Weekly News & Updates
ISNA Appoints Two New Members to Executive Committee

ISNA has appointed two new members - Dr. Julie Belz and Dr. Asra Ali - to its 5 member Executive Committee. The other members are ISNA President Azhar Azeez, ISNA Vice President - USA Dr. Altaf Husain, and ISNA Vice President - Canada Br. Pervez Nasim. In a statment, ISNA President Azhar Azeez said: "I am very pleased to welcome two very talented and highly accomplished sisters to our new executive committee. ISNA will tremendously benefit from their knowledge, wisdom, and experience." 
Dr. Julie Belz currently teaches graduate courses at Indiana University Purdue University - Indianapolis. She has served as tenured professor at 5 Tier-1 schools. Dr. Belz is an internationally published scholar on Applied Linguistics and has published over 30 peer-reviewed articles in books and journals. She received her PhD and Master's from University of California - Berkeley. She spent her sabbatical leave as a Visiting Researcher in the Department of German at Georgetown University in Washington, DC. In addition to her academic career, Dr. Belz is active in a number of non-profit organizations. She was the founder and director of the Indianapolis Muslim Community Association Food Pantry from 2011 – 2014. She has been elected to two terms on the board of directors of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA): Community Representative (2013-15) and Member-at-Large (2016-2020). In a statement, Dr. Belz said: "I am humbled by the opportunity to serve on ISNA’s Executive Committee. My main focus is collaborating with my board colleagues to improve the quality and reach of ISNA’s community programming, especially in the areas of poverty relief, youth development, Islamic chaplaincy, and interfaith relations."
Dr. Asra Ali is a practicing dentist and a clinical faculty member/assistant professor at Midwestern University. She was a recipient of the Muslim Women's Alliance 2016 Inspiring Women Award. She is a member of ISNA's 5 Year Strategic Planning Committee, ISNA Narrative Committee and ISNA Sustainers Circle. She is currently serving as the Co-Chair of the ISNA Annual Convention Steering Committee. In a statement, Dr. Ali said: "I'd first like to commend ISNA's leadership and members on the adoption of the new bylaws. This is a momentous step forward in the history of the organization. I'm honored to serve as a member of the inaugural Executive Committee, and I'm eager to work towards helping make ISNA a stronger organization with greater services and a greater voice for the community."
ISNA Hosts the 7th Annual West Coast Education Forum

"Even though the sun has set, there is always a bright future for inspiring others to come!," said a chaplain from Southern California reflecting on his experience at the 7th Annual West Coast Education Forum which took place January 12-13, 2018 in Anaheim, California. Throughout the weekend long forum, attendees from across the United States and Canada contributed and engaged in interactive workshops and sessions with leading experts in the field of education.

The theme, Moving Good to Great: Fostering Growth, was based on a book of the same title by Jim Collins. In the opening session, Rania El-Sioufi spoke about the book's 5 principles which include humility, fearlessness, being the first to take blame, sharing credit and getting the right people in the bus. She continued to delve deeper into concepts in Collins's book as well as industry best practices by exploring topics such as sticking with a strategic plan, knowing your purpose and goals, avoiding initiative fatigue, especially last minute initiative fatigue that doesn’t align with those goals or strategic plan, being fearless in your leadership, and remembering to be transparent. She also discussed accountability for leaders, boards and organizations. 
The first day of the forum featured full day workshops which provided attendees an opportunity to dive deep into a particular topic through experiential learning and in-depth conversations with subject area experts. The second day featured smaller sessions and a networking luncheon. The sessions provided attendees an opportunity to further explore various topics within their focus area and equip them with skills and tools to take back to their classrooms and schools. In addition to the professional development, the forum also provides a platform for networking with others in their field as well as peer to peer learning.

On the evening of Friday, January 12, ISNA hosted a celebration banquet to honor Drs. Yahia and Magda Abdur Rahman with the Lifetime Commitment and Service to Islamic Education Award. The evening also featured an inspiring keynote address by Dr. Ingrid Mattson and entertainment by students of New Horizon School Westside and Minaret Academy.

Separate from the forum, ISNA also hosted a matrimonial event.

Read full coverage of the event in our next Islamic Horizons magazine.
IOICA Talks Tough on Poverty with Interfaith Partners

IOICA Director Colin Christopher and interfaith partners met on Tuesday, January 16 at the Methodist Building on Capitol Hill to discuss the harmful effects of the recent federal tax overhaul. Fellow faith-based policy advocates expressed concern for the undue financial burden placed upon lower-income families over the duration of the bill's provisions, the bill's benefits weighted heavily towards wealthy individuals and large corporations, and the increased deficit generated by the new code. Mr. Christopher also facilitated a discussion about messaging strategies for the Washington Interfaith Staffing Committees' 2018 Anti-Poverty Campaign. Over the next year, IOICA and partnering organizations will highlight our bi-partisan recommendations to poverty in the U.S. by decreasing wasteful spending and increasing safety net programs and economic development measures that already have a successful track record. Stay tuned for opportunities to advocate for these critical programs.
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Action Alerts and Community Resources
Upcoming Events
he Spring Conference, in collaboration with University of Texas Deen Intensive serves not only the Austin community, but also the entirety of the Texas Muslim population
The ISNA Conference in South Florida features Imam Tahir Anwar, ISNA President Azhar Azeez, Dr. Jonathan Brown, Ust. Ubaydullah Evans, ISNA Vice President Dr Altaf Husain, Imam Majid & Sr. Aisha Subhani.
ISNA matrimonial banquets provide an opportunity to meet and interact with other Muslim singles in a safe and Islamic environment.
The Chicago Education Forum features pre-conference workshops, knowledge based sessions, celebration banquet and networking luncheon.
ISNA matrimonial banquets provide an opportunity to meet and interact with other Muslim singles in a safe and Islamic environment.
ISNA matrimonial banquets provide an opportunity to meet and interact with other Muslim singles in a safe and Islamic environment.
The 55th Annual ISNA Convention will be held in Houston, TX over Labor Day Weekend (August 31-September 3, 2018)
Muslim communities and Islamic organizations in the United States can only grow stronger by individuals supporting one another. It is with your support that ISNA has been bringing hearts closer for over 50 years!
Make ISNA your partner in helping create a better tomorrow.