Nawal was born and raised in Karachi, Pakistan. During her early 20’s she experienced
...Nawal was born and raised in Karachi, Pakistan. During her early 20’s she experienced a spiritual transformation in her life. It was a call to ministry. After her undergrad in communication, she completed an extensive course of higher studies from a theological seminary, in the disciplines of Arabic and Islamic Sciences. She was granted a degree of a scholar of classical Islamic studies; equivalent to a Masters of divinity.
Prior to her move to the United States, she served on the board of a non-profit school for the underprivileged. Then from 2012, she became an active member at YKM Trust, a prominent NGO in the City of Karachi. The NGO supplied medicines, medical equipment and essential items to state hospitals and state prisons. She volunteered in the women's Jail and Juvenile Correction Centre. The NGO’s mission was to humanize the living conditions, from renovation and reconstruction, to distributing medical supplies and sanitary kits. Education, therapy and vocational training were also offered.
After Nawal moved to United States in 2017, she realized recent events had unfortunately tarnished the religion of Islam. She joined the prestigious ISOGS in Springfield, Illinois and actively spearheaded a series of humanitarian projects of peace that brought diverse communities together under the banner of universal values of Humanity, tolerance and mutual understanding. She hosted numerous interfaith gatherings during her stay in New Jersey and Central Illinois. She was also assigned as a representative in an interfaith Association, GSIA; an alliance of clergy working together to address social and public issues.
Apart from that Nawal also conducts educational seminars on a monthly basis. Her approach is to explore and discover the scripture through depth and contemplation, finding in it the power of healing and the light of guidance. Likewise she holds short motivational talks focusing on mental and emotional wellbeing and provides pastoral care to those in need.
In addition in 2019, she was entrusted with writing a monthly column for the State Journal Register, one of the oldest newspapers in Illinois. Her articles revolve around ethics, justice and equality. As a long-time advocate of interfaith relations, social justice, human rights, and assisting the marginalized and vulnerable, she enthusiastically involves herself in the welfare and development of the community wherever she resides.
Since 1990, Margaret has been the chief executive officer and owner
... of AGM Financial Services. AGM is a licensed FHA Mortgagee, providing insured loans nationwide for multifamily housing, both market rate and affordable. AGM also combines FHA mortgage insurance with tax-exempt debt, state second debt, and Low Income Housing Tax Credits, as appropriate, and place conventional apartment loans. AGM has 22 employees in Baltimore, Maryland; La Grange, Kentucky; and Weehawken, New Jersey.
From 1982 to 1990, Margaret was the Regional Vice President of ABG Financial Services, Inc. Margaret directed Baltimore production office for FHA coinsuring lender. From 1979-1982, Margaret was the Director, Urban Development Action Grant Program of the City of Baltimore. In that capacity, Margaret developed applications to HUD for funding of single family, multifamily, commercial, and industrial real estate development projects, which resulted in 32 awards.
Margaret graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of California at Berkeley in 1968. She is married with two children and five grandchildren.
Sheik Yusef Amin was born and
...raised in Baltimore. He currently resides in D.C. He attended college in New England, where he majored in history and psychology. He has worked in social work for 25 years. Sheik Amin is currently the lead social worker at a charity operating in Bethesda. He is the Imam at a Masjid in Baltimore and the Secretary Treasury at a Masjid in Bethesda. He is serving as the Vice President of a Bethesda consulting firm. He currently owns and operates a firm providing, spiritually clinical services.
Sheik Amin has published fours books exploring society's spiritual evolution. He believes that most and sincere faith practices express the same goal. “That goal, in short, is a better life in this life and the next. The diversity in reaching that goal is wonderfully open to us to interpret individually. What demands our unity, what is our most sincere act of faith, is how we treat one another. In celebration of individual liberty and dignity, we edge closer to our common goals."
Davis Balderston is a member of Alexandria Friends Meeting.
... He is a retired government employee who worked for the General Accounting Office (as it was then named) and the Federal Aviation Administration. Most of his work was in program oversight. From 2010 to 2120, he was a member of the Board of the Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy. He has a Master of Public Administration degree from Syracuse University.
Rev. Maybelle Taylor Bennett is Pastor of Covenant Christian
... Community and a former IAHR Board member. She corresponds with incarcerated residents of the District of Columbia as part of IAHR’s Per Pal program to help them maintain ties with their community.
Rev. Maybelle’s interest in issues related to mass incarceration and the disproportionately harmful impacts it has on people of color dates back to her early involvement in the civil rights movement. More recently, she has become active with an ecumenical group engaged in social justice education, advocacy and action whose members represent diverse racial, cultural, gender orientation and religious backgrounds.
Rev. Maybelle is active in fighting displacement caused by gentrification in Washington, D.C. through her support of permanently affordable space for housing, small business and cultural institutions as a Board member of the Douglass Community Land Trust.
Sister Ilaria was born and raised in Italy and is a
... permanent member of the Comboni Missionary Sisters, a Catholic intentional community. After getting a BA in Social Work in Madrid (Spain), Sister Ilaria was missioned to a slum of Lima (Peru), where she lived and ministered for 10 years. Later, Sister Ilaria spent 4 years in Buenaventura (Colombia), collaborating with Bosconia, an NGO tending to minors living in the street.
For the first 5 years of Sister Ilaria’s mission in the US, she served as a liaison between the members of my intentional community scattered in 36 countries and the United Nations, focusing especially on human trafficking, undocumented migration, and girls’ rights. At the same time, Sister Ilaria started the collaboration with Catholic Mobilizing Network, a national organization dedicated to ending the death penalty and promoting restorative justice.
Sister Ilaria was an eyewitness of the healing power of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission held in Peru at the end of its devastating armed conflict and the atrocities she witnessed during the Colombian conflict. This sparkled in Sister Ilaria an acute interest in the intersection of restorative justice, conflict transformation, and trauma healing, bringing her to pursue a Master in Restorative Justice with the Eastern Mennonite University. For the past 30 years that Sister Ilaria has regularly volunteered in the prisons of the countries in which she has lived. This past year, Sister Ilaria has been actively involved with Alternatives to Violence Project, of which she is a Facilitator.
Zainab Chaudry is Spokeswoman and Maryland Director for
... the Council on American-Islamic Relations, America's largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization. She is the first known Muslim to be appointed to the Maryland State Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights - an independent, bipartisan agency established by Congress in 1957 that is charged with advising the President and Congress on civil rights matters. She is a Fellow of the American Muslim Civic Leadership Institute and graduated from the Maryland Public Policy Conflict Resolution Fellows Program at the University Of Maryland Carey School Of Law.
As of Fall 2020, Zainab serves on the Howard County Racial Equity Taskforce, and the Baltimore Mayor-Elect Brandon Scott's transition team. She is on the Advisory Board of the Interfaith Action for Human Rights. She has served on the Advisory Board of Tarbiyah Academy, a Muslim leadership school that is the first International Baccalaureate Islamic primary school in the Washington, D.C., Maryland, Virginia region. She is a former Task Force member of the Bilal Initiative, which was launched to expand conversations within American Muslim communities on building a multiracial, multigenerational, and women-friendly society.
Zainab is co-founder and Steering Committee Member of United for Muslim Mental Advocacy and Health (UMMAH) - an initiative launched in conjunction with Maryland area activists and mental health experts to address the mental health crisis and youth suicides plaguing the state's Muslim communities.
Zainab has extensively been involved in interfaith initiatives, particularly Jewish-Muslim interfaith dialogue groups. She has been recognized by the Governor of Maryland for organizing the state's first Muslim Youth Leadership Symposium.
Hurunnessa Fariad is Head of Outreach & Interfaith at the
...All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS Center). Ms. Fariad is also the Director of Outreach for Multi-Faith Neighbor’s Network. Ms. Fariad is the Secretary of the Board of Directors at Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy, Leadership Circle for One America Movement, Member of the Fairfax County Faith and Equity Committee, and involved with many other faith-based organizations.
Ms. Fariad is the Music Director of America's first Mosque Youth Choir, The ADAMS BEAT Choir. Ms. Fariad is the founder and co-host of the Sister Act Podcast along with co-hosts Dr. Sabrina Dent and Rabbi Susan Shankman. Conversations centered around shame, stigma, rights and social justice issues and how our faiths address these topics.
Pastor Harris has served the Adventist church as pastor
...and conference church ministries director for over 30 years. Marcus has also served on the conference, union, and the North American Division's executive committees of the denomination. Pastor Harris has been a guest preacher/trainer throughout the United States, Canada, and the Caribbean. In 2006 a team of members from his church made their second mission trip to Mankau, Kenya, where Dr. Harris preached, and God blessed their efforts with 120 baptisms.
Dr. Harris served as the Coordinator of and developed the Community Transition Program for Elkhart County Court Services – Adult Probation Division for six years. The Community Transition Program received state and federal recognition. As a result of his work in this program, Dr. Harris was a presenter at the Indiana State Probation/Parole Officers Convention in 1998 and 1999.
Dr. Harris was in private practice as a certified chemical addictions therapist in Indiana and was the Domestic Abuse Intervention Program director for the agency. Dr. Harris has also served as a staff member of AIDS Ministries-AIDS Assist of Northern Indiana, as an HIV/AIDS Community Church Educator, and as an HIV/AIDS pastoral care provider and trainer.
Dr. Harris has been a pastoral care field supervisor and evangelism field instructor for Andrews University and a field supervisor for senior social work majors at Goshen College, Goshen, IN. Dr. Harris is currently a part of the adjunct faculty at Washington Adventist University, Takoma Park, MD.
Marcus is married to the former Arlene E. Thurman, who holds a Ph.D. in accounting from Cappella University. She is a budget analyst for FEMA, Washington, D. C. She is also an adjunct professor at Upper Iowa University and a licensed Maryland, Virginia, and D.C. Realtor. They are the parents of four adult children and have two grandchildren.
KeSean “Sean” Johnson’s support for underserved people began
... as a youth growing up on the southside of Chicago, under the guidance of his great-grandfather. The product of a single parent household, he struggled with grades in high school graduating with a GPA below 2.0.
Sean retired from the U.S. Army (an Operation Iraqi Freedom veteran), where he was regarded as a highly decorated Soldier and highly respected leader. After his medical retirement in 2014, Sean parlayed his skill set into a position with a government television agency, where he earned an Emmy award! He brings his authentic real-world experience to business, which is backed by his education, culminating in a recipe for success.
Sean attributes all of his successes to his faith and respects fairness and truth. He is looking to partner with boards that show a special interest in equipping Black communities with opportunities for success, whether they be closing the digital divide, teaching entrepreneurship and coping strategies or just providing a blueprint to independence. In 2019, Sean completed coursework for his Master of Science in Entertainment Business from Full Sail University, where he finished as an Honors Grad, just to prove that “it’s not where you launch, but where you land that matters!
Rev. Dr. David B. Lindsey serves as the Executive Director of
... the Interfaith Council of Metropolitan Washington, which brings together 11 historic faith traditions.
Over the past two decades, David’s experience as a clergyperson in the United Church of Christ offered countless opportunities to engage in interfaith dialogue and encourage religious pluralism. Even when tragedy struck, as the church he served in Northern Virginia was attacked by a neo-Nazi on the same night as the Jewish Community Center down the street, opportunities for interfaith relationships emerged. The multi-faith support the church received, and the friendships that developed, strongly influenced his interest in more directly supporting exactly the kind of work that the IFC does.
David counts himself lucky and privileged to have been on an interfaith mission trip to the Holy Land, to have guided teenagers through multi-faith site visits, to have collaborated with interfaith colleagues on joint worship, and much, much more.
Rev. Lindsey was raised in the Southern Baptist Convention and is an ordained minister in the UCC, but multiple faiths have nurtured him along his personal journey (particularly Tibetan and Zen Buddhism). In his free time, David enjoys cooking, writing, gardening, playing music, and most especially, spending time with his wife and their two cats.
Deaconess Pat N. Marks, Ph.D. is a Program Analyst with the
... Corrections Information Council (CIC) and a dedicated criminal justice advocate. She actively promotes criminal justice reform and effectively engages volunteers and faith communities in providing services and resources for children and their families. Pat is active in the Maryland Alliance for Justice Reform focusing on re-entry issues and in ReThink Justice DC envisioning a new criminal justice system based on restorative practices.
Prior to joining the CIC, Pat served on dozens of Kairos Prison Ministry teams in four prisons and as a volunteer lay chaplain in two prisons. She is a dynamic teacher and presenter; world traveler and returned Peace Corps Volunteer (Samoa). Pat previously served as Executive Director of Meeting Ground and the Cecil County Men’s; Prison Outreach Ministry; Northern Virginia Hotline, as Grants Specialist for Montgomery County Schools, and as Director of Development for the Carole Robertson Center for Learning. Beginning her career as a Research Associate for the National Academy of Sciences and Human Services Planner for the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, Pat has remained passionate about public-private partnerships and collaboration among social service providers.
Pat is a graduate of Leadership Maryland Class of 2002 and Leadership Fairfax (VA) Class of 1992. She received her doctorate in Education from the University of Maryland and holds Masters' degrees from Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, DC and Wheelock College in Boston. Pat was commissioned as a Deaconess in 2005 concurrent to graduating from Wesley Theological Seminary and receiving the first Certificate in Missions for work in social justice.
Ann Moczydlowski is an Episcopal Priest who has served in multicultural parishes
... within the Diocese of Washington since 2000. She concluded full time parish ministry at the end of 2019 in order to create time and energy for serving in other ways.
Most of her adult life and ministry has involved work under the banner of “healing.” She has served as a Spiritual Director for 35 years with an emphasis on God’s call and the mutuality of healing that faith communities and individuals can find in collaborative work with some of society’s most vulnerable and forgotten people. In recent years Ann’s call to work with individuals regarding stress and healing of challenging emotions alongside the psychotherapeutic process led her to become a Bach Flower Practitioner, assisting others in reducing stress, working through trauma and healing the pain of emotions and behaviors that do not serve one well.
Having worked in a Diagnostic and Evaluation Unit with youth who were entering the criminal justice system, Ann has long experienced a strong interest in advocacy for those who are or have been incarcerated and the policies that lead to mass incarceration of people of color. Now free from the daily needs of parish ministry, she is privileged and delighted to be a part of IAHR’s advocacy among faith communities – to create a bridge that will support healing through antiracism and justice within our criminal justice system.
Member, Baltimore Monthly Meeting of Friends, Stony Run Clerk,
... Ministry and Counsel Committee, After college in Virginia Suzanne joined the Peace Corps as a volunteer in urban community development in Peru. When she returned to the US, she married Robert O’Hatnick, a fellow Peace Corps Volunteer and architect she had met in Peru and entered graduate school in Pittsburgh. After earning an MAT in French and Spanish, Suzanne taught both in high school.
Moving to Baltimore, Maryland, Suzanne first served as Activities Director for the Baltimore Council for International Visitors, later becoming President as the organization grew and became the Maryland International Center, hosting professionals from abroad sponsored by USIA, the then diplomatic arm of the State Department.
Suzanne became a convinced (i.e., new) Quaker and combined her interest in international affairs with her peace work to travel to Guatemala, the Republic of Georgia and Mexico as a Quaker volunteer to support grass roots peacemaking.
After nearly 20 years at the Maryland International Center, Suzanne decided to make a career shift to further her studies and activity in international conflict resolution. She joined Christian Peacemaker Teams, first training and then leading a delegation to Chiapas, Mexico, and later heading to Bosnia after the war there leading a peace team. She was recruited by the Organization for Security and Co-Operation in Europe (OSCE) to serve as a monitor, then a supervisor of elections in Bosnia and later as a human rights monitor in the Serb Republic.
Recruited by a contractor with USAID, Suzanne later served as Chief of Party for a nation-wide democratization project based in Sarajevo. When she returned to the US, she served as an adjunct professor at the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) in the sociology department .
Appalled by learning of US-sponsored torture of Iraqi prisoners of war, Suzanne joined the National Religious Campaign Against Torture (NRCAT), serving as a member of the board of directors. Suzanne was asked to help revive a moribund regional affiliate and pursue information about Maryland prisons’ use of solitary confinement. She also served as Maryland Legislative Coordinator for Amnesty International.
In 2014 the revived group incorporated as Interfaith Action for Human Rights, a nonprofit interfaith human rights organization serving Maryland, DC and Virginia. Suzanne was the first President of the board of directors. (More on IAHR work during the orientation and meeting with the board of directors).
As Suzanne rotated off the board of directors for IAHR she took on the role of clerk of Ministry and Counsel at Stony Run Friends Meeting and helped with the startup of Quaker Voice of Maryland, a new effort to provide a voice for Quakers within the Maryland Legislature.
Rabbi Jeffrey Saxe was born and raised
...in the San Francisco Bay Area. Ordained by Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) in New York with a Wexner Graduate Fellowship, he joined the clergy team at Temple Rodef Shalom (TRS) in 2007. In addition to his other rabbinical roles, Rabbi Saxe is deeply involved in social justice work that seeks to pursue Jewish values in our efforts at Tikkun Olam, repairing the world. An important part of Rabbi Saxe’s social justice work is centered on building interfaith relationships and acting together with
Rabbi Saxe is active in the Greater Washington Muslim Jewish Forum and has served on the Strategy Team for VOICE, an interfaith social justice group in Northern Virginia. He currently co-chairs VOICE’s working group on Criminal Justice Reform in Fairfax County. He has served on national committees for the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR) focused on immigration advocacy, Israel and writing the new addition of the Rabbis’ Manual.
Rabbi Saxe is also passionate about bringing Jewish teachings into our everyday lives. He brought to TRS the introspective practice of Mussar, in which small groups study Jewish texts with the purpose of cultivating positive character traits such as humility, patience and gratitude. Also an ordained cantor, Rabbi Saxe plays guitar and writes musical settings of prayers in the Jewish service. He lives in Falls Church with his wife Jaimee and children Shoshana, Aaron and Jonah.
Gerald Serotta is the Executive Director Emeritus of the Interfaith
... Conference of Metropolitan Washington, and previously served as founding Executive Director of Clergy Beyond Borders. He was a University Chaplain and Hillel Rabbi for 28 years and for twelve years served congregations in Maryland. He has received the Agus-Shehan Interfaith Leadership Award from the Central Maryland Ecumenical Council and the Raphael Lemkin Human Rights Award from Rabbis for Human Rights-North America (RHR-NA.)
National Director, Social Betterment Programs & Policy(Church of Scientology National Affairs Office)
Mr. Stanard’s work for the Church of Scientology began
... in Washington, DC in the late 1970’s where he helped oversee an initiative to use the Freedom of Information Act to uncover many thousands of pages of false and incorrect information about the Church stored in federal agency files.
In 1984, he became Executive Director for the church’s Office of Public Affairs, established on Capitol Hill for international government relations. He oversaw work on federal and international social and public policy issues in such areas as religious freedom, drug education and criminal reform.
In the mid-1990’s he left the non-profit world for the business world. He founded and ran two successful Internet companies. His clients included such organizations as the U.S. Navy, the Federal Aviation Administration, NASA, the U.S. Dept. of State and CareerBuilder.com. Stanard is a published technology author and was twice a finalist for the Arlington County, Virginia, E-Council Tech-E Technology Executive of the Year award (2002 and 2004).
In 2004, he began volunteer work for Criminon New Life DC, providing criminal rehabilitation and reentry services at the DC Jail where weekly programs continue to this day (interrupted currently by COVID). Mr. Stanard has personally delivered Criminon life skills, character education and literacy training to hundreds of DC Jail residents.
In November 2012, he accepted his current position with the Church of Scientology National Affairs Office, located in the historic Fraser Mansion near Dupont Circle. He now serves as the church’s National Director for Social Betterment Programs & Policy. From this position he is involved in both criminal reform & reentry services delivery, drug education programs, education, and literacy programs as well as related public policy advocacy at both a federal and local level.
Rev. Dr. Thompson is an ordained minister and a clinical psychologist
... licensed in D.C. and Maryland. Dr. Thompson received her undergraduate degree in Psychology from Dickinson College, her Master's and Ph.D. degrees in Clinical Psychology from Temple University, and Master of Divinity degree from the Howard University School of Divinity. Dr. Thompson retired in 2011 after 25 years as a clinical psychologist at the Freddie Mac Foundation Child and Adolescent Protection Center at Children’s National Medical Center. Dr. Thompson also served as an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at George Washington University. Dr. Thompson continues to practice privately working with adult and child trauma victims and survivors.
Rev. Dr. Thompson serves as the Pastor of the Ambassador Baptist Church located at 1412 Minnesota Ave. SE. Prior to her ordination, Dr. Thompson was a member of the church for 38 years. Rev. Dr. Thompson believes it is important to make a difference in the lives of church and community members. She has worked on and has marched for social justice issues including the recent Clergy March for Justice, setting a Moral Agenda for DC, nursing shortages, saving public housing, opposing guns in houses of worship, decriminalizing marijuana as a way to stop mass incarceration, as well as working against the granting of licenses to sell alcohol in areas where substance abuse is rife. As a member of Clergy for Community Wealth preservation, Rev. Dr. Thompson has presented on topics including Saving Our Homes, affordable housing, and understanding property taxes.
Most importantly, Rev. Dr. Thompson considers herself a servant of God, seeking to carry out His will and to be in His way.
The Rev. Dina van Klaveren
Rector, St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Glenwood (MD)
Rev. Dr. Thompson is an ordained minister and a clinical psychologist
... Dina is an Episcopal priest and Jesus devotee who loves exploring how the Good News calls us to live into a joy, clarity, and freedom that is worth the work it requires. Dina began working with IAHR as a part of her work responding to the opioid epidemic in the local community and through various Episcopal Church task forces.
The congregation in Glenwood has advocated for the humane treatment of incarcerated populations in Annapolis, and has a heart for justice, outreach, and young people.
Dina is the mother of two teenagers, is married to a hospital pharmacist, and previously served as Associate Dean of Students at the Maryland Institute, College of Art in Baltimore.
You can learn more about her understanding of stewardship, as well as her ongoing effort to live into Good News on her blog at goodnewslifestyle.net .
Joanna White serves the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland
...as Canon for Pastoral Services. It is her philosophy that the best approach to Pastoral Care is ensuring the dignity of all of persons, not just those under one’s care. She holds undergraduate degrees in Nursing and Social Science, Criminal Justice. Graduate degrees in Health Management, Spirituality and Pastoral Care and an M.Div. from Yale. She lives in Annapolis to be near family and shares her home with two ungrateful cats.