Confronting Islamophobia


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Steering Committee

Phil Ginsberg LLB is a lawyer with Stokes Lawrence who has a lifelong passion for social justice, from heading up the legal aid clinic at the University of Chicago in the late 1960’s to directing the King County Public Defender Association in the mid-1970’s, to his current work with Save Darfur-Washington. He is the recipient of CAIR's Humanitarian of the Year award. He received a BA in history, Magna cum Laude, from Princeton in 1961 and graduated from Harvard Law School in 1964.

Jafar Siddiqui MSIE is a leader with American Muslims of Puget Sound, a civil rights activist, writer, political analyst, commentator and speaker. He coordinates and leads actions of local Muslims for better consideration of their civil rights.

Richard Silverstein PhD is a freelance journalist who writes the progressive political blog, Tikun Olam, about Israeli-Arab peace and Muslim-Jewish relations. He has contributed to Ha'aretz, Jewish Forward, Los Angeles Times, the Guardian’s Comment Is Free, Al Jazeera English, and Alternet. His work has also been in the Seattle Times, American Conservative Magazine, Beliefnet and Tikkun Magazine, where he is on the advisory board.

Arsalan Bukhari has been a Seattle area resident since 1990, Arsalan holds a B.A. degree in Business Finance from Seattle University. In 2009, Arsalan became the Executive Director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) of Washington State, the largest national grassroots organization dedicated to presenting an Islamic perspective on issues of importance to the American public.

Randolph Urmston LLB is a lawyer in Seattle with Hendricks & Lewis. His previous military experience and help in settling Vietnamese has made him sensitive to refugees in Palestine. With an engineering background, he also has a special interest in water issues that severely threaten Israel/Palestine peace. He is a former Senior Warden of St. Mark's Cathedral and is currently on the Mid East Focus Ministry and a member of the Episcopal Bishop's Committee for Israel/Palestine. Randy has a BS in Civil Engineering from V.M.I .and an LLB University of Virginia

Mike Jackson MBE,CD,M.Th was a chief press officer for the Canadian government while an officer in the Canadian Army. He coordinated national media coverage of VIP visits (Kennedy, de Gaulle, Queen Elizabeth, etc.) and is an honorary member of the National Press Club of Canada. Later ordained as an Episcopal priest, now retired, he was press officer for the Northwest Sabeel conference in Seattle, 2010.

Sima Kahn MD is a Seattle physician and president of the board of Kadima Reconstructionist Community who recently returned from a fact finding trip to Palestine galvanized to do even more to promote a just peace. Kadima has been active in Middle East peace and justice work for all of its 30 plus years, and has sponsored a Middle East Peace Camp for Arab and Jewish children for the past ten years.

John Berg MA has been engaged in intercultural advocacy and diversity work focused on the peoples of the Middle East since 1971. He worked in Lebanon for two years, earned an MA in cross-cultural studies, then worked a year in London and seven years in Cairo, Egypt. In late 2009 John formed Middle East Peace Builders to continue his work helping connect the American community with the peoples of the Middle East and broader global community.

Mark Eichinger-Wiese spent most of his working career in media production looking through the lens of a camera. He taught photography and graphic design as a visiting professor. He worked as a trainer in law enforcement from which he retired. He is the co-convener of the Saint Mark's Mideast Focus Ministry where he also serves on the Vestry. He is a member of the Episcopal Bishop's Committee for Israel/Palestine, and has been active in Mideast peace and justice issues for 35 years.

Brenda Bentz MSW is a retired psychotherapist and former dean of graduate studies at Antioch, Seattle. In the 1970s she founded Seattle Citizens for Education to help integrate Seattle Schools without a court order as well as the first Adult Day Health Program in the country. She combines an almost lifelong concern for social justice with a love of adult education and an interest in all forms of human behavior. She is co-convener of the Mid East Focus Ministry at Saint Mark's Cathedral and convener of this conference.

With tremendous help from:

Eliza Davidson, registration; Liz Gruchala-Gilbert and Richard Gilbert, hospitality; Steve Moen, ushers; Alexandra Eichinger-Wiese, Brenda's runner; Betsy Mayfield, video, and her team Mike McCormick, Todd Boyle and Sr. Mahin; Jean Pollock,student volunteers: Bess Sullivan,sound and light: and Moira Fulton, lunch service

With additional thanks to:

Sandra Gerrish, Ursula Gallagher, Ruth Mcree, Sandra Silberstein, Doug Thorpe, Liz Sloat, Alan De Puy, Steve and Jennifer Keep, Dottie Villesvik, Rev. Rich Lang, Betsy Bell, Jaqueline Farwell, Fatemeh Nojavan, Farzaneh Mahkhou, Linda Julien, and the many others who pitched in after this went to print


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