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.

Intercultural Speakers Bureau (ICSB) Events

10/23: Creating Inclusive and Equitable Communities in San Jose


From left to right, ICSB speakers Poncho Guevara, Luther Jackson, Marci Gerston, and ING Executive Director Maha Elgenaidi speaking to Silicon Valley leaders at the American Leadership forum.

Panelists discussed racism and bigotry in the US and explained their historical and present day factors including colonialism, racialization, xenophobia, and systemic racism. Participants offered their reflections on the material covered and discussed calls to action on how to move forward to build a just society.

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

Interfaith Speakers Bureau (IFSB) Events

10/26: Panel on Death and Dying in Oakland


ING panelists Helena Miller-Fleig, Tenzin Chogkyi, ING Bay Area Director Ishaq Pathan, Madhu Kopalle, and ING Executive Director Maha Elgenaidi with members of the Islamic Cultural Center of Northern California (ICCNC).

Panelists discussed various aspects on death and dying from the perspectives of their faith traditions for this special panel as part of the Reimagining End of Life festival. Participants were surprised to learn about a few striking similarities in the five faiths represented: Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism.

10/20: Panel on Justice in Berkeley


ING Content Manager Ameena Jandali speaking alongside Buddhist, Christian and Jewish panelists at the Berkeley Buddhist Temple.

Ameena joined other panelists to discuss the topic of justice in their faith traditions. The panel opened with a general framework on justice before opening up to questions from the audience on the topic.

10/16: Separation of Church and State in San Mateo


From left to right, ING Bay Area Director Ishaq Pathan, ING Executive Director Maha Elgenaidi, Katy Dickinson, Bob Frankle, and Madhu Kopalle speaking to all 9th grade students at a high school in San Mateo.

Panelists presented overviews of their faith and discussed their own attitudes towards the separation of church and state. Panelists also addressed their opinions on contemporary cases where government intersects with religion.

10/13: Keeping Faith-Based Organizations
and Houses of Worship Safe in Albany


ING Bay Area Director Ishaq Pathan speaking on a panel hosted by Pacifica Institute.

Ishaq discussed the importance of building relationships in the community and using education as a tool to address and challenge the underlying beliefs and attitudes that give rise to bigoted and hateful acts.

10/6: Religion and Environment in Kenwood


From left to right, ING Content Manager Ameena Jandali, Terry Fletcher, Henry Millstein, and Dr. Sulochina Lulla speaking to audiences at St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church in Sonoma County.

Panelists provided a brief background on their religion and proceeded to discuss the ways in which their faith tradition approaches the environment. The panel was followed by a lively discussion with audience members who expressed much appreciation. One of the event organizers said, “Thank you so much for the excellent presentation today and the lively conversation. Each of you brought an honest perspective of your faith tradition and addressed the environmental concerns. You all have enriched the thinking of our various participants.”

10/3: Religion and Extremism in Santa Cruz


From left to right, Sheila Mohan, Tenzin Chogkyi, Bob Frankle, Laurie Schlaepfer, and ING Executive Director Maha Elgenaidi speaking to middle school students in Santa Cruz.

Panelists opened with a brief background of their faith and proceeded to address the ways in which extremism manifests among fringe groups within their religions. Students had engaging and thought-provoking questions that initiated a dynamic conversation.

10/2: Shared Values Among Faiths and Religion in the Workplace in San Francisco


From left to right, ING Bay Area Director Ishaq Pathan, ING Executive Director Maha Elgenaidi, George Anne McDonnell, Karen Stiller, and Sheila Mohan speaking to members of the corporation Stripe in San Francisco.

After providing an overview of their faiths, panelists discussed faith-based values that guide their lives. They also addressed the ways in which their practice of faith impacts them in the workplace. The requester of this panel commented, “ING brought an incredible panel of local religious & community leaders to Stripe to provide their perspectives on faith in their day-to-day lives and in the workplace. In addition to providing friendly and accessible people and stories, the panelists helped create a sense of comfort and community in the room that prompted a thoughtful conversation and set of questions afterward. ING was incredibly professional and easy to work with in getting the panel set up – I had to do very little and the staff was great to work with.”

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

Islamic Speakers Bureau (ISB) Events

10/30: Islamophobia and It’s Impact
on Muslim, Sikh, and Other Americans in Fremont


ING Bay Area Director Ishaq Pathan speaking to students at an East Bay middle school.

Ishaq provided an overview of Islamophobia including its origins, how it is disseminated, how it affects Muslim Americans, and how to challenge it. Students were surprised to learn that Islamophobia existed before the events of 9/11 and grateful for having their assumptions challenged.

10/29: Muslim Contributions to Civilization in Cupertino


ING Bay Area Director Ishaq Pathan answering questions about Muslims for middle school students in the South Bay.

Ishaq highlighted the contributions of Muslims from the so-called Golden Age of Islam in the medieval period to the present in a multitude of fields from art, literature, philosophy, and architecture to cuisine, clothing, and furniture. Students were interested to learn how civilizations interacted with one another through trade, travel, and diplomacy.

10/24: Understanding Muslim Students:
Fostering an Inclusive Environment in San Jose

ING Executive Director Maha Elgenaidi speaking at the Santa Clara County Office of Education 2019 Inclusion Collaborative.

Maha provided valuable resources for preventing harassment and bullying and improving interaction with Muslim students and their families and presented teaching resources that build an inclusive learning environment for all students. The seminar also addressed the roots of perceptions of a people that date back to colonialism and the process of racialization, offering ways to counter the prejudice thus produced.

10/24: A History of Muslims in America in Massachusetts


ING Content Manager Ameena Jandali presenting to high school students via webinar.

Ameena presented about the long history of Muslims in the United States, including references to Muslims by the Founding Fathers, possible pre-Columbian contacts between African Muslims and the New World, and the substantial, documented presence of Muslims among enslaved Africans. She then described the successive waves of immigration that brought Muslims to our country from the 19th century on and the rediscovery of Islam among African Americans in the 20th century. She concluded by highlighting notable American Muslims in various walks of life, including politicians, journalists, sports celebrities, musicians, physicians, and educators.

10/24: Islamophobia and its Impact
on Muslim Americans in Hayward


ING Bay Area Director Ishaq Pathan speaking at an assembly to all students at an East Bay middle school.

Ishaq emphasized the origins of Islamophobia, its dissemination, its impact, and ways to counter it, while making numerous connections between Islamophobia and other forms of bigotry, including anti-Semitism and anti-Blackness.

10/23: Muslim Women Beyond the Stereotypes in San Francisco


ING Content Manager Ameena Jandali presenting to 12th grade students at a private Catholic school.

Ameena provided an overview of the status of Muslim women today in areas such as education, work, government, and movements for reform and highlighted the contributions of notable Muslim women both historically and today in politics, academia, sports, and other fields. She then presented Qur’anic and prophetic teachings about the role and responsibilities of Muslim women and examined the questions of hijab and gender relations, addressing some of the major misconceptions about Muslim women, concluding with an overview of Muslim organizations working for women’s rights.

10/22: Muslim Contributions to Civilization in Fremont


ING Bay Area Director Ishaq Pathan speaking to all 7th grade students at an East Bay middle school.

Ishaq provided an overview of Muslim contributions to civilization while addressing their impact, not only in regions where Muslims were the majority but also where Muslims were key trading partners in Europe and beyond.

10/21: Muslim Contributions to Civilization in Cupertino


ING Speaker Ismael Nass-Duce and Bay Area Director Ishaq Pathan presenting to middle school students.

The speakers focused on a variety of contributions, from art, literature, philosophy, and architecture to cuisine, clothing, and furniture and described the impact of these contributions not only in regions where Muslims were the majority but also where Muslims were key trading partners in Europe and beyond.

10/11: Getting to Know American Muslims and Their Faith in Berkeley


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

In addition to teaching about Muslims and their Faiths in the context of social studies, Ishaq and Ameena answered questions on contemporary events relating to Islam and addressed their own personal experiences growing up as Muslim students in middle school.

10/10: Islamic Cultural Fair in San Mateo County


ING Bay Area Director Ishaq Pathan speaking to middle school students during their Islamic Civilization Cultural Fair.

Supplementing social studies curriculum, Ishaq spoke with small groups about demographics of Muslims and beliefs and practices such as the Five Pillars of Islam. Students were fascinated to learn that the country with the largest Muslim population is Indonesia.

10/9: Getting to Know American Muslims and Their Faith in San Francisco


ING Bay Area Director Ishaq Pathan and Content Manager Ameena Jandali speaking to high school students.

Supplementing school curriculum, Ameena and Ishaq discussed Muslim beliefs and practices while making connections between Islam and Christianity including the shared reverence of key figures such as Mary and Jesus.

10/7: Islamophobia and Its Impact
on Muslims, Sikhs, and Other Americans in San Jose


ING Executive Director Maha Elgenaidi presenting to students at San Jose State University.

Maha began by defining and examining both historic and contemporary sources which contribute to Islamophobia. She then looked at ways that Islamophobia is disseminated, including through the media, Hollywood, politicians, the internet and social media among others. She concluded with strategies for countering Islamophobia through education and interfaith engagement.The college professor and District Superintendent commented, “My students were shocked that Islamophobia movements were being funded, especially in the U.S. I want to thank your ING speaker for educating us about Islamophobia and how we can counter it and become allies. It was very eye opening to all of my students who had very little knowledge about it before the presentation.”

10/3: Muslim Women Beyond the Stereotypes in Wisconsin


ING Content Manager Ameena Jandali delivering this presentation to college students.

After providing a brief overview of women in Islam, Ameena dispelled common stereotypes and covered the status of Muslim women today, including the growing number of female Muslim heads of state. She also provided an overview of the rights of women that are found in Islamic scripture and explained common misconceptions around hijab, arranged marriage, and other issues.

10/1: Getting to Know American Muslims and Their Faith in San Leandro


ING Bay Area Director Ishaq Pathan speaking to middle school students in the East Bay.

Supplementing school curriculum, Ishaq provided an overview of Muslim traditions and practices which was followed by answering various questions students had about Islam and Muslims.

To book an ING presentation, visit this page.

INGYouth Events

10/18: INGYouth Workshop in New Jersey via Webinar


ING Bay Area Director Ishaq Pathan delivering this workshop via webinar for youth with our New Jersey ING affiliate.

Ishaq facilitated a discussion among Muslim youth on their school experiences with bullying and then focused on student rights in school and ways to constructively respond to situations of bullying and teasing. The requester remarked, “Kids loved it and said they benefited immensely and found it relatable & fun!”

To book an INGYouth workshop, visit this page.