother.”
 – Middle school student, San Jose


Those who see American Muslims as “foreigners who
do not speak English” decreases by over 56%:

“My view of Islam changed — I now have a more positive and peaceful view.”
 – High school student, South San Francisco


Those who believe that Islam promotes
violence decreases by over 77%:


“Our speaker was professional, kind, and connected very well with my students. He was very down-to-earth and attentive to the kids. He told them that their questions were great, which validated them! Our speaker did a phenomenal job!” 
 – Middle school teacher, San Leandro

These graphs and testimonials are by no means exhaustive of the data that we collect before and after presentations, but they do help to show the effects of our programs and people in schools and beyond. For a more full picture of our work, check out our Impact Reports.


Recent Featured Events 

ING Staff and Speakers deliver hundreds of presentations and workshops each year. Our work is tailored to meet the specific needs of diverse audiences across a range of sectors. Here’s a typical sampling of our training seminars and presentations.

In September 2015, we were invited to run a cultural competency training for the University of California Berkeley Police Department. Law enforcement professionals do a difficult job on the frontlines of working to keep all Americans safe. ING is proud to deliver training presentations which help them to serve and protect their diverse communities more effectively. Learn more about our training here.




comm_presIn October 2015, the American Red Cross invited ING to present a workshop on Religious Literacy for Disaster Relief Workers. We deliver our trainings, presentations, and workshops to countless community organizations, non-profits, and other civic groups working to better serve their diverse constituents.



hc_pres1In January 2016, the University of California San Francisco Medical Center chose ING to deliver high-level cultural competency training: Healthcare for the Muslim Patient. This training equips healthcare professionals with the knowledge and skills to interact positively and effectively with Muslim patients, ensuring better outcomes for all. Learn more about our cultural competency training here.




school_pres1As well as daily educational presentations and panels in middle and high schools, colleges, universities, and informal educational settings, ING delivers popular training for schools and school districts – Understanding Muslim Students: Fostering an Inclusive Environment. In January 2016, an East Bay school district and a South Bay high school brought in ING to train their staff and improve the positive culture and environment for learning. Find out more about our school presentations here and our training for educators here.




ING Speakers Continue to Inspire Even
After They Leave the Classroom


Face-to-face presentations with Muslim speakers can have a huge impact on a young person’s life. Following a presentation on “Getting to Know American Muslims and Their Faith” at an Alameda high school, students created these art projects with basic facts about Islam, basing their designs on the Speaker’s presentation. One student told our speaker: “I have such a deep love for Islam. You really inspired me to explore it more deeply. P.S. I’m not Muslim.”

Visit our site to learn more about the work of the Interfaith Speakers Bureau and Islamic Speakers Bureau, including how to schedule presentations and panels.


ING Affiliates Reach Thousands Every Month

Last weekend, ING staff traveled to Michigan to deliver a packed schedule of trainings, workshops, and events. After an engaging Friday night lecture about responding to anti-Muslim sentiment, on Saturday ING staff led an interfaith training for the Muslim community – Thriving in Difficult Times. This was followed on Sunday by a speakers training, and an INGYouth workshop for parents and students. Staff were thrilled at the enthusiastic turnout for each event – many of which were standing-room only.

Our Michigan Affiliate is one of the oldest in our nationwide network of almost 20 Affiliates which replicate ING’s work through speakers bureaus, workshops, and trainings in their own local contexts. Last month, Affiliates reached over 3,000 people directly through face-to-face panels and presentations, and many thousands more through online engagement. Learn more about our Affiliates here.

We are grateful to you our donors, supporters, and allies for believing in the value and necessity of this work, and for contributing your time, energies, and resources to help ING to continue to change hearts and minds. Please consider making a donation today to help us strengthen and expand the impact of our work.