Dr. Munir Jiwa
Munir Jiwa is the Founding Director of the Center for Islamic Studies and Associate Professor of Islamic Studies at the Graduate Theological Union, and a visiting scholar at the Institutions and Governance Program at UC Berkeley. He holds a PhD in Anthropology from Columbia University and a Masters in World Religions from Harvard Divinity School. His research interests include Islam and Muslims in the West, media, aesthetics, critical theory and decolonization, secularism and religious formation. He is the recipient of awards and grants from the Andrew Mellon Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, Ford Foundation, Henry Luce Foundation, and the Social Science Research Council. Since 1995 he has worked with Religions for Peace on interreligious programs around the world. Currently, he is serving on the Islamic Studies Advisory Group for Public Education at Stanford University, on the Steering Committee for the Contemporary Islam group at the AAR, and is an advisor to the Islamophobia Documentation and Research Project at the Center for Race and Gender at UC Berkeley. He has a manuscript in review, titled, Exhibiting Muslims: Art, Politics and Identity in New York City.
Salman Ravala, Esq.
M. Salman Ravala is an attorney, arbitrator, and mediator in New York City. He is the Founder of Dollar-A-Day Scholarship Fund, Member of the Advisory Council at Islamic Scholarship Fund, Member of the Board of Trustees at Scholarship America, and leads a variety of Access to Justice and Access to Higher Education initiatives around the United States and globally. He currently Chairs the Young Lawyers’ Friends of the New York Bar Foundation and teaches at New York Law School.
A former Visiting Legal Scholar at the United Nations Office of Legal Affairs, Mr. Ravala most recently served as the Ariane de Rothschild fellow for Dialogue and Social Entrepreneurship, a program held in partnership with Columbia Business School and Cambridge University. Ravala’s civic engagement and community service have been recognized with the American Red Cross Distinguished Service Award, the President’s Call to Service Award and an invitation to speak at the White House. His long term vision is to decrease the illiteracy rate in Muslim majority countries as well as throughout America as he believes that education leads to change, hope, progress, and opportunity.
Michael Wolfe is co-founder of Unity Productions Foundation and Co-Executive Producer for UPF Films, which has produced ten feature documentary films, mostly broadcast nationally on PBS. As an author, Wolfe’s first books on Islam were The Hadj, a first-person travel account, and One Thousand Roads to Mecca, an anthology of 10 centuries of pilgrim travel-writing. After September 11th, he edited Taking Back Islam: American Muslims Reclaim Their Faith, which won a 2003 Wilbur Award.
In 1997, Wolfe hosted a televised account of the Hajj from Mecca broadcast nationally on ABC Nightline. The program was nominated for Peabody, Emmy, George Polk, and National Press Club Awards. In 2003, Wolfe worked with CNN-International reporter Zain Verjee to produce a documentary on the Hajj. Michael is also the co-director of UPF’s Hollywood engagement program, called MOST – Muslims on Screen and Television, which works with writers and producers to develop more true-to-life Muslim characters and story lines on television and in films.
Dr. Hatem Bazian
Dr. Hatem Bazian, Professor of Near Eastern Studies at UC Berkeley, is a native Palestinian who immigrated to the US in pursuit of higher education. His twenty years of experience as a Palestinian activist have earned him the role of local media spokesperson on Middle East issues. He currently teaches at UC-Berkeley, where he graduated with a Ph.D. in Islamic studies, specializing in Islamic Law and the history of Muslims in Jerusalem. Dr. Bazian has also authored numerous articles on various aspects of the Middle East.
Dr. Farid Senzai
Farid Senzai is an Associate Professor of Political Science at Santa Clara University where he teaches courses on U.S. foreign policy and Middle East politics. Dr. Senzai was previously the Director of Research at the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding where he conducted extensive research projects on American Muslims. He was also a research associate at the Brookings Institution and a research analyst at the Council on Foreign Relations. Dr. Senzai is on the board of advisers at The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life and a board member at the Central Asia Institute. He is co-author of Educating the Muslims of America (Oxford University Press, 2009) His most recent book is Political Islam in the Age of Democratization(Palgrave, 2013). Dr. Senzai received his M.A. in international affairs from Columbia University and Ph.D. in politics and international relations from Oxford University.
Dr. Ejaz Naqvi
Born in Karachi Pakistan, Dr. Naqvi graduated from the University of Karachi medical school in 1983. Dr Naqvi served his medical residency training and fellowship at LAC_USC Medical Center at Los Angeles from 1986-90. He has been working with Kaiser Permanente in Walnut Creek and Martinez, CA since 1990. He is chief of the Pain Management Program and the Director of Graduate Medical Education at Kaiser Permanente, Walnut Creek, CA. He frequently gives lectures on Pain Management at the Kaiser Medical Center. He is Associate Professor of Medicine at University of California at San Francisco (UCSF).
Dr Naqvi has been involved with various community projects and organizations including local Islamic centers. He has been involved with various youth activities, establishing the center in Pleasanton, CA and helping write the bylaws and constitutions of Islamic Center of Zehra in Pleasanton, organizing health fares, and giving health care-related lectures to general community at local Islamic centers. He was the treasurer of the Association of Pakistani Physicians of North America (APPNA) local chapter in 2009. He is currently the Director of Communications and Public Relations of Imamia Medics International, USA and serves on the advisory board of Islamic Scholarship Fund (ISF), based in Alamo, CA.