In fulfillment of ING’s mission of promoting peace among all by fostering a deeper, more nuanced understanding of Muslims and other faith-based, racial/ethnic, and cultural communities, through teaching, learning, and engaging across differences, here are highlights of prominent events during this month.

Interfaith Speakers Bureau (IFSB) Events

11/14: Stop Hate and Spread Love in Sunnyvale


From left to right, Fatih Ferdi Ates from the Pacifica Institute, Jan McDaniel from the Los Altos United Methodist Church, ING Executive Director Maha Elgenaidi, Rafael Brinner from the Jewish Federation, Elizabeth Green from the FBI, and Vlad Khaykin from the ADL speaking on a panel hosted by the Pacifica Institute.

Maha addressed the rise of hate crimes and how to prevent them through allyship and education. The event was attended by 120 people of various backgrounds and began with a Thanksgiving dinner courtesy of the Turkish community and ended with a Q&A session with the panelists.

11/8: Introduction to Islam during Interfaith Panel on Judaism, Christianity, and Islam


ING Content Manager Ameena Jandali presenting on Islam as part of an interfaith symposium at Sonoma State University.

Ameena provided an overview of Muslims and Islam, addressing Muslim traditions and practices, Muslim history and contributions, including notable American Muslims today. She then addressed common misconceptions, and Islam’s relationship to other faiths, including Judaism and Christianity and ended with a Q & A session with the students. 

11/7: Shared Values Among Faiths in Santa Cruz


From left to right, Laurie Schlaepfer, Tenzin Chogkyi, Dr. Sulochina Lulla, Henry Millstein, ING Executive Director Maha Elgenaidi, and Harry Cornbleet presenting to students at the University of Santa Cruz (UCSC).

Panelists began by providing a brief background on their faith and proceeded to highlight important values that guide their daily lives. In addition to discussing shared values, panelists also touched on where these values may diverge on issues that are political in nature.

11/6: Shared Values Among Faiths in Mountain View


From left to right, Santa Clara County Supervisor Joe Simitian, Madhu Kopalle, Harry Cornbleet, Tenzin Chogkyi, Rev. George Anne McDonnell, and ING Executive Director Maha Elgenaidi speaking to audiences at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts.

Panelists provided an overview of their faith followed by a discussion on their shared values. Supervisor Simitian, who facilitated the panel, asked various questions of the panelists that teased out the similarities and differences found in their religious perspectives on various topics. This event was the final panel of a series of interfaith panels that were co-sponsored by the Office of County Supervisor Joe Simitian and the City of Mountain View. The series was attended by over 300 people.

11/6: Christians and Muslims in Gilroy


From left to right, ING Executive Director Maha Elgenaidi, and Joy Aspenall speaking to Gilroy middle school students.

Maha and Joy spoke about the study of Islam and Catholicism including shared beliefs, practices and values. Following their presentation, students asked questions that demonstrated their deep understanding of and respect for both traditions.

To book an Interfaith Speakers Bureau panel, visit this page.

Islamic Speakers Bureau (ISB) Events

11/25: Providing Health and Well-Being for Muslim Americans in North Carolina


ING Content Manager Ameena Jandali speaking to students at the University of North Carolina in Pembroke via webinar.

Ameena delivered an educator seminar titled, “Understanding Muslim Students: Fostering an Inclusive Environment” in which she discussed the challenges faced by Muslim students in the current environment as well as solutions for addressing these challenges.

11/15: Mosque Tour in Berkeley


ING Content Manager Ameena Jandali speaking with students from the Chaplaincy Institute at Berkeley Masjid.

After attending the Friday prayers, Ameena explained the different aspects of the service and mosque structure and answered their questions, which ranged from topics related to the prayer service to gender issues and hijab. The Chaplaincy Institute has been working with ING for over a decade.

11/15: A History of Muslims in America in San Jose


ING Speaker Ismael Nass-Duce speaking to middle school students in San Jose.

Supplementing school curriculum, Ismael discussed the beliefs and practices of Muslim Americans, commenting on their demographics, history, and contributions. Following his presentation, students asked many questions about certain Muslim practices including the Five Pillars of Islam and Muslim holidays.

11/14: Demographics of Muslims & Challenges Confronting Muslim Americans in San Jose


From left to right, Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen standing with ING Executive Director Maha Elgenaidi.

Maha presented ING’s cultural diversity seminar for law enforcement to the Sunnyvale DA’s office. Amidst a climate of Islamophobia, she emphasized hate crimes towards Muslims and ways the DA’s office can ensure the safety of all including Muslim Americans.  Following the seminar, Santa Clara County Deputy DA David Angel said “I can enthusiastically endorse the training given to my office by ING recently… The training offered by [the ING speaker] was a great first step in helping us to recognize the many subtle, and not so subtle, ways that Muslims can be de-humanized in our culture. It helped us see the many ways they can be victimized and harmed. It gave us tools to help us do our jobs and reach out to the Muslim community. We learned practical and helpful lessons about the ethnic, linguistic and ethnic diversity of the Muslim community in our country. Of course, we were passionately concerned about the rise in hate crimes targeting this community, particularly when that hatred is amplified by politicians, but we also learned practical wisdom in working with both Muslims who are more secular and those who are more devout. I can highly recommend the training for other District Attorney Offices. …ING is a great asset as we build bridges with our Muslim neighbors.

11/13: Getting to Know American Muslims and Their Faith in San Francisco


ING Bay Area Director Ishaq Pathan speaking to a middle school English class in San Francisco.

Ishaq visited this classroom just after students had finished reading Towers Falling, a book exploring the life of a Muslim student 15 years after the events of 9/11. After a brief presentation about Muslims traditions and practices, Ishaq answered students questions relating to life as a Muslim American.

11/13: Islamophobia and Its Impact in Alameda


ING Content Manager Ameena Jandali and ING Bay Area Director Ishaq Pathan presenting to middle school students in Alameda.

Ameena discussed the roots of Islamophobia, ways it is disseminated, and its impact, including the bullying of Muslim students. She asked the students about their experiences with bullying and a few of them shared personal stories including a Muslim boy who was overcome with sobs and a Muslim girl who said students who bullied her because of her faith made other students afraid to be her friend. Islamophobia has a real impact on the lives of even the youngest Muslim Americans.

11/12: Getting to Know American Muslims and Their Faith in San Mateo


ING Bay Area Director Ishaq Pathan and Content Manager Ameena Jandali speaking to middle school students in San Mateo.

Supplementing school curriculum, Ishaq and Ameena provided an overview of Muslims and Islam, highlighting notable Muslims Americans today and throughout history.

11/7: Getting to Know American Muslims and Their Faith & Muslim Women Beyond the Stereotypes


ING Content Manager Ameena Jandali speaking to students at a private Catholic high school in San Francisco.

After providing an overview of Islam and Muslims, Ameena specifically addressed Muslim women, highlighting their status throughout the world, and their many contributions in politics, academia, sports, and movements for reform.

11/5: Islamophobia and Its Impact in Milpitas


ING Bay Area Director Ishaq Pathan presenting to middle school students in the South Bay.

Ishaq addressed Islamophobia, its roots, and how to counter it. Throughout the presentation, students were able to make connections between Islamophobia and other forms of racism and bigotries including anti-Semitism and anti-Blackness.

To book an ING presentation, visit this page.

INGYouth Events

11/17: INGYouth Workshop in Berkeley


ING Bay Area Director Ishaq Pathan delivering this workshop to Muslim teens at an Islamic school in Berkeley.

Ishaq facilitated a discussion among Muslim youth on their school experiences with bullying before delving into how to respond to loaded questions about their identities as young Muslim Americans.

11/15: INGYouth Workshop in Berkeley


ING Bay Area Director Ishaq Pathan delivering this workshop at Berkeley High School.

Ishaq spoke with the high school Muslim Student Association about pluralism and diversity within Islam and ways students at the school can respect one another’s practices and expressions of faith and identity.

To book an INGYouth workshop, visit this page.