Senior Project Advisors

Zaheer Ali is a doctoral student in history at Columbia University, where he is focusing his research on twentieth-century African American history and religion and doing his dissertation on an oral history of the Nation of Islam’s community in Harlem.  A prolific speaker and writer, he is currently a member of the Editorial Advisory Board of SOULS:  A Critical Journal of Black Politics, Culture and Society.

hamza-reads-comics-to-his-son-ismaelo-copySu’ad Abdul Khabeer is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Anthropology at Princeton University.  Su’ad’s dissertation explores the ways Chicago Muslim youth negotiate their religious, racial and cultural identities through hip-hop.  Her publications include Rep that Islam: the Rhyme and Reason of American Muslim Hip Hop, and Eid ul-Fitr: It’s a Black Thang, Too.

Novera King
is a second generation African American Muslim filmmaker and television producer.  Based in Los Angeles, she has produced specials for MTV and HBO and is writing her first feature film about Muslim Spain and the Andalus.

Munir Jiwa
is the founding director of the Center for Islamic Studies and Assistant Professor of Islamic Studies at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California.  He holds a Ph.D. and M.Phil in Anthropology from Columbia University and an M.T.S. from Harvard Divinity School.  His research interests include Islam and Muslims in the West, media, aesthetics, religious pluralism, and identity.

Additional Project Advisors

Shahed Almanullah is editor-in-chief of, an online newsmagazine covering issues related to Islam in the West.  His writing and work have appeared in the New York Times, Voice of America, Washington Post, and Christian Science Monitor.  Shahed is also the founder of Halalfire Media, a network of Islamic- themed websites with over 6 million annual visitors.

Dr. Ibrahim Farajajé is Dean of the Faculty and Professor of Cultural and Islamic Studies at Starr King School for the Ministry at UC Berkeley.  He specializes in the spiritual connection between the African Diaspora and Africa, and identity and diversity in Muslim communities.

hamza-standing-by-faith-lift-sign-copyDr. Marcia Hermansen is Professor of Theology and World Religions at Loyola University in Chicago and author of The Evolution of American Muslim Responses to 9/11 and “Identity” Islam and Muslim Youth Cultures in America.

Nadia Roumani is an international development policy analyst who has worked as a fellow at USC’s Center for Religion and Civic Culture and as a Senior Associate at the Carnegie Council on Ethics and International Affairs.  She currently works with the Doris Duke Foundation.

Dr. Diane Winston is the Knight Chair in Religion and Media at the Annenberg School for Communications at USC. She holds a Ph.D. in religion from Princeton University, an M.S. in journalism from Columbia University, a Masters of Theological Studies from Harvard Divinity School and B.A. from Brandeis University.