Speaking & Events

As a teacher, scholar, and community activist, I maintain an ongoing and varied speaking schedule. In addition to giving talks at colleges and universities, I am invited to speak at many other venues including churches, masjids (mosques), seminaries and theological colleges, conferences, public schools, centers for the performing arts, and even cafes. So, I’m clearly interested in engaging people across a wide spectrum of ideas and settings. And in my attempt to move the conversation beyond mere speculation, I am, at times, involved in action-oriented projects for individual and social change. The list below is a selection of events from my past and future engagements.  Please visit this site often, feel free to attend the programs and invite others to join.



Sponsor(s): Dept of African American & African Studies, the Organization of Black Faculty and Staff, the Institute on Ethnicity, Culture, and the Modern Experience, The Office of the Chancellor, and The Office of University and Community Partnerships;
Location & Date: Rutgers University, Newark, NJ, February 10, 2011

Sponsor(s): Ali Vural Ak Center for Islamic Studies
Location & Date: George Mason University, Fairfax, VA, April 7, 2011

Sponsor(s): History Department
Location & Date: City University of New York, New York, April 14, 2011

Sponsor(s): African Studies Center, Middle East Center, Social Science Research Council;
Location & Date: University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, April 20, 2011

Sponsor(s): “New Directions Lecture Series,” African & African Diaspora Studies
Location & Date: Boston College, Chestnut Hill, MA, [TBA]



“Muslims in America.” Two invited lectures for graduate seminar, “Introduction to Islam for Rabbis”; sponsored by theDepartment of Multifaith Studies and Initiatives, Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, Philadelphia, PA, (May 3 & 10, 2011).

“Islam in Black America,” guest speaker for program entitled, “Muslims in America” for the Teachers’ Institute, convened by Dr. Juliane Hammer and sponsored by the Program in Near East Studies, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ (February 16, 2008).

Film Screening & Discussion, Invited panelist for program, “Africa: Conversations with a Continent,” co-presented by the Museum for African Art, New York, and the 92nd Street Y. Held at the 92nd Street Y. Interviewed Appearance & Editorial Consultant for documentary film, “Dollars and Dreams: West Africans in New York.” (Dec 17, 2007)

“Muslims of a Different Color: Islam, Blackness and African Immigrants in Post-9/11 New York.” Invited lecture for CHAT (Center for the Humanities at Temple), Temple University, Philadelphia, PA, (April 12, 2007).

“Islam, African Immigration and the Black Encounter.” Invited lecture for program series, Cross Cultural Collaboration: Race, Culture, and Politics, co-sponsored by the Intercultural Center and the Black Studies Program at Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, PA (April 18, 2007).



“African Identity and Its Discontents: Toward a Different View of the Black Self.” Invited Paper for the First African and African American Studies Conference: “African Identities in the Age of Obama,” Session V: Plenary Panel: “Fallacies, Myths, and Practices: The Making of Modern African Identities,” George Mason University, Fairfax, VA (October 8-10, 2009)

“Progressive Islam and the Rise of a Black Muslim Public.” Paper for the 30th International Conference, International Society for the Sociology of Religion. Thematic Session: The Making of Progressive Islam-Between Discourse and Practices. Santiago de Compostela, Spain. (July 27-31, 2009) [DECLINED]

“Sufis in the City: Islam and the Making of a New African Diaspora in Post-1965 New York.” Invited Paper for Bringing Us All Together: The One-Hundred First Meeting of the OAH, 2008 OAH (Organization of American Historians) Annual Meeting. Hilton Hotel in New York City. (March 28-31, 2008).

“Parading Islamic Diversity: The Negotiation of West African Muslim Identities in New York City.” Paper selected for the Study of Islam Section, “Islam in Society,” American Academy of Religion (AAR) Annual Meeting, International Focus: Africa. Convention Center, Washington, DC (November 18-21, 2006).

“Muslim Space and the Making of a Sacred City: African Immigrants in New York and Philadelphia.” Invited to present for21st Century Cities: Research from Temple, a day-long conference with a keynote address by Temple University’s president, Ann Weaver Hart, showcasing the diverse urban research underway across the campus. The event was co-sponsored by The Institute for Public Affairs and the Department of Geography and Urban Studies and held at Temple University, Philadelphia, PA (November 3, 2006).

“The Creation of an African Diaspora.” Invited presenter for A Reconsidered Past: New Scholarship in African American History, sponsored by New Jersey Council for the Humanities and The Rutgers Institute on Ethnicity, Culture, and the Modern Experience, and held at Monmouth University, Long Branch, NJ (July 14, 2003, July 12, 2004).

“Blackness Classicized: A Review of the African Film, Karmen Gei.” A film reviewer and guest speaker at the 29th Annual Newark Black Film Festival. Sponsored by the Newark Museum and Fleet Bank and held at Newark Screens Theatre, 360-394Springfield Avenue, Newark, NJ (July 23, 2003)

“Muslim Communities in America and New York City.” Invited presenter for Religious Diversity in America: Intensive Summer Course for Independent School Teachers and Educators, sponsored by The Interfaith Center of New York in collaboration with New York University, School of Continuing and Professional Studies, New York (June 20, 2003).



 “A Discussion of Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention,” invited guest to be in conversation with Howard Dodson, director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture (an affiliate of the New York Public Library), sponsored by and held at Bethany Baptist Church, Newark, NJ (June 29, 2011).

“Muslim America in the Post-1965 Era.” Invited workshop participant for a session entitled, “Islam in/and America.” Sponsored by the Ali Vural Ak Center for Islamic Studies at George Mason University. George Mason University, Fairfax, VA (March 25-27, 2011)

Panel Chair, Theme: “Religious Encounters: Migrations, Genders, and Theologies across Time and Space.” Religion and Migration Consultation, American Academy of Religion (AAR) Annual Meeting, Atlanta, GA (October 30-November 1, 2010).

Co-Organizer and Panel Chair, Theme: “Muslim Circuits, Western Spaces,” the 109th AAA (American Anthropological Association) Annual Meeting - CIRCULATIONS, co-sponsoring sections are the American Ethnological Society and the Society for Anthropology of Religion, New Orleans, LA (November 17-21, 2010).

“African American Islam and the Primacy of Identity,” Invited Discussant at the 108th AAA (American Anthropological Association) Annual Meeting - THE END/S OF ANTHROPOLOGY, sponsored by the Association of Black Anthropologists, Philadelphia, PA (December 2-6, 2009).

“American Muslims and the Challenge of Islamophobia.” Invited panelist for Confronting anti-Semitism and Islamophobia, a One-Day International Conference hosted by the Joseph Interfaith Foundation in association with the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, University of Exeter, the Centre for Jewish Studies at SOAS (School of Oriental and Asian Studies), University of London. Held at SOAS, University of London (November 10, 2009). [DECLINED]

“Islam and Black Globality in the 21st Century: The Case of African American Muslims.” Invited panelist for Global Islam in Everyday America, hosted by the Asian American Studies Program, the Middle East Center, and the South Asia Center at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA. (April 3-4, 2009).

“Exploring Race in Contemporary Jewish Life: A Symposium on Jewish Diversity.” Invited discussant for Session 1: “The Bodied Politic: Ethnobiology, Anti-Religiosity and the Reckoning of Black Hebrewism” presented by John Jackson, Jr. Co-sponsored by the Institute for the Study of Race and Social Thought (ISRST) and the Center for Afro-Jewish Studies (CAJS) at Temple University, held at Paley Library, Philadelphia, PA (October 6, 2008).

“The Challenges of Teaching Religion in a Pluralistic Society.” Invited panelist for roundtable discussion for the International Fulbright Fellows Interfaith Community Action Program sponsored by The Dialogue Institute at Temple University held on 12th Floor, Anderson Hall, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA (September 22, 2008).

“Roundtable on Africans in New York City.” Invited panelist for 21st Century Africa: Evolving Conceptions of Human Rights, 50th Annual Meeting of the African Studies Association to be held at the Sheraton New York Hotel & Towers (October 18-21, 2007).

“Liz Lerman on Art and Spirituality,” invited presenter and moderator for the International Festival for Arts and Ideas in New Haven, Connecticut. The event explores the ways in which Liz Lerman’s choreography links her art making to activism and spirituality. The conversation included noted panelists from the religious community in New Haven (June 19, 2007).

“613 Radical Acts of Prayer: Opening Acts.” Invited panelist and participant in the post performance reception and discussion for the Liz Lerman Dance Exchange, which is a company that explores the relationship between dance, spirituality, and social activism. Held at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), Newark, NJ (April 1, 2007).