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Today, at the request of a Muslim parent, we are meeting with a large Bay Area school district to discuss cultural diversity training for their educators and other school staff after multiple incidences of harassment of Muslim students. Earlier this year, we handled a similar case in another Bay Area school where a Muslim student was repeatedly called a “terrorist.” The district there decided to invite ING trainers to address ways to build an inclusive environment for all students in their school district after they realized the prevalence of similar cases in their schools.
Last month, we delivered two 4-hour cultural diversity trainings for police officers in the East Bay which were so well received that they asked us to repeat the training a third time for officers who missed the first two. And this summer, we delivered cultural diversity trainings for healthcare providers about interacting with Muslim patients. Besides our cultural diversity trainings, in the last month alone, we have scheduled over 100 presentations.
Increasing demands for ING presenters:
At ING, I find myself having to repeatedly forgo marketing of our programs in order to control the number of requests that come into our office because I don’t have enough ING presenters to fill the requests – that is how great the demand is for our programs, which has been the case for some time now. We may have to hire fulltime presenters and trainers instead of only relying on volunteer speakers who are prepared and certified by ING.
Additionally, the types of requests that ING is receiving are no longer for Islam 101; people are rightly asking difficult and important questions about what they are reading and seeing on television in relation to Muslims. So we can’t just refer these requests to anyone. It takes a trained speaker with adequate knowledge about the topic as well as the political environment and current events to fulfill this important need.
Working together, we can counter extremist voices:
In order to do more and fill increasing demands for education about Muslims and their faith and interreligious engagement, which are our core competencies, we need the community’s support here and across the country.
We know from polls that the more that Americans know about Islam or interact with a Muslim, the more balanced their perception of Muslims and their faith and the less bias and discrimination there is in that community.
But we can’t do this work without your support. We invite you to join us at an event near you like our upcoming Bay Area Endowment Supporters Dinners.
CEO and Trustee
ING’s Fall 2015 Endowment Supporters Dinners:
From Villains to Heroes: How Muslims Will Become
the Protagonists of American Narratives
“American Muslim State of the Union”
A humorous yet serious look at the status of American Muslims today
Dean is a columnist for the Daily Beast, regular guest on CNN and other network news, and co-producer of nationally renowned comedy programs Axis of Evil and The Muslims are Coming and more recently the organizer of the New York Muslim Funny Fest. Event time is 6:00 to 8:30 PM. Register here.
In this recent CNN interview, Dean Obeidallah spars with neuroscientist Sam Harris over a presidential candidate’s statements about Muslims.
Sunday Oct 25, Santa Clara Marriott – with Wajahat Ali
“Between Antagonist and Token: Rewriting the Muslim American Hero”
Muslim-American cultural production as civic participation
Wajahat is a host on Al-Jazeera America, and author of Fear, Inc, The Roots of the Islamophobia Network in America and Domestic Crusaders, a two-act play about American Muslims. Event time is 6:00 to 8:30 PM. Register here.
In this video for Bayan Claremont Islamic Graduate School, Wajahat Ali addresses American Islamophobia and the #IStandforAhmed response to the unlawful arrest of Ahmed Mohamed.
Saturday Nov 14, San Ramon Marriott – with Haroon Moghul
“Can American Muslims Stay Muslim?”
Asking difficult questions to bring about meaningful change
Haroon is an academic and public commentator, regular guest on network news on Islam and public affairs, and creator of the Confessions Ramadan video series on YouTube. Event time is 6:00 to 8:30 PM. Register here.
Haroon Moghul debates Ayaan Hirsi Ali on the need (or lack of need) for an Islamic Reformation on FOX News’ The Kelly File.
Tickets for each event are $55. VIP Tables of 10 and sponsorships are $5,000, part of which will go towards the ING endowment. For all sponsorships, contact ING Development Manager Kate Bridges-Lyman at [email protected]