This Wednesday I gave a talk at Westminster College in Missouri! Initially I had some concerns with going, considering some of the decisions the local government had recently made, but I'm glad I went! I had good dialogue with students and staff alike, who came away with a new understanding of Islam. KOMU 8 local news also covered my talk, you can check out their article here!
Yesterday, I headed to Washington, D.C. to meet with 12 participants on the U.S. Department of State's International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) looking at Social Media Creatively Connecting Communities.
Our fruitful discussion centered on efforts to combat Islamophobia and raise awareness about Islam.
I headed down to Atlanta to speak about my travels across the U.S., and how to bring about tolerance in a time of polarization, at Welcoming America's Welcoming Interactive conference.
I spoke before an audience of about 200 local government and nonprofit professions who are concerned about issues related to anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim and white supremacist rhetoric and legislation.
On March 30, I got the chance to speak with a small high school class at St. George’s Episcopal School in rural Georgia via Skype.
On Monday, I had the opportunity to speak to students at the University of Baltimore about countering Islamophobia through open, positive dialogue. It was an honor, as always!
This week I had the opportunity to return to the campus of Johns Hopkins University, where I completed my MA/MBA years ago, to kick off the Bloomberg School of Public Health's incredibly important new "Understanding American Muslims" seminar.
If you're in the area, I urge you to support this timely new endeavor. If you're not, don't worry – they livestreamed Wednesday's event, so you can watch this seminar series from anywhere.
You can read more about it here:
Mansoor Shams, a Muslim American veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, invited his audience Wednesday to call out whatever stereotypes came to mind just by looking at him.
When, inevitably, no one did, Shams supplied them himself: "The terrorist. The Bin Laden. The ISIS guy."
Shams, speaking at a Johns Hopkins seminar on American Muslims, challenged everyone to grapple directly with those kind of thoughts rather than flicking them away to the subconscious.
Interested in having me speak at your event or institution?
Get in touch and let's see what we can do.
Last week I had the chance to Skype into a classroom of middle school students in a small town in Iowa – population 3,500. Had a great time talking to these incredibly bright seventh and eight graders! In fact, I'm pretty sure I came away from our discussion having learned just as much as they did.
This weekend, I helped organize an event titled "Veterans and Muslims United Against Hatred" at the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Baltimore's mosque.
I had the great honor of speaking alongside Retd. Col. Scott Cooper of Marine Corps, founder of Veterans for American Ideals, an organization I've worked with previously; Sarah Feinberg, U.S. Marine Veteran now working as senior financial analyst at The Washington Post; and AMC Baltimore's own president, Dr. Faheem Younus.
You can read more about this event here.