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Robert Boos
Public Relations Coordinator

Challenging Islamophobia Conference brings national experts on confronting bigotry and hate



Saint Paul, Minn.—The third Challenging Islamophobia Conference brings together leading national experts on Islamophobia and community leaders in Minnesota to address how to challenge Islamophobia.  

This event is the largest regional conference on challenging Islamophobia in the nation. The Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN) will host the Challenging Islamophobia Conference 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Thursday, March 28 at Metropolitan State University. Register to attend at the CAIR-MN Eventbrite page.

Topics addressed at this daylong forum, cosponsored and hosted by Metropolitan State University, include the Islamophobia industry, the intersection of Islamophobia, anti-Semitism and white nationalism/supremacy, the impact of Islamophobia and hate, and Greater Minnesota challenges.  

Breakout sessions will address the challenges of Islamophobia-based bullying, responding to hate in Minnesota, and the Interfaith Response network. This conference aims to inform and equip participants to challenge Islamophobia in their own lives and work settings.

Conference speakers include:

  • Khaled Beydoun: a leading scholar on Islamophobia and senior affiliated faculty member at the University of California-Berkeley Islamophobia Research and Documentation Project
  • Heidi Beirich: leader of the Southern Poverty Law Center's (SPLC) Intelligence Project and expert on various forms of extremism, including the white supremacist, nativist and neo-Confederate movements
  • Arjun Sethi: community activist and civil rights lawyer, as well as the author of American Hate: Survivors Speak Out
  • Todd Green: professor of religion, public scholar, and author on challenging Islamophobia and championing interfaith collaboration
  • Abbas Barzegar: director of research and advocacy at the Council on American-Islamic Relations, spearheading the effort to document Islamophobia
  • Hatem Bazian: co-founder and professor of Islamic Law and Theology at Zaytuna College, and founder of the Islamophobia Research and Documentation Project at the Center for Race and Gender, University of California-Berkeley.

Last year’s Challenging Islamophobia conference drew over 250 attendees, including school administrators, government employees, corporate diversity and inclusion leaders, non-profit leaders and elected officials, students, and community activists.

Metropolitan State invites and encourages media to attend this event at the Saint Paul Campus, New Main, 700 East 7thStreet. Media inquiries should be directed to Jaylani Hussein, executive director of CAIR-MN; phone612.206.3360, email

This event, organized by CAIR-MN, is co-sponsored by Metropolitan State University's Institute for Community Engagement and Scholarship, Office of Equity, Inclusion and Affirmative Action, and College of Liberal Arts, and the Cedar Cultural Center, Common Roots Catering, Iraqi-American Reconciliation Project, Japanese American Citizens League, Sierra Club-North Star Chapter, United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities, the University of Minnesota's James H. Binger Center for New Americans, and White Bear Universalist Unitarian Church.

Metropolitan State University, a member of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system, is the Twin Cities’ public, urban, comprehensive state university providing lifelong learning, and competitive academic and professional degree programs at the bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral levels.