Justice & Equity Speaker Series

Since our inception Zakat Foundation of America has fought for the underrepresented, amplifying voices from Africa to America, standing for justice and serving humanity.

“No one is Free until we are all Free.”

2021 Summer/Spring Series

Islam in Black and White:
An American Intrafaith Conversation on Race

Date: 6/17/21
Time: 6:00 PM CT
(US & Canada)


Part of a series, Part I of “Islam in Black and White: An American Intrafaith Conversation on Race” will be a thoughtful and engaging conversation between two scholars, Dr. Ingrid Mattson and Dr. Aisha El-Amin, moderated by Donna Neil-Demir, will share insights regarding the challenges and opportunities regarding race relations in North America.  While many Muslim converts to the faith enter with the idea of complete inclusivity, the historical antecedents of racism as experienced in this region have permeated within the tradition, continuing artificial barriers along the lines of race.

The purpose of this series is to introduce an honest discussion amongst American converts to Islam. This webinar series will:

  • Provide a platform to initiate an honest, heartfelt, and fact-based discussion about race within our North American cultural context;

  • Promote the healing of our hearts and minds;

  • Educate each other on the ways in which racial barriers inhibit spiritual growth;

  • Uncover our own possible inherent biases that contradict Quranic teachings; and

  • Identify solutions through faith.

Featured Panelists

Dr. Ingrid Mattson

Dr. Ingrid Mattson was born and raised in Canada, earning a BA (hons) in Philosophy and Fine Arts, then moved to the United States to study at the University of Chicago, earning a PhD in Near Eastern Language and Civilizations in 1999.  From 1998 to 2012 she was Professor of Islamic Studies at Hartford Seminary in Connecticut where she developed and directed the first accredited graduate program for Muslim chaplains in North America and served as Director of the Macdonald Center for the Study of Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations. Since 2012 she has held the London and Windsor Community Chair in Islamic Studies at Huron University College at Western University in London, Canada. She has established the Office of Interfaith and Community Engagement in Washington, DC. She is the recipient of numerous awards as well as honorary doctorates from Trinity College (Hartford), the Chicago Theological Seminary and the University of Waterloo.

Aisha El-Amin

Aisha El-Amin grew up on the southside of Chicago as a second generation Muslim in a family of eight. Absent the knowledge of alternatives, after graduating high school she joined the United States Army. After 5 years of service with numerous awards and recognitions, including Soldier of the Year in the Netherlands, Aisha was honorably discharged as a sergeant.  She went on to receive a Master’s degree in Teaching and Learning and a PhD in Policy Studies in Urban Education.  With the belief that education is a form of liberation and that equity and justice are moral imperatives Dr. El-Amin went on to become a state certified teacher, an elected school board member and board member with Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR)-Chicago, Institute for Social Policy and Understanding (ISPU) and Masjid Al-Taqwa. Additionally, Dr. El-Amin has served in numerous leadership roles at Chicago’s largest, and only public research university, where she currently serves as the Associate Provost.


Past Events