Instructors: Preventing & Responding to Anti-Muslim Bigotry

POST-Certified Cultural Diversity (IGP) Course # 1384-49200

Maha Elgenaidi, Executive Director (read Maha's blog here)
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).

Ishaq Pathan, Bay Area Director (read Ishaq's blog here)
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. Ishaq is currently an Interfaith Youth Core 2019 Innovation Fellow, where he is 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, an organization dedicated toward promoting dialogue between people from different religious and secular backgrounds. Ishaq is also a member of the Interfaith Youth Core Alumni network and the International Foreign Language Honor Society, Phi Sigma Iota.

Ameena Jandali, Founding Member, Content Manager and Trainer (read Ameena's blog here)
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.

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.

Munir Shaikh, Cultural Competency Instructor
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.

Marwa Abdalla, Cultural Competency Instructor
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, Cultural Competency Instructor
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.

Hedab Tarifi, Cultural Competency Instructor
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, Cultural Competency Instructor
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.

Asma Rashid, Cultural Competency Instructor
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.

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