ING Team


Maha Elgenaidi
Executive Director

Maha is the founder of ING and author of training handbooks on outreach for American Muslims as well as training seminars for public institutions on developing cultural competency with the American Muslim community. She received an M.A. in religious studies from Stanford University and B.A in political science and economics from the American University in Cairo. She has taught classes on Islam in the modern world at Santa Clara University, Stanford University, and the University of California at Santa Cruz, and has been recognized with numerous awards, including the “Civil Rights Leadership Award” from the California Association of Human Relations Organizations, the “Citizen of the Year Award” from the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors, and the "Dorothy Irene Height Community Award" from the Silicon Valley Chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). Read Maha's blog here.


Ishaq Pathan
Bay Area Director

Ishaq earned his B.A. from Hamilton College with a major in Anthropology and minors in Education and Middle Eastern & Islamic World Studies. He also holds a certificate in nonprofit leadership from the College of San Mateo and Center for Excellence in Nonprofits. In 2019, Ishaq was an Interfaith Youth Core Innovation Fellow supporting Muslim, Jewish, and Sikh teens to raise awareness on Islamophobia, anti-Semitism and/or anti-Sikh bigotry in their schools. During his time at Hamilton College, he served as the Senior Chapel Fellow; president of the Muslim Student Association; and co-founder of the All Beliefs Union. Ishaq is also a member of the Interfaith Youth Core Alumni network and the International Foreign Language Honor Society, Phi Sigma Iota. Read Ishaq's blog here.


Rahimeh Ramezany
Program Manager

Rahimeh earned both her M.A. and B.A. in Communication Studies with a concentration in Intercultural Communication from San Jose State University. During her graduate school years she participated in an intensive study abroad program in Amman, Jordan, and earned a Certificate in Advanced Global Leadership from the Lucas College of Business’s Global Leadership Advancement Center. In 2016, Rahimeh served as a Fellow at the Summer Institute of Intercultural Communication, where she played an active role in the Institute’s programming and training opportunities. Since then, she has been working in the nonprofit sector as a project coordinator and trainer.


Paky ElHossamy
Accounting and Finance Assistant

Paky is a licensed CPA in the state of Texas with two master’s degrees in Accounting and Taxation from the University of Texas. She is a former financial and tax analyst and has worked as an accountant for the last decade.

Program Content Contributors


Imam Abu Qadir Al-Amin

Imam Abu Qadir is the Resident Imam for the San Francisco Muslim Community Center for the last 30 years. He received his first appointment as Resident Imam in 1981 by the esteemed leader of Muslim Americans; Imam W. Deen Mohammed. Imam Abu Qadir has served as Muslim Chaplain at the Federal Prison FCI Dublin, CA. Additionally, he worked for the Center on Juvenile & Criminal Justice as Program Director and Associate Director for 23 years. As Imam of the San Francisco Muslim Community Center, he served as Convener of Western Regional Imams’ from 1995 thru 2010. He has been involved in city and state wide issues and concerns as a community organizer.


Imam Muhammad Ali

Imam Muhammad currently works as a Chaplain for both the Federal Bureau of Prisons and Bucknell University where he also co-directs a mentoring program for underrepresented students. He worked most extensively as a Muslim Chaplain in the California State Prison and served as VP of Correctional Chaplaincy for The Association of Muslim Chaplains. Imam Muhammad served as an Assistant Imam in Durham, NC and as an Imam in multiple Islamic Centers in the Bay Area. He earned a B.A. in Psychology from Thomas Edison State University. He earned an MDiv in Islamic Chaplaincy and an M.A. in Islamic Education from Bayan Islamic Graduate School.


Susan Douglass, PhD

Dr. Douglass is the Education Outreach Coordinator at the Center for Contempory Arab Studies at Georgetown University. She developed the education outreach program for the Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University in 2007, served as Senior Researcher for the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations, and managed several grant projects for the Ali Vurak Ak Center for Global Islamic Studies at George Mason University. She received her Ph.D. in World History at George Mason University in 2016 and has an M.A. in Arab Studies from Georgetown University and a B.A. in History from the University of Rochester.


Magdalena Gross, PhD

Dr. Gross is an Education Curriculum Producer (global) for Adobe. Previously she held positions as an Assistant Professor of Education and Curriculum Theory at the University of Maryland College Park, a Senior Researcher at Stanford’s CSET and was a classroom teacher and a teacher educator. She received her PhD from Stanford in International Comparative Education and has over a dozen publications on teaching and learning in the field of international education.


Ameena Jandali

Ameena is a founding member of ING. She co-designs and develops ING’s educational presentations and cultural competency seminars. Ameena has delivered hundreds of presentations in schools, colleges, universities, churches, and other venues on Islam and related subjects. She has also appeared on many news outlets speaking on issues relating to American Muslims. She currently team teaches classes on Islam as well as Women in the Middle East at City College of San Francisco. Ameena received her M.A. in Near Eastern Studies from the University of California, Berkeley, and B.A. in History from the University of Illinois. Read Ameena's blog here.


Jamillah Karim, PhD

Dr. Karim is an author, speaker, blogger, and former Professor of Religion at Spelman College. She specializes in Islam and Muslims in the United States (African American, South Asian and Arab), Islamic Feminism, Race and Ethnicity, and Immigration and Transnational Identity. Dr. Karim has presented her research to several scholarly communities including Princeton, Vanderbilt, Harvard, and Brandeis. She obtained her Ph.D. in Islamic Studies at Duke University where she also did her undergraduate work in electrical engineering.


Mansa B. King, PhD

Dr. King is a Senior Diversity Consultant at Yardstick Management and Associate Professor of Sociology at Morehouse College for the last 13 years. He specicializes in Africana Muslims, African American families and Black-White racial reconciliation. He obtained his Ph.D. and M.A. in Sociology from Johns Hopkins University, and a B.S. in psychology (minor in mathematics) from Howard University.


Nikhil Laud

Nikhil Laud has been a high school social studies and ethnic studies educator for 17 years. He currently co-coordinates SFUSD’s Ethnic Studies Department, which grounds pedagogy and coursework around the furthering adult and youth capacity for the knowledge of self, solidarity and self-determination. He obtained his M.A. in Education at University of California – Los Angeles and his B.A. in Ethnic Studies at Brown University.


Melissa Levinson

Melissa Levinson is a curriculum writer and education reform consultant with a focus on improving representations of the Middle East and Islam in secondary schools. Her research focuses on how political, religious, and economic factors influence dominant representations of ethnic minorities in American education. Melissa received an MA in Arab Studies from Georgetown and a BA in Middle Eastern Studies from New York University Abu Dhabi.


Henry Millstein, PhD

Dr. Millstein holds a Ph.D. in Jewish Studies from the University of California Berkeley and the Graduate Theological Union, with a focus on Jewish-Christian relations. He worked for sixteen years with the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs in Oregon developing a program to preserve and teach their native languages and cultures. He has taught humanities and history of religion at GTU, Stanford, and the University of California Berkeley and Davis. Dr. Millstein has a B.A. in Classics from Reed College and an M.F.A. in playwriting from Carnegie-Mellon University and is a published poet and fiction writer. Read Henry's blog here.


Walead Mosaad, PhD

Dr. Mosaad is a teacher and researcher of the Islamic sciences. He is a visiting professor in Islamic Studies at the Bayan Claremont School of Theology in Claremont, California. His podcast, Islam for Life, as well as online courses in jurisprudence and theology, can be found on the SeekersHub online platform. He has completed degrees from Rutgers University, the Fath Islamic Seminary in Damascus, al-Azhar University in Cairo, the University of Liverpool, and a PhD in Arab and Islamic Studies at the University of Exeter in the UK. He lectures on various topics of interest, including Muslims as minorities, interfaith understanding, and the importance of purification and spirituality in addressing the human condition.


Imam Faheem Shuaibe

Imam Faheem has been the Resident Imam of Masjidul Waritheen in Oakland, California for 36 years. Faheem is a lifelong student Of Imam W. Deen Mohammed (ra) and the founder of the Muslim American Research Institute Advocating Marriage (M.A.R.I.A.M.) as well as The Sacred Life Project (A public language codification project focused on the language, logic and legacy of Imam Warith Deen Mohammed (ra)). Imam Faheem consults and advises large and small companies and organizations, including The Commonwealth Club of San Francisco CA, Chiron Corporation of Emeryville CA, University of California, Yale University’s School of Law, Howard University and many more.

Program Speakers and Trainers

Islamic Speakers Bureau (ISB)

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Nauman Azhar

Nauman grew up on the East Coast and Pakistan. He moved to the Bay Area in 2001 and currently resides in San Jose with his wife and three children. He has an M.S. in Computer Engineering from Santa Clara University and is Director of Enterprise Systems at Box. Nauman’s main interests are religion and sports. He is an active member in the Bay Area Muslim community and a participant in interfaith events. Nauman represents Islam.

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Bahira Metwally

Bahira was born in Vancouver, Canada and grew up in the Bay Area. She obtained her bachelors in Electrical Engineering as well as her MBA from Santa Clara University. She went on to work in the industry for 11 years in the areas of technical marketing and corporate training. She now devotes her time to homeschooling her daughter. Bahira represents Islam.


Raania Mohsen

Raania Mohsen is a Bay Area native and has worked as a government affairs professional since 2004. Raania currently works for the City of Santa Clara as a Management Analyst in the City Manager’s Office. As former Executive Director of the Cities Association, she has been instrumental in advancing important policy addressing affordable housing, sustainability, and economic development. She is active in her community and volunteers regularly at local public schools. She received both her Bachelor of Science in Psychology and MBA Degrees from Santa Clara University. Raania represents Islam.

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Aisha Jill Morgan

Aisha received her B.A. in Humanities and has certification as a Teacher of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) and an M.A. in Adult Education and Training. As a specialist in language proficiency, Aisha develops tests and trains teachers internationally. She lives in Sonoma County and is Principal of the Islamic School at the Islamic Society of Santa Rosa. Aisha represents Islam.

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Ismael Nass

Ismael Nass received a B.S. in Computer Science from King Fahd University in Saudi Arabia and an M.S. in Software Engineering from San Jose State University. He is currently the president of EngineersWhoWrite, a consulting firm specializing in the development of technical documentation and publishing tools. Ismael represents Islam.


Muizz Rafique

A native of Southern California, Muizz Rafique has studied or worked for short periods in the Muslim world, including Egypt, Turkey, Yemen and Jordan. He is an avid snowboarder and enjoys the outdoors. He currently lives in the Bay Area with his wife and two daughters, where he works as an attorney. Muizz represents Islam.

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Sobia Sultan

Sobia received her M.D. from the King Edward Medical University in Pakistan. She did her residency training in Texas and is a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Currently she works as a pediatrician at Kaiser Permanente. She lives in the East Bay with her three children. In her spare time, Sobia enjoys poetry and music. Sobia represents Islam.

Nora is a second-generation American Muslim. Although she was born in Baltimore, Maryland, she spent her formative years in historic Palestine. Nora returned to United States after high school to study pharmacy at the University of Maryland. She currently practices as a community pharmacist in the East Bay where she lives with her husband and two sons. Nora has been volunteering with ING since 2002. Nora represents Islam.

Interfaith Speakers Bureau (IFSB)


Dilip Amin

Dr. Dilip Amin is a Director of the Peninsula Multifaith Coalition of the San Francisco Bay Area. He has co-authored the book Hindu Vivaha Samskara. He founded the web forum InterfaithShaadi.org and guided 1200 youths and summarized his experiences in the book, Interfaith Marriage: Share & Respect with Equality. He is also a founder of HinduSpeakers.org.


Rabbi Melanie Aron

Rabbi Melanie Aron was ordained at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in 1981 and has been serving Congregation Shir Hadash of Los Gatos since July 1990. She is involved in PACT, People Acting in Community Together, chairs the Los Gatos Clergy group and is involved in interfaith dialogues with the Muslim and Christian communities. Rabbi Aron and her husband live in Los Gatos and have three adult children and one grandchild. Rabbi Aron represents Judaism.


Joy Aspenall

Joy has been a teacher of religion for 38 years, and for the last 23 of those she has been a Master Catechist for the Diocese of San Jose. She has also been the Adult Formation Coordinator at St. Martin of Tours Parish for the past 15 years. Her position brings her into contact with people with diverse faith traditions. She currently resides in San Jose with her husband of 42 years and has two grown children. Joy represents Christianity.

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Nauman Azhar

Nauman grew up on the East Coast and Pakistan. He moved to the Bay Area in 2001 and currently resides in San Jose with his wife and three children. He has an M.S. in Computer Engineering from Santa Clara University and is Director of Enterprise Systems at Box. Nauman’s main interests are religion and sports. He is an active member in the Bay Area Muslim community and a participant in interfaith events. Nauman represents Islam.


Ven. Tenzin Chogkyi

Venerable Tenzin Chogkyi, an ordained Buddhist nun, has been studying and practicing Buddhism for over 40 years. She completed a six-year solitary meditation retreat in 2006, and since then has been teaching at Buddhist centers in the North and South America, Australia, New Zealand, and Asia. Ven. Tenzin teaches Buddhist philosophy and meditation at Land of Medicine Buddha in Soquel, California, and is also actively involved in teaching Buddhist meditation and philosophy in prisons. She is a certified teacher of Stanford's Compassion Cultivation Training and also the Cultivating Emotional Balance program. Tenzin represents Buddhism.

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Harry Cornbleet

Harry recently retired from his position as a staff physician at the San Jose State University Student Health Center. He received his M.D. degree from the University of Missouri. After his internship and residency, Harry served as a Medical Officer in the U.S. Navy and then worked as in internist with a large medical group before moving to his position with San Jose State. Harry enjoys hiking and nature study in his spare time. He lives with his wife in Saratoga. Harry represents Judaism.


Katy Dickinson

Katy is the Founder of Mentoring Standard and has designed and managed successful professional mentoring programs globally. Katy Dickinson is an Episcopalian and serves as the Diocesan Coordinator for the Education for Ministry theology education program in the Episcopal Diocese of El Camino Real. She holds an English degree from the University of California, Berkeley. Katy is an author, speaker, and blogger at Katysblog. Katy represents Christianity.


Rabbi Amy Eilberg

Rabbi Amy Eilberg is the first woman ordained as a Conservative rabbi and serves as a spiritual director, kindness coach, and peace and justice educator. She recently served as the Coordinator of Jewish Engagement for Faith in Action Bay Area, a multi-faith, multi-racial social justice organization in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her book, From Enemy to Friend: Jewish Wisdom and the Pursuit of Peace, was published by Orbis Books in March 2014. She received her Doctor of Ministry degree from United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities in 2016. Rabbi Amy represents Judaism.


Sr. Marianne Farina

Sister Marianne belongs to the Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Cross, Notre Dame, Indiana. She is associate professor at the Dominican School of Philosophy in Berkeley and a faculty member of the Center for Islamic Studies at the Graduate Theological Union. She received an M.A. in Pastoral Theology from Santa Clara University and a Ph.D. in Theological Ethics from Boston College. She has worked globally on projects that promote social justice and interfaith dialogue. Sister Marianne represents Christianity.


Bob Frankle

Bob serves on the Board of Directors for Congregation Beth Am. He attends Torah study at Beth Am and Bible study at his wife Diane’s All Saints Episcopal Church. Bob has a Bachelor of Aerospace Engineering degree from the Georgia Institute of Technology and a Masters degree in Material Science from Stanford University. An engineer for most of his career, in 2016 he retired as a global marketing director for a manufacturer of security inspection products. Bob represents Judaism.


Diane Frankle

Diane is an active member at All Saints Episcopal Church in Palo Alto, California, and serves as Trustee on the College of Wooster Board of Trustees and on the San Francisco Advisory Board of Facing History and Ourselves. She is a Senior Fellow in the American Leadership Forum — Silicon Valley and is active in its Faith Leaders Group. Diane received her JD from Georgetown University Law Center, magna cum laude, and her B.A. from The College of Wooster in Wooster, Ohio. Diane represents Christianity.

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Esther A. Heller

Esther has degrees in Mathematics from Brandeis and Stanford Universities. She worked in the computer industry as an engineer for 15 years. Trained at Equity Institute, she has been active in the diversity arena, speaking, training, and facilitating, for two decades. Esther works as a Professional Registered Parliamentarian and is as President of CSAP. She is a past president of Keddem Congregation (Reconstructionist). She is listed in Who’s Who in America. Esther represents Judaism.


Jonathan Homrighausen

Jonathan Homrighausen converted to Christianity at 18 and attends St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Santa Clara. He is a graduate student in Biblical Studies at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, CA, where he focuses on Abrahamic scriptures and interreligious dialogue. Currently he is writing a book on The Saint John’s Bible, the first commissioned illuminated manuscript of the Bible since Gutenberg. Jonathan represents Christianity.


Berget Jelane

Berget has had a Buddhist meditation practice since 1986 in the Zen and Theravada traditions. She teaches in San Jose and Redwood City as well as other Buddhist centers, and is an active participant in several interfaith organizations. In her role as a Buddhist minister, she performs weddings, funerals, and baby blessings for families. Berget represents Buddhism.


Madhu Kopalle

Madhu obtained a Bachelor's degree in engineering in India and a Master's degree in Computer Science in Texas. He works as a software engineer at a large Silicon Valley company. Madhu studied the Hindu scriptures under various masters at the Chinmaya Mission for the past 25 years, and has been teaching at the Sunday school for the past 10 years. Madhu has also conducted mediation groups at his work place. He enjoys hiking, chess, & swimming. Madhu represents Hinduism.

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Dr. Sulochina Lulla

Sulochina is a physician at Santa Clara Kaiser Permanente, specializing in allergy, immunology, and pediatric lung diseases. She has attended classes in Hindu scriptures at the Vedanta society and the Chinmaya Mission and has served as a coordinator of the Gandhi Youth camp which promotes peace and nonviolence. She is a board member of the Silicon Valley Interreligious Council. Sulochina represents Hinduism.


Rev. George A. McDonnell

Reverend George McDonnell grew up in New Jersey in a multi-cultural neighborhood with children who were from all different races, religions, and ethnicities. She attended St. Elizabeth College and Seabury Western Theological Seminary. George has been a priest for 15 years and makes her home in Santa Clara with her wife, daughter, two dogs, and three rabbits. She is currently the rector at St. Mark's Episcopal Church in Santa Clara. George represents Christianity.


Bat Sheva Miller

Bat Sheva Miller has been involved in Jewish education for 20 years, since moving to California in 1993. She is currently a student at the Graduate Theological Union, working on her thesis on interfaith education. She has taught every grade from 1st through high school in both private and public schools. She holds an MA in Special Education from San Francisco State University, and a BA in Journalism from Brazil. She worked as a journalist in Sao Paulo and Israel, where she lived for five years. Bat Sheva represents Judaism.

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Helena Miller-Fleig

Helena's interest in interfaith work began in high school when she participated in a trip to the Middle East aimed at cultivating mutual understanding. She received her B.A. in History and Religious Studies from Fordham University and a Master of Theological Studies from Harvard Divinity School. She currently lives in San Francisco with her husband and son and teaches in the Religious Studies department of St. Ignatius College Preparatory School. Helena represents Christianity.

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Dianne Muller

Dianne Muller holds a Master of Arts degree in Theology from the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, CA. She also holds a Certificate of Islamic Studies from the Center for Islamic Studies at the GTU. She has taught, lectured, organized, and served on panels throughout the US on the topics of Christian and Muslim Theology and Interfaith Dialogue. Dianne represents Christianity.

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Sheila Mohan

Sheila Mohan was born in India and has lived in California for more than 30 years. She has an M.B.A. from San Jose State University and has worked in local government (County of Santa Clara and City of Cupertino) for several years until her recent retirement. She is now engaged in community volunteer activities. Sheila is an active member of the Chinmaya Mission, a non-profit global organization that provides knowledge about Vedanta or Hindu spirituality. Sheila represents Hinduism.


Raania Mohsen

Raania Mohsen is a Bay Area native and has worked as a government affairs professional since 2004. Raania currently works for the City of Santa Clara as a Management Analyst in the City Manager’s Office. As former Executive Director of the Cities Association, she has been instrumental in advancing important policy addressing affordable housing, sustainability, and economic development. She is active in her community and volunteers regularly at local public schools. She received both her Bachelor of Science in Psychology and MBA Degrees from Santa Clara University. Raania represents Islam.


Aisha Jill Morgan

Aisha received her B.A. in Humanities and has certification as a Teacher of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) and an M.A. in Adult Education and Training. As a specialist in language proficiency, Aisha develops tests and trains teachers internationally. She lives in Sonoma County and is Principal of the Islamic School at the Islamic Society of Santa Rosa. Aisha represents Islam.


Laurie Schlaepfer

Laurie became a personally devout Christian at the age of fifteen. Laurie and her husband work in Christian ministry at a church in Aptos, California. Their work has taken them around the country and to many places around the world. For the past eleven years she has also taught world religions at the undergraduate and master's level. Laurie and her husband have three children. She earned a B.A. in Biblical Studies and a Masters degree in Christian Theology. Laurie represents Christianity.


Karen Stiller

Karen has a MSSA with a Certificate in Nonprofit Management from Case Western Reserve University. Originally from Buffalo, New York, Karen started her professional career in social work and nonprofit management. She moved to the Bay Area in 2000, where she worked in the Preventive Defense Project at Stanford University. Karen has been with the Jewish Community Relations Council since 2002, first as Peninsula Director and currently as Middle East Project Director. She has been deeply involved in interfaith work over the years, including helping start up two local interfaith councils. Karen represents Judaism.


Lakshmi Subramanian

Lakshmi writes and teaches on the bhakti traditions of the great Indian “poet-saints” and has several album credits as a professional vocalist. She creates contemporary devotional music with her husband Aks for interfaith audiences across North America. Lakshmi is affiliated with Chinmaya Mission and is a frequent contributor to Hinduism Today. She has consulted for Syracuse University, Sony Music, and VICE Media, and she holds an M.A. in Religious Studies from Stanford University. Lakshmi represents Hinduism.


Sobia Sultan

Sobia received her M.D. from the King Edward Medical University in Pakistan. She did her residency training in Texas and is a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Currently she works as a pediatrician at Kaiser Permanente. She lives in the East Bay with her three children. In her spare time, Sobia enjoys poetry and music. Sobia represents Islam.


Nora Talebi

Nora is a second-generation American Muslim. Although she was born in Baltimore, Maryland, she spent her formative years in historic Palestine. Nora returned to United States after high school to study pharmacy at the University of Maryland. She currently practices as a community pharmacist in the East Bay where she lives with her husband and two sons. Nora has been volunteering with ING since 2002. Nora represents Islam.


Azmat Tanauli

Azmat obtained a dual degree in physics and electrical engineering through the 3-2 liberal arts program at Ohio Wesleyan University and Washington University. He currently works in the software industry bringing innovative products to markets. Azmat describes himself as a student of science, mysticism, and religion and finds our expressions to seek the divine a beautiful mystery of humanity. Azmat represents Islam.

Intercultural Speakers Bureau (ICSB)


Rabbi Melanie Aron

Rabbi Melanie Aron was ordained at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in 1981 and has been serving Congregation Shir Hadash of Los Gatos since July 1990. She is involved in PACT, People Acting in Community Together, chairs the Los Gatos Clergy group and is involved in interfaith dialogues with the Muslim and Christian communities. Rabbi Aron and her husband live in Los Gatos and have three adult children and one grandchild. Rabbi Aron represents Judaism.


Carey Averbook

Carey Averbook comes from a long line of Ashkenazi Jews who came to Turtle Island while escaping pogroms in Eastern Europe. Carey wears many hats, including multimedia visual storyteller, communications strategist, Emotional Hygiene Coach, and repairing the village in her LGBTQ Jewish community. Her efforts go toward personal, collective, and cultural healing and remembering or creating stories for other ways of being human. Carey received her MA in New Media Photojournalism from the Corcoran School of the Arts and Design at George Washington University, and her BA in Anthropology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.


Samantha Brown

Samantha Brown is an Educator and social justice advocate experienced in working with institutions and community organizations to address inequities that affect social and academic outcomes for students of color, formerly incarcerated, and immigrant populations. The heart of her work is focused on creating equitable and sustainable practices for building communities through collective impact and empowerment. Samantha received her BA in Sociology from California State University East Bay and her MA in Education Equity and Social Justice from San Francisco State University.


Dr. Hien Do

Dr. Hien Do is a Professor of Sociology and Interdisciplinary Social Sciences at San Jose State University. His primary research interests is Vietnamese Americans, race relations, the development of Asian American Communities, and the impact of religion on immigration. He is the author The Vietnamese Americans (Greenwood Press, 1999), an associate producer of "Viet Nam: At the Crossroads" (PBS, 1994)a documentary film on Viet Nam, numerous articles, and is currently working on a manuscript with colleagues at the University of San Francisco on the impact of religion on immigration. He is the past President of the Association of Asian American Studies (2000-2002). Dr. Do has also been interviewed by national newspapers and television stations. He received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Santa Barbara in Sociology.


Rabbi Amy Eilberg

Rabbi Amy Eilberg is the first woman ordained as a Conservative rabbi and serves as a spiritual director, kindness coach, and peace and justice educator. She recently served as the Coordinator of Jewish Engagement for Faith in Action Bay Area, a multi-faith, multi-racial social justice organization in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her book, From Enemy to Friend: Jewish Wisdom and the Pursuit of Peace, was published by Orbis Books in March 2014. She received her Doctor of Ministry degree from United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities in 2016. Rabbi Amy represents Judaism.


Dr. Tom Ellington

Dr. Tom Ellington is a professor of political science at Wesleyan College, in Macon, Georgia. He has also taught at Sookmyung and Ewha Women’s Universities in Seoul, South Korea, as well as at Guangzhou University. From 2007 to 2013, he served two terms as a member of the Macon City Council and has remained active in public service in a variety of appointed positions since then. Dr. Ellington was a Fulbright Korea Senior Scholar in 2014. He earned a Ph.D. in Government and Politics from the University of Maryland, and completed an MPA at the Harvard Kennedy School.


Lea Gabay

Lea Gabay is a French-American English as a Second Language instructor based in San Francisco, California. She has taught ESL/EFL for twelve years in the United States and abroad. Lea is also a facilitator of a virtual cross-cultural education program for youth from all over the world hosted by SOLIYA, an international NGO. She is passionate about social justice, interfaith and intercultural peace-building, and women's rights. Lea received an MA in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages from San Francisco State University, an MA in Translation German/English into French from the Universite Sorbonne Nouvelle, and a BA in German and Spanish Language and Literature from Goucher College.


Daisy Kim

Daisy Kim is an Asian American Studies and Race and Cultural Studies educator at the university and community levels. She is also a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion curriculum developer and educator with a commitment to social and organizational change. Daisy grew up as a "third-culture kid" in Korea and Hong Kong before immigrating to the US. She is an advocate of immigration justice and now lives in New York City. She received her MA in Asian American Studies and her BA in Women Studies and Public Policy from the University of California, Los Angeles, and attended graduate school in Ethnic Studies at University of California, Berkeley where she was a Graduate Funding Officer.


Rev. Will McGarvey

Rev. Will McGarvey has served as the Executive Director of the Interfaith Council of Contra Costa County since 2012, having also previously served on the board. In addition, he serves a Presbyterian-UCC congregation in Pittsburg, CA part-time. Rev. McGarvey is active in many justice-seeking endeavors, including LGBTQ inclusion, comprehensive immigration reform, hunger relief, affordable housing, poverty alleviation, criminal justice reform, and racial justice. Rev. McGarvey completed his seminary studies at San Francisco Theological Seminary, where he specialized in spiritual practices and the theology of the environment.


Yasmin Marrero

Yasmin Marrero is a Leadership and Empowerment Coach and a first generation Afro-Caribeña American from the Bronx, NY. She empowers individuals to unlock their agency and inner authority via self-discovery tools to live a fulfilling life rooted in their deep desires. Yasmin guides Connect & Cultivate, the only BIWOC Empowerment Circle currently offered in Iowa City, IA. She collaborates with Radical Reimagining and Rework Work to expand this impact globally. She received her M.S. in Learning and Organizational Change from Northwestern University and her B.S. in Neuroscience from Brandeis University.


Dr. Antoinette CHarfauros McDaniel

Dr. Antoinette CHarfauros McDaniel is a Chamoru feminist sociologist who specializes in Critical Pacific Islander and Ethnic Studies, Interpersonal Violence Against Women, and Critical Race Theory & American Universities (note: CHamorus are indigenous Pacific Islanders from the Marianas Islands in the northwest Pacific). As the first tenure-track faculty member hired as a specialist in Asian American Studies in Sociology at Oberlin College, she was a founding faculty member of the Comparative American Studies Department, which drew heavily on her dissertation research on the history of Ethnic Studies in American universities. Dr. CHarfauros has addressed a wide array of national organizations as a keynote or plenary speaker raising awareness about CHamoru and/or Pacific Islander educational issues. As she prepares to wind down a tumultuous career in academia, she is focused on institution-building to serve the needs of CHamoru people in the diaspora. Dr. CHarfauros received her Ph.D in Sociology from Yale University, and her BA in Sociology from UC San Diego.


Dr. Susan Meyers

Dr. Susan Meyers is the founder of CommUniverCity San Jose and the Interfaith CommUnity of South County, a Chair of Congregation Emeth Tikkun Olam Committee, and a member of the Jewish Community Relations Committee of Silicon Valley, and the Jewish Political Action Committee of Silicon Valley. She has worked in special education teaching and higher education administration throughout her career. Dr. Meyers received her Ph.D. in Special Education from UC Berkeley, her MA in Special Education/ Life Teaching from San Francisco State University, and her BA in Sociology from UC Berkeley.


Rev. Ray Montgomery

Reverend Ray Montgomery accepted and announced his called to minister in the summer of 1997 while a member of the Emmanuel Baptist Church in San Jose, CA. He was ordained in the Gospel of Ministry June 2007 and was commissioned as an Officer in the United States Navy in January of 2009 where he served as a chaplain. After his honorable separation in 2011 he has since served in multiple ministries, and most recently has become the Executive Direction of PACT (People Acting in Community Together), which is a faith based social justice non-profit grassroots organization in Silicon Valley. Rev. Montgomery received his B.A. in Economics from the Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, and his Master of Divinity Degree from the American Baptist Seminary of the West (Graduate Theological Union).


Rev. Jethroe (Jeff) Moore

Rev. Jethroe (Jeff) Moore II was licensed and ordained to preach the gospel by Rev. Dr. Willie T. Gaines Jr., and is currently the pastor of the Rehoboth Christian Center in Alameda, CA. Rev. Moore serves as President of the San Jose/Silicon Valley National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), as a Commissioner on Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) for the state of California, and as a Juvenile Justice Commission of Santa Clara County Commissioner. Rev. Jeff received his B.S. in Bible & Theology, Management and Ethics from San Jose Christian College.


Alma Ramos

Alma Ramos is a facilitator, trainer, curriculum designer, and advisor on anti-racism and diversity, equity, and inclusion. Her work focuses on affinity group and employee resource group initiatives for underrepresented communities, designing programming to increase retention of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) within organizational settings, and cultivating continuous learning opportunities on how to best support individuals with an intersectionality lens. Alma received her MA in Counseling with a concentration in Higher Education and Student Affairs from the University of Colorado Denver, and her BA in Educational Studies from the University of Missouri-Columbia.


Joquina Reed

Joquina Reed is the creator and curator behind the social media platforms The Anti-Blackness Reader Project and Hug Your White Friends. She is a published researcher, conference presenter, and public speaker. Joquina’s public advocacy is largely inspired by her academic research relating to social power and race, and gender identity constructions. She currently holds a dual faculty administrator appointment at Louisiana State University. Joquina received her MA in Communication and Media Studies, as well as her BA in Speech Communication, from the University of Louisiana at Monroe.


Shannon Rivers

Shannon Rivers is a member of the Akimel O’otham (River People) Nation. Shannon was born and raised on the Gila River Indian Community located in the southern state of Arizona. He is an Indigenous Peoples human rights activist speaking on Indigenous movements and the fight for the rights of Indigenous Peoples. His focus has been on the immigration and migration of Indigenous Peoples into the state of Arizona and throughout the United States. Shannon served as a delegate and participant at the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues for nearly a decade, and from 2008 - 2010 Shannon served as Co-chair for the Global Indigenous Peoples Caucus at the UN. Shannon has conducted and hosted lectures on the United Nation Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) at the State Capital of Arizona and for numerous universities, and colleges nationally and internationally. Currently Shannon is a Native American spiritual leader and cultural advisor to the Indigenous inmate population in the state, federal, tribal, and private prisons in Arizona and California, and a Co-Chair for the Underserved Cultural Committee (UsCC) for the Dept. of Mental Health Los Angeles. Shannon received his BS from Northern Arizona University and his MA from the University of California, Los Angeles.


Dr. Joanne Rondilla

Dr. Joanne Rondilla is an assistant professor in Sociology, Interdisciplinary Studies, and Asian American Studies at San Jose State University. She is an award-winning educator and is the co-author of Is Lighter Better?: Skin Tone Discrimination Among Asian Americans and co-editor of Red & Yellow, Black & Brown: Decentering Whiteness in Mixed Race Studies. Dr. Rondilla received her Ph. D and MA in Ethnic Studies from the UC Berkeley, and her BA in Asian American Studies from UC Santa Barbara.


Sondos Al Sad

Sondos Al Sad completed her residency in Family Medicine at the University of Kentucky. Since then she has been a Clinical Assistant Professor at Ohio State University, and is a board member of the Initiative on Islam and Medicine. She is very active in community service and health equity initiatives. Sondos received her MD from the Jordan University of Science and Technology, and her Master’s in Public Health at the University of Kentucky.


Susan Smith

Susan Smith serves as the Director of Operations at the Fellowship of Reconciliation's USA branch, and was a resident of the multifaith Community of Living Traditions at Stony Point Center from 2014-2020. She is the former principal of three Islamic Schools, and the author of Biblical Children's Stories as Told in the Qur'an. She has worked in the United Nations' Department of Public Information and Department of Peace-keeping Operations, and has worked and volunteered doing refugee resettlement and sanctuary work in Palestine, Jordan, Turkey, the Western Sahara, Algeria, and the US. Susan received her MA in Educational Counseling and Development from Long Island University, a Masters Diploma in Middle East Studies from the American University in Cairo, and her BA in Broadcast Journalism from the University of Connecticut.


Jessica Sterling

Jessica Sterling has held several leadership roles in the Jewish community including Board President of a Jewish youth group, Board President of her synagogue sisterhood, and currently serves as VP on the executive board of her synagogue in Oakland. Jessica is the Jewish Community and Education Outreach Manager at Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC), based in the Bay Area. Her primary role includes partnering with faith leaders and organizations, and she participates in several Bay Area interfaith councils. Jessica received her B.A. in Art at the University of California, Santa Cruz and worked in Marketing and Publishing for 20+ years.


Ellen Stromberg

Ellen Stromberg is the Bay Area Jewish Co-Coordinator for the Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom, and has started six chapters in the greater Bay Area. The Sisterhood brings together Muslim and Jewish women to learn from each other, create community, and fight Islamophobia and antisemitism. Ellen has worked as a Jewish Educator since 1999, and is currently working with Bar and Bat Mitzvah students.


Dr. Maya Yoder

Dr. Maya Yoder was born in Uganda, East Africa and currently resides in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and 4 children. She is passionate about sharing her African culture and ethnic values. In her free time, she enjoys learning French and Arabic, and spending time with her family. Dr. Yoder received her Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Touro University in California, and a BS in Chemistry from Valdosta State University in Georgia.

Police Cultural Competency Instructors


Marwa Abdalla

Marwa has an MA from the School of Communication at San Diego State University and a BA in Political Science from Southwestern University. She currently works as a college instructor, independent researcher, and community educator. Marwa’s work has been recognized with numerous awards including the National Communication Association’s John T. Warren Award, the Young Scholar Award for Outstanding Research on American Muslims, the President’s Award for Research at San Diego State University, and the Jacobs Dean’s Fellowship from the Division of Social Sciences at the University of California San Diego. She speaks regularly on the experiences of American Muslims to university audiences, community leaders, law enforcement, and elected officials throughout Southern California.


Reza Nekumanesh

Reza has an MA in Islamic Leadership from Bayan Claremont and a BA in Religious Studies from CSU Fresno. He currently serves as the Executive Director of the Islamic Cultural Center of Fresno, the Chair of the Clergy Caucus of Fresno, as a Board Member of the Faith in the Valley, and as the General Secretary of the Central Valley Islamic Council. He is also a member of the Human Rights Coalition, the Mayor's Cabinet, the Police Chief's Advisory Board, and a sitting member of an additional half dozen societal improvement organizations. Reza’s work and interviews have been featured in over 100 print and television stories, podcasts and documentaries, including in The New York Times, The Washington Post, the Miami Herald, Iqama Magazine, and Islamic Horizons.


Asma Rashid

Asma holds an MA in International Relations from Quaid-i-Azam University, and served for 5 years as a trainer for the United Nations in the northern region of Pakistan, South Asia, and Central Asia. She has also served as a program coordinator for a nonprofit in Florida doing grassroots community mobilization, volunteer management, and events coordination. Currently Asma works with a health nonprofit in Santa Barbara, California, and manages the youth volunteer program at the Islamic Society of Santa Barbara. She is an active member of The Human Family and Daughters of Abraham, which are local interfaith groups that work to promote understanding and respect of different faith traditions.


Munir Shaikh

Munir holds an MA in Islamic Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles, and has taught courses on Middle Eastern history, Islam, and world history at several Southern California higher education institutions. He has nearly 30 years of experience as a nonprofit executive, and has contributed to the efforts of numerous Muslim American organizations. Munir currently serves as the Vice President of Operations and Academic Affairs at Bayan Islamic Graduate School, and is a sought after public educator, content author and reviewer, consultant, grant-writer and technical advisor for projects addressing Islam’s place in world history, interreligious and religious literacy issues, and Muslim American community developments.


Hedab Tarifi

Hedab holds an MBA in E-Business from the University of Phoenix and a BS in Computer Software Engineering from the University of Florida. She has been active in the Muslim and interfaith communities in Southern California since 1994, working to build bridges and bringing people together. She has served on the board of several Muslim and Interfaith nonprofit organizations, including the Shura Council of Southern California, Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), the Islamic Center of Southern California, University Religious Conference at UCLA, and the Los Angeles Council of Religious Leaders. In June 2018 Hedab was honored by the City of Los Angeles, Mayor Garcetti, and the Human Relations Commission for her leadership and community contributions to elevate interfaith relations.


Afaf Turjoman

Afaf holds an MA and BA in English Literature from the University of California Santa Barbara, and has served as a board member and trustee at the Islamic Center of Santa Barbara since 2008. She has been an active member of multiple interfaith groups, including the Sons and Daughters of Abraham, Torah and Quran study groups, and the Sisterhood of Salam-Shalom. Afaf has also served as a board member of the Interfaith Initiative of Santa Barbara, has sat on the steering committee at La Casa de Maria, and on the Walter Capps Advisory Council on Religious Pluralism at the University of California Santa Barbara. Afaf is dedicated to enriching the lives of others and celebrating the beauty of diversity through her teaching and religious leadership.

ING is an equal opportunity employer that values diversity of its staff.