WHAT: A presentation about understanding the causes of Islamophobia and exploring ways to combat it will be the focus of this year’s first Robert A. Harvie Social Justice Lecture at Saint Martin’s University. Aneelah Afzali, executive director of the Muslim Association of Puget Sound-American Muslim Empowerment Network (MAPS-AMEN), will present the lecture and workshop. Afzali’s presentation, “Combating Islamophobia,” will explore several topics, including why hate crimes against Muslims in America are at an all-time high in the U.S.; why anti-Muslim proposals and vitriolic rhetoric have reached unprecedented levels; and how all the hate against Muslims arose. Afzali will also discuss how to take concrete action steps to combat Islamophobia and promote our shared American values of religious freedom and diversity.
WHO: Afzali is the executive director of the American Muslim Empowerment Network (AMEN), a new initiative of the Muslim Association of Puget Sound (MAPS) in response to the challenges of our times. She also serves as a governing board member of the Faith Action Network, and director of legal clinic at the Muslim Community Resource Center. She is an attorney and graduate of Harvard Law School. Four years ago, after a spiritual awakening and witnessing the growing divisiveness in the U.S., Afzali took a break from her legal career to pursue two things her faith emphasizes – knowledge and service. Since then, she has served as a community activist, interfaith leader, educator and presenter, guest preacher, events coordinator, strategic adviser, civil rights and social justice advocate, community capacity-builder, seeker of knowledge and volunteer attorney. To continue this work, she founded MAPS-AMEN in December 2016. She graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in psychology (and minors in business and Spanish) from the University of Oregon Robert D. Clark Honors College, and was named a Chayes International Service Fellow at Harvard Law School.
WHEN: Friday, September 22, 4:00 p.m.
WHERE: Saint Martin’s University, Harned Hall Room 110, 5000 Abbey Way SE, Lacey, WA 98503