Symposium 2021 – Speakers

Arshia Ali-Khan, 

Interim CEO & Chief Development Officer, Muslim Legal Fund of America

A visionary leader, with a professional career reflecting over two decades of creative, transformational leadership, in corporate and non-profit organizational development. From high-profile organizations to local individuals and entrepreneurs, Arshia serves as an experienced transformational organization development and human emergence leader and adviser. She has lead organizations effectively with cross-functional & multi-cultural teams to transform and expand organizations throughout her career.

In August 2018, Arshia joined the Muslim Legal Fund of America (MLFA) as their first ever Chief Development Officer (CDO) spear heading organizational development strategies, building development infrastructure, enhancing development activities, and planning and executing comprehensive development campaigns for the Muslim Legal Fund of America.

On June, 2nd 2020, Arshia was appointed by the MLFA Board of Directors to become MLFA’s first Interim CEO, leading the organizational through transformation in order to achieve nonprofit best practices in the service of its mission to advance equality and justice for American Muslim organizations and individuals by combating the injustices done in the name of national security.

Hatem Bazian, PdD, 

MLFA Interim Chair, MLFA Board of Directors

Professor, Middle East Cultures and Languages and Asian American Studies, UC Berkeley; President, International Islamophobia Studies Research Association; Co-founder & Professor of Islamic Law and Theology Zaytuna College, Berkeley

Hatem Bazian is a co-founder and Professor of Islamic Law and Theology at Zaytuna College, the 1st Accredited Muslim Liberal Arts College in the United States. In addition, Prof. Bazian is a lecturer in the Departments of Near Eastern and Asian American and Asian Diaspora Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Bazian between 2002-2007, also served as an adjunct professor of law at Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California, Berkeley. He teaches courses on Islamic Law and Society, Islam in America: Communities and Institutions, De-Constructing Islamophobia and Othering of Islam, Religious Studies, and Middle Eastern Studies. In addition to Berkeley, Prof. Bazian served as a visiting Professor in Religious Studies at Saint Mary’s College of California 2001-2007 and adviser to the Religion, Politics and Globalization Center at UC Berkeley.

In Spring 2009, Prof. Bazian founded at Berkeley the Islamophobia Research and Documentation Project at the Center for Race and Gender, a research unit dedicated to the systematic study of Othering Islam and Muslims. Prof. Bazian in Spring 2012 launched the Islamophobia Studies Journal, which is published bi-annually through a collaborative effort between the Islamophobia Research and Documentation Project of the Center for Race and Gender at the University of California at Berkeley, the Arab and Muslim Ethnicities and Diasporas Initiative for the School of Ethnic Studies at San Francisco State University; the Center for Islamic Studies at the Graduate Theological Union, the International Centre for Muslim and non-Muslim Understanding at the University of South Australia, and Zaytuna College. In addition to academic work, Dr, Bazian is a weekly columnist for the Turkish Daily Sabah Newspaper and Turkey Agenda online magazine. Dr. Bazian is founder and national Chair of American Muslims for Palestine, board member of the Islamic Scholarship Fund, Muslim Legal Fund of America, President of Dollar for Deen Charity, and Chair of Northern California Islamic Council. He is also curenlty the interim Chair of the Board for the Muslim Legal Fund of America.

john a. powell,  

Director of the Othering & Belonging Institute at UC Berkeley

Robert D. Haas Chancellor’s Chair in Equity and Inclusion & Professor of Law, African American Studies, and Ethnic Studies at UC Berkeley 

john a. powell is an internationally recognized expert in the areas of civil rights, civil liberties, structural racism, housing, poverty, and democracy. john is the Director of the Othering and Belonging Institute at the University of California, Berkeley, a research institute that brings together scholars, community advocates, communicators, and policymakers to identify and eliminate the barriers to an inclusive, just, and sustainable society and to create transformative change toward a more equitable world.

He was previously the Executive Director at the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity at the Ohio State University, and prior to that, the founder and director of the Institute for Race and Poverty at the University of Minnesota. john formerly served as the National Legal Director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). He is a co-founder of the Poverty & Race Research Action Council and serves on the boards of several national and international organizations. john led the development of an “opportunity-based” model that connects affordable housing to education, health, health care, and employment and is well-known for his work developing the frameworks of “targeted universalism” and “othering and belonging” to effect equity-based interventions. john has taught at numerous law schools including Harvard and Columbia University.  He has written extensively on a number of issues including structural racism, racial justice, concentrated poverty, opportunity-based housing, voting rights, affirmative action in the United States, South Africa and Brazil, racial and ethnic identity, spirituality and social justice, and the needs of citizens in a democratic society. He is the author of several books, including his most recent work, Racing to Justice: Transforming our Concepts of Self and Other to Build an Inclusive Society.

Jonathan Manes, 

Attorney at the Roderick & Solange MacArthur Justice Center

Adjunct Professor of Law at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law.

Jonathan Manes is an attorney at the Roderick & Solange MacArthur Justice Center and Adjunct Professor of Law at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law. Having engaged in significant voting rights litigation and spanning the range of post-9/11 civil liberties challenges, Manes is an expert in government transparency, free speech, and press freedom and has published scholarly work on the conflicts between secrecy and democratic accountability with respect to national security and surveillance practices. His work focuses on civil rights and civil liberties violations that flow from surveillance, national security policies, police technologies, and detention.

At the MacArthur Justice Center, he succeeded in winning the freedom of a Muslim immigrant detained under a never-before-used Patriot Act provision that purports to allow indefinite detention on U.S. soil without charge or trial. Manes’ current work challenges the racially disparate impact of police surveillance at the local level. Previously, he directed the Civil Liberties & Transparencies Clinic at the University at Buffalo School of Law.

He also served as a Clinical Lecturer and Abrams Fellow at Yale Law School’s Media Freedom & Information Access Clinic. Manes’ work at Yale included successful lawsuits demanding transparency about dragnet national security surveillance, novel police technologies, and harsh conditions faced by Muslim prisoners in federal custody