Paula Thompson – 2017 Recipient

Major: Cultural and Historical Studies of Religion
Degree: Ph.D.
School: Graduate Theological Union
Islamic Cultural Center of Northern California (ICCNC)



Message to Supporters: Paula would like to thank all of the generous ISF donors and volunteers who make it possible for scholars such as herself to engage in important academic work and advocacy. Collectively we are strong!

Bio: Paula Thompson is currently pursuing her PhD in Cultural and Historical Studies of Religion with a focus on Islamic Studies at the Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, CA where she also received her M.A in Islamic Studies. Prior to that, Thompson obtained her B.A in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of California, Berkeley. A long time convert to Islam and mother of five children, she is also dedicated to advocacy and serving the community. She is the coordinator of the Islamophobia Research and Documentation Project at the University of California, Berkeley.

Thompson’s research interests center on the imbrication of religion, culture, power and challenging complex systems supporting oppressive social structures and injustice. Her specific focus has been on Islam, the War on Terror, militarism, securitization, and Countering Violent Extremism (CVE). Currently she is engaging in inter-religious collaborative research as part of a grant she received. The project is entitled “The War on Terror and the War on Drugs: Exploring Parallels and Constructing an Interfaith Response to US State-Sponsored Violence in the Middle East, Latin America, and Immigrant Communities.” It illuminates the relationship between U.S. policies of War on Terror and War on Drugs, their intersectionalities and impact on marginalized communities in an effort to educate, disrupt oppression and mobilize for social justice utilizing powerful and transformative aspects of Muslim and Christian theologies.

Areas of Interest:
Cultural and Historical Studies of Religion, Islamophobia 

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