January 22, 2021

Message from ING’s New CEO

 

Greeting of peace/salam alaykum to all our followers and supporters:

Wednesday’s Inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice-President Kamala Harris was the dawn of a new beginning. We witnessed again the immense possibilities of this great experiment in diversity and unity: a colorful mosaic of Americans affirming our deep love for our nation.

It has been an honor and privilege to begin this New Year in my new role as ING’s CEO. Even though I have known Maha and ING’s work for most of the organization’s 28 years, each day, I am even more amazed at how Maha’s evolving vision for ING deeply reflects the role of Muslim Americans in realizing our common American dream of creating a more perfect union. I am truly blessed with a staff that excites me with their creativity and energy. We are grateful to our national Board of Trustees and our San Francisco Bay Area Board of Directors for their expertise, wisdom and support that brings such richness to ING.

What follows is an update on the diversity of educational work we do at ING.

Tabassum Haleem
Chief Executive Officer

Joint Letter to President Biden on Unity
Turning the Page, to Unite, to Heal

In an ING statement to the Biden administration, religious, humanist, and civil rights leaders working together across lines of difference to promote the common good call upon all Americans to come together under the new administration to meet the two crucial challenges of this moment: the spreading pandemic and the deep polarization among our people. The joint statement pledges the following three commitments:

  • To call upon the federal government to do all it can to support communities whose lives and livelihoods have been devastated by the coronavirus pandemic, especially communities of color; and
  • To urge all Americans to meet the challenge of the pandemic by following the guidance of qualified medical professionals; and
  • To continue to engage across our differences, recognizing that many of the grievances that some Americans have about our country stem from deep-seated stereotypes they hold about different groups of our people as defined by race, ethnicity, national origin, or religion. We commit to reaching out to our neighbors who disagree with us with love and civility and to support government initiatives towards that end.

Read the full statement and its signatories here. If you wish to add your interfaith or civil rights organization’s name to this statement, complete this form. The letter will be delivered to the White House next week.

ING also joined Muslim Advocates and the No Ban Coalition celebrating the end of the Muslim and African Ban and calling on Congress to take the next step and to prevent similar bans from being enacted again. Read the full letter here.

Highlights from Past Events

Jan 18: ING founder Maha Elgenaidi spoke on a Rossing Center panel about different approaches to interreligious work and the complex relationship between interreligious dialogue and action. The event can be viewed on Facebook here.

From left to right, top to bottom, Dr. Sarah Bernstein, Director of the Rossing Center for Education and Dialogue; Rabbi Bob Kaplan, Director of the Center for Community Leadership; Dr. James Buchanan, Emeritus Director of the Brueggeman Center, Xavier University; and Maha Elgenaidi, Founder and Chief Innocation Officer of ING

 

Jan 18: In commemoration of World Religion Day, ING Program Manager Rahimeh Ramezany read from the Qu’ran on the theme “Caring for our Neighbors” at an event held by the Baha’is of Sunnyvale, CA. The event can be viewed on YouTube here.

Rahimeh Ramezany, ING Program Manager

 

Jan 15: In commemoration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, view ING’s panel of interreligious leaders in a conversation on the intersection of faith and activism and on how Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s message of love for country can help us overcome the sharp political polarization that has marked our nation for the past several years. The event can be viewed here: Facebook or YouTube.

From left to right, top to bottom, Ishaq Pathan, Bay Area Director at ING; Sheila Mohan, member of Chinmaya Mission in San Jose, CA; Rabbi Amy Eilberg, spiritual director, kindness coach, and peace and justice educator; AmarAtma Khalsa, Sikh Dharma Minister, a board certified chaplain, and an acupuncturist; Reverend Jeff Moore, Pastor of Rehoboth Christian Center in Alameda, CA, and President of the San Jose/Silicon Valley National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP); and Imam Faheem Shuaibe, Resident Imam of Masjidul Waritheen in Oakland, CA

 

Jan. 12: ING partnered with the California Department of Education on their Education to End Hate Initiative virtual classroom series on the topic “Understanding and Countering Islamophobia.” The event can be viewed here: Facebook or YouTube.

Ishaq Pathan, ING Bay Area Director and Maha Elgenaidi, ING Chief Innovation Officer

 

Jan. 7: ING founder Maha Elgenaidi taught a class on the topic “Challenging Islamophobia” for the University of California Santa Cruz Diversity and Inclusion Certificate Program.

Maha Elgenaidi, ING Chief Innovation Officer

Upcoming Noteworthy Events

Friday, Jan. 22, 12:30-1:00pm EST: ISNA Friday Reflections with Maha Elgenaidi: In partnership with the Islamic Society of North America, ING founder will be discussing Virtuous Activism. View on YouTube Live here.

 

Wednesday, Jan. 27, 5:30-7:30pm PST: Intercultural Speakers Bureau Training: If you or someone you know has previous public speaking experience, are familiar with U.S. history and the history of your cultural group, and have the capacity to participate in at least 4 panel presentations a year, then we encourage you to sign up for the upcoming speaker training.

 

Wednesday, Jan. 27, 12:30-1:30pm PST: Holocaust Remembrance Day – Jewish and Muslim Solidarity: Then & Now: In commemoration of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, we invite you to join ING Founder Maha Elgenaidi in conversation with world-renowned Jewish scholar Dr. Michael Berenbaum, Director of the Sigi Ziering Institute: Exploring the Ethical and Religious Implications of the Holocaust, and professor of Jewish Studies at the American Jewish University. Together they will discuss the long history of Jewish and Muslim solidarity related to the Holocaust and the lessons we can bring from that horrendous tragedy into our present-day context. Register on Zoom here.