Bios of AMV 2010 Peace Convention speakers and panelists
Judge LaDoris Hazzard Cordell
LaDoris Hazzard Cordell is a 1974 graduate of Stanford Law School. In April 1982, Governor Jerry Brown appointed Ms. Cordell to the Municipal Court of Santa Clara County, making her the first African American woman judge in all of northern California. In June 1988, Judge Cordell overwhelmingly won election to the Superior Court of Santa Clara County. She was the first African American Superior Court Judge in the county’s history, and the first African American woman to sit on the Superior Court in northern California. In February 2001, after almost 19 years, Judge Cordell retired from the Superior Court. The following day, she began her employment at Stanford University as Vice Provost & Special Counselor to the President for Campus Relations. After eight years, she retired from that position in 2009.
On November 4, 2003, Judge Cordell won election to the Palo Alto City Council. Judge Cordell is an on-camera legal analyst for CBS-5 bay area television and is a guest commentator on CourtTV. She has also appeared on ABC’s “Nightline,” “Good Morning America,” and the Montel Williams Show. Judge Cordell is a currently a Principal with Trial Analysis Group, a firm based in Palo Alto, California that specializes in mediations, dispute resolutions, and trial consulting.
Milpitas Vice-Mayor Pete "Primo" McHugh served on the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors from 1997 to 2008 and has been elected Mayor of Milpitas five times previously. A recent survey conducted by the Milpitas Post named Vice-Mayor McHugh "the Best Public Official in Milpitas". McHugh was also the leading vote getter in the 2008 Milpitas City Council Elections.
Dr. Hatem Bazian's
Dr. Hatem Bazian, an Arab American, is a senior lecturer in the Departments of Near Eastern and Ethnic Studies. 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. Dr. Bazian is known for being an organic intellectual, a term used for academics directly connecting their research to the people; rather than looking down from the ivory tower. Dr. Bazian's published book, Jerusalem in Islamic Consciousness, is a reflection of his desire to contribute to a better understanding of Muslim attachment and informed political attitudes toward the Sacred City and Palestine in general. Currently, Dr. Bazian is working on two books, Silicon Rush: Documenting Muslim Communities in the the Silicon Valley; and Virtual Internment: Muslims and the War on Terrorism. Bazian most recent publication is a chapter contribution in French on Islamophobia and an entry to Oxford's Human Rights Encyclopedia covering the HR under the Palestinian Authority.
Steve Bhaerman (Entertainer)
Steve Bhaerman is an internationally known author, humorist, and workshop leader. For the past 23 years, he has written and performed as Swami Beyondananda, the “Cosmic Comic.” Swami’s comedy has been called “irreverently uplifting” and has been described both as “comedy disguised as wisdom” and “wisdom disguised as comedy.”As the Swami, Steve is the author of Driving Your Own Karma (1989), When You See a Sacred Cow, Milk It For All It’s Worth (1993), Duck Soup for the Soul (1999) and Swami for Precedent: A 7-Step Plan to Heal the Body Politic and Cure Electile Dysfunction (2004). Since 2005, Steve has written a political blog with a spiritual perspective, Notes From the Trail, hailed as an encouraging voice “in the bewilderness.”
Atif Kamran (Master of Ceremony)
Atif Kamran has a BA degree in both Psychology and Sociology from UC Irvine. Currently he is intern at Congressman Pete Stark's as a caseworker. Atif also works within the Social Ventures unit of the Rebuilding Alliance organization which works to rebuild homes in the Palestinian Gaza Strip. Atif hopes of attaining a Masters in Public.
Parallel panel discussions
Building trust through multi-faith values
Saeed Malik (Moderator)
Saeed Malik Pioneered the concept of outsourced Test Services for large scale ICs. He is Chairman of the Board, Founding Member of Silicon Turnkey Solutions, Fremont, CA. This company is involved in strategic-development and technological road-mapping. Company is involved in back-end engineering and production of ICs.
Imam Tahir Anwar (Panelist)
Born in London, Imam Tahir Anwar moved to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1983 and made San Jose his home. Upon completing his religious studies in India, he has been serving as the Imam of one of the oldest masjids in the country, the Islamic Center of San Jose, since 2001. He is also the head of the Islamic Studies Department, and a teacher at Granada Islamic School in nearby Santa Clara, an institution in its 26th year. After serving on the Human Rights Commission for the City of San Jose for over 5 years, Imam Tahir now serves on the Human Relations Commission for the County of Santa Clara. He also sits on Zaytuna College’s Management Committee as well as other panels and boards.
Rev. Phillip Lawson (Panelist)
Rev. Phillip Lawson is the Interfaith Program Director for East Bay Housing Organizations (EBHO) and leads EBHO’s interfaith initiative, the Interfaith Action in Housing Program. EBHO is a nonprofit membership organization dedicated to working with communities in Alameda and Contra Costa counties to expand affordable housing opportunities through education and advocacy. Under Rev. Lawson's leadership, EBHO has significantly expanded our support of interfaith communities in their affordable housing efforts and expanded their capacity to address the housing crisis in the East Bay.
Before joining EBHO, Rev. Lawson was Pastor of Easter Hill United Methodist Church in Richmond from 1992 to 2003. Rev. Lawson has been and continues to be active in the East Bay with groups, such as Richmond Vision 2000, Northern California Inter-Religious Conference, Greater Richmond Interfaith Program (GRIP), Interfaith Coalition for Immigrant Rights and California Council of Churches. During 2008-2009, Rev. Lawson served as Interim Senior Pastor of Jones Memorial United Methodist Church in San Francisco.
Rev. Michael Yoshii (Panelist)
Rev. Michael Yoshii has served as pastor of the Buena Vista United Methodist Church in Alameda, California for the past 21 years. Buena Vista UMC is 111 years old and has historically served the Japanese American population in Alameda and the East Bay. Rev. Yoshii has been received recognition with the Distinguished Alumni Award from the Pacific School of Religion (2002), Koshland Civic Unity Award from the San Francisco Foundation (2002) , the National Education Association Human & Civil Rights Award (2004), and the Bishop Melvin Talbert Racial Justice Award from the California Nevada United Methodist Church (2005). Beyond the local congregation, Rev. Yoshii serves as a member of the Board of Directors for the General Board of Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church; leadership group for the FAITHS Program of the San Francisco Foundation; Co-Chair of the Philippine Solidarity Task Force for the California – Nevada Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church; member of the Israel-Palestine Task Force for the California-Nevada Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church.
Craig Wiesner (Panelist)
Craig Wiesner is the co-founder of Reach And Teach, the peace and social justice learning company. He is a decorated Air Force veteran who served as a Korean linguist, intelligence analyst, and language instructor (at the Defense Language Institute) from 1979 - 1987. After getting out Craig led educational efforts for two Silicon Valley technology companies before launching his own award-winning multimedia education company, WKMN Training. Craig is on the board of Multifaith Voices for Peace and Justice (a Bay Area peace organization), the CEO of MicahsCall.org (a web site that calls people to do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with God), and his opinion writing has appeared in the San Jose Mercury News, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Christian Science Monitor, and he is a frequent contributor to the KQED Radio (NPR) "Perspective" series and a featured blogger at Tikkun Daily.
Dianne Muller (Panelist)
Dianne Muller is completing her M.A. in Theology from the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology [Graduate Theological Union] in Berkeley. She is studying world religions and hopes to continue her work in inter-religious dialogue after graduation. An active participant in local churches, Dianne is not only a practitioner but also an instructor, lector, and leader of community programs such as RENEW and formation of an ecumenical council.
Demystifying the meaning of Jihad
Shafath Syed (Moderator)
Shafath Syed has lived in the Bay Area since his family emigrated from Hyderabad, India in the early 1970's. His parents were very active in the Muslim community and helped establish SBIA (South Bay Islamic Association) in 1980. Shafath continued his parent's tradition of volunteerism by serving on the board of IMRC (Indian Muslim Relief and Charities), his former role as president of the Bay Area Chapter of CAIR and his current role as president of SBIA. By profession Shafath works in marketing at companies including Adobe, Apple, Microsoft and a few startups along the way.
Imam Faheem Shuaibe (Panelist)
Faheem Shuaibe for the past 30 years has been a student and follower of the example of the Honorable Imam W. Deen Mohammed, Muslim American spokesman. His tenure as Resident Imam and CEO of Masjidul Waritheen, Inc., in Oakland, California, began December 17, 1982. Listed in the International Who’s Who Among Intellectuals, and the National Who’s Who Among Public Speaking Professionals, Imam Shuaibe is also a member of the board of The Islamic Networks Group (an award winning international Islamic educational institution). In 2005, among other black scholars such as Dr. Asa Hilliard, Imam Shuaibe was inducted into the African American Intellectual Royal Family by the Institute for the Advance Study of Black Family Life and Culture. Imam Faheem is also the President of New Africa Investment Group and a member of the Diwan Majlis of Muslim Alliance In North America. Imam Shuaibe has been variously recognized, receiving the keys to several cities, flags, plaques, honorary citizenships across the country, as well as the Phi Beta Sigma fraternity’s Notable Citizen award.
Wajahat Ali (Panelist)
Wajahat Ali, an American of Pakistan origin, is a playwright, essayist, humorist, and Attorney at Law, whose work, “The Domestic Crusaders” is the first major play about Muslim Americans living in a post 9-11 America.
Sara Jaka (Panelist)
Sara Jaka is a third-year pre-medical student at Mills College studying for B.S. in Chemistry. She hopes to pursue a career in medicine specializing in women and children's health.
Debunking the myths about Muslim women
Rabea Chaudhry (Moderator)
Rabea is Co-Founder and Co-Director of Muslim Mediators, a community-based conflict resolution center. She is also a non-profit development consultant, associate editor of the online magazine Altmuslimah, and a visual artist. Rabea is a certified mediator, and has a B.A. with Honors in Comparative Literature from UC Berkeley and a J.D. with a Critical Race Specialization from the UCLA School of Law. Rabea's editorial and academic writings have appeared in "The National" and the "UCLA Journal of Islamic and Near Eastern Law." Her artwork has been displayed at the New Orleans African American Museum of Art and the Levantine Cultural Center's Inside/Outside Gallery.
Bhawana Kamil (Panelist)
Bhawana Kamil received a Bachelors of Science in Chemistry from UC Berkeley. Soon after graduating, she embraced Islam in September of 2000. Bhawana traveled overseas to Cairo, Egypt for a few years with her husband to study Arabic and Islamic Studies for which she received graduate diplomas. After her return, she completed a Masters degree in Philosophy from San Jose State University, where she subsequently taught Ethics. Her Masters thesis was entitled, "Toward a Single Consciousness: Challenging 'Un-American-ness' of People of Color."Bhawana serves on the Interfaith Council for Economics and Justice (ICEJ) for the County of Santa Clara and is a member of the Speakers Bureau for California Interfaith Power and Light (CIPL), an interfaith environmental advocacy group.
Banafsheh Akhlaghi (Panelist)
Banafsheh Akhlaghi is the President and Founder of the National Legal Sanctuary for Community Advancement (NLSCA), a non-profit organization dedicated to ensuring the human rights and dignity of Middle Eastern, Muslim, and South Asian (MEMSA) peoples. Prior to practicing law, Ms. Akhlaghi was a professor of Constitutional Law at the John F. Kennedy School. In May of 2005, NLSCA broadened its focus to human rights at the international level, when Ms. Akhlaghi was retained as a consultant to the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM). She has testified before Congress on numerous occasions, including the 2003 Amnesty International Racial Profiling Hearings
Syeda Reshma Inamdar (Panelist)
Syeda Reshma Yunus is a community activist who works primarily in the areas of civics, social justice issues and violence prevention. She is the founding director of SEMAH, an organization that focuses on prevention and awareness of domestic violence issues primarily in the Muslim and Interfaith communities. She is also the current Chair of the League of Women Voters of the Alameda County Council of Seven Leagues and former President of the League of Women Voters of Fremont, Newark and Union City. She is active on several boards and advisory commissions. Professionally, Reshma works as a Business consultant and property manager, she is a Certified Public Accountant and has Masters in Business Administration with an emphasis in Finance.
Ahsan Syed (Panelist)
Delorme McKee-Stovall (Facilitator)
Delorme McKee-Stovall is a member of the staff of the Santa Clara County Office of Human Relations. Her work focuses on human and civil rights advocacy with a specialization in research and education on bias, discrimination, equity within systems and hate violence. She works with victims of bias and hate violence, local government agencies, businesses, religious/spiritual groups, 6-12 schools, colleges and universities, NGOs, law enforcement, the DA’s Office to develop recommended policies that will address and reduce systemic bias, hate violence. She also maintains an emergency response plan in support of Santa Clara County policy makers and the goals and objectives of the Network for a Hate Free Community/South County Speak Out. Delorme also works with these groups on the integration of the human rights framework into organizational values and operations.
Bruce Bramlett (Facilitator)
The Rev. Bruce Bramlett is the staff coordinator for Interfaith Relations for Silicon Valley FACES, an agency that has a long history promoting positive inter-group relationships in the region. He is a scholar in religious studies, facilitating several Silicon Valley regional dialogue groups that promote wider interfaith and community cooperation and conversation. He is also a facilitator for inter-group relations and diversity appreciation, and an educator in the agency’s “Extremes of Hate” program. Fr. Bramlett is an ordained Episcopal priest with a passion for community organization, advocacy and social justice issues. He provides workshops, facilitations and classes on issues of diversity and inclusive community building, Holocaust, Genocide Studies, Hate violence and Inter-religious dialogue.
Dawan Muhammad (Facilitator)
Dawan Muhammad is a consultant specializing in human and community development. Although the majority of his work has been in the State of California and specifically the San Francisco Bay Area, he is also involved with many national community based and faith based organizations. Dawan graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz with degrees in Political Science, Islamic Studies and Aesthetics. Currently serving on the Boards of Directors of Northern California Islamic Council, Bilalian Educational Services, Inc, and Live the Dream Foundation, Dawan Is also an educator, media specialist, cross-cultural programs producer and professional jazz musician.