Paula Thompson-2014 Recipient

Paula 150
Major: Islamic Studies
Degree: M.A.
School: Graduate Theological Union
Sponsor: Muslim Community Center East Bay (MCC)


I grew up Mormon in Southern California and converted to Islam at the age of 21. I am also the mother of five Muslim-American children. In my lifetime, I have been blessed with travel to Europe, Africa and Asia, including a trip to Mecca.
In the academic realm at the University of California, Berkeley, I serve as co-ordinator of the Islamophobia Research and Documentation Project (IRDP), co-editor of the bi-annual academic journal Islamophobia Studies Journal and co-ordinate the annual International Islamophobia Conference bringing together academics, practitioners, activists, artists, from across the globe with an emphasis on the criminalization of Muslims, violations of their rights and civil liberties, domestic and international surveillance programs, extra-judicial use of force on Muslims and Arabs, interventions, military campaigns, and policies. In addition, I serve as an assistant for the critical courses Muslims in America and Islamophobia and Constructing Otherness.
My political service has been as an intern in Washington DC with the League of Arab States and the National Council on U.S-Arab Relations participating in briefings at the United States Department of State, Office of the Director of National Security and the United States Department of Homeland Security. In the non-profit sector I have worked with the Institute of Social Policy and Understanding co-ordinating a first of its kind, San Francisco Bay Area wide mosque survey regarding Muslim civic participation, identity and volunteerism bringing together mosques, University of California students and community volunteers.
I obtained my B.A in Interdisciplinary Studies with an emphasis on Islam, Muslim networks and Muslim cultural production and am currently obtaining my M.A degree in Islamic Studies at the Graduate Theological Union (GTU) in Berkeley, CA.
I am very thankful for the generosity of the donors of the Islamic Scholarship Fund and look forward inshallah to further serving the community in the future.

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