ING Team

Program Content Contributors

Program Speakers and Trainers

Islamic Speakers Bureau (ISB)

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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.

aisha morgan
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.


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.


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.

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. In January 2021 she was made Rabbi Emerita and continues her involvement in the community. She is involved in ALF, American Leadership Forum, PACT, People Acting in Community Together, in the Los Gatos Clergy group and in an ongoing women's clergy association.. 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.


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.


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 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 will graduate with her Master’s in Theology and a Certificate in Spirituality and Social Change from the Graduate Theological Union in May 2021, and, and will continue her studies in GTU’s Interreligious Chaplaincy Certificate program. Katy holds an English degree from the University of California, Berkeley, and is an author, speaker, and blogger at Katysblog.


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.


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.


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 holds a Master of Divinity from Seabury Western Theological Seminary and a certificate for Spiritual Direction from St. Placid's Benedictine Priory. She is the first woman Rector at Ascension Episcopal Church in Stillwater Minnesota. She loves yoga and reading, gardening cycling and cooking. She is surrounded by her furry family of dogs cats and rabbits. There are some humans as well. Rev. 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.


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.


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.

Sheila Mohan
Sheila Mohan

Sheila Mohan holds an MBA from San Jose State University, and in her professional life has worked in local county and city government agencies. She is a volunteer driver in Cupertino's RYDE program which provides transportation to seniors, and is an active member of Chinmaya Mission, a Hindu spiritual organization. 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 morgan
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.


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.


Brisa Camacho-Lovell

Brisa is a middle school Spanish teacher, 8th grade advisor, and social justice educator at Redwood Day in Oakland. Both in and out of the classroom, Brisa enjoys engaging with and learning from her middle schoolers around themes of equity and inclusion, and is only ever hopeful when hearing their perspectives on the surrounding world. Brisa received her Bachelor of Arts degrees in World Politics and Hispanic Studies from Hamilton College.


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.


Kayla Heard

Kayla was born and raised in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where she began experiencing racism at a very young age. Her awareness led her on a path towards racial and social justice advocacy, primarily through education. Studying history, women and gender studies, and African and African American studies, Kayla has dedicated her life to the research and liberation of Black womyn and other minoritized groups. She currently works as a high school social studies teacher in Houston, Texas, and creates scholarship that challenges oppression and inequality. She received her Bachelor’s in Interdisciplinary Studies, African American studies, History, and Leadership Development, and her Master’s degrees in Liberal Arts and Sciences, both from Louisiana State University.


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.


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.


Aamna Nayyar

Aamna is a licensed dentist with the Dental Board of California and the Pakistan Medical & Dental Council. She has been serving as the Director of the Department of Dental Health at Santa Fe Community College (SFCC) since 2003, and has presented at various regional, state, national and international conferences. Aamna also serves in many volunteer leadership positions, including as Co-Chair of New Mexico Oral Health Coalition (NMOHC), as a board member of Villa Therese Catholic Charities (VTCC), and on Salam Academy’s Board of Directors. Her latest co-authored book is titled “Three Paths, One God: Traditional Scriptures and New Prayers.


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.


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. Sondos Al Sad

Dr. 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.

Police Cultural Competency Instructors


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.

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