Covering American Muslims: A Deep Dive

When: Monday, March 18, 2019, 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Where: The Chicago Theological Seminary, 1407 E 60th St., Chicago, IL 60637

Cost: Free

The role of the media in informing the public has never been more important, especially when it comes to coverage of marginalized communities. And, at the same time, journalists are constantly asked to cover more and more … with less resources.

A journalist holding a recorder and two microphones while writing in a notepad

To support the media in its critical role, the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding (ISPU), an expert in media and Muslim American communities, invites you to a free, interactive, evidence-based workshop on March 18 in Chicago, designed to assist media professionals in covering American Muslims confidently and creatively. This workshop—which is geared exclusively for newsmedia professionals—will help participants go beyond the soundbite by providing a true deep dive into insightful research and useable information about American Muslims.

At this workshop, you’ll get:

  • An exclusive first look at ISPU’s unreleased American Muslim Poll 2019
  • New angles and story ideas for when breaking news strikes about violence
  • Brand new resources, including definitions for terminology that is often misused, as well as an up-to-date style guide and extensive journalist toolkit
  • Direct connection with experts and scholars for future stories
  • An opportunity to network with other media professionals
  • Delicious lunch, snacks, and plenty of coffee

The workshop is facilitated by Stephen Franklin, a Pulitzer Prize finalist, editor of Islam for Journalists, and journalism educator with experience training journalists from Africa, South Asia, and the Middle East, and Katherine Coplen, ISPU’s Senior Communications Manager, and former alt-weekly editor.

The workshop’s training modules include:

  • American Muslims: Forget Everything You Think You Know, led by ISPU Director of Research Dalia Mogahed
  • Black Muslims: Don’t Ignore the Plurality of Muslim Americans, led by author, historian, and publisher Precious Rasheeda Muhammad
  • Shariah: Everything You’ve Always Wanted to Know but Were Afraid to Ask, led by ISPU scholar and legal expert Asifa Quraishi-Landes
  • An Evidence-Based Look at Covering National Security and Ideologically Motivated Violence, with ISPU Fellows Carey Shenkman and Kumar Rao
  • Muslim Women: How to Avoid Reproducing Orientalism, led by award-winning researcher Rochelle Terman

This training is intended for working journalists. If you are a student and would like to attend, please email Katherine Coplen at kcoplen@ispu.org.

Our Experts

Dalia Mogahed

Dalia Mogahed is the Director of Research at the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding, where she leads the organization’s pioneering research and thought leadership programs on American Muslims. Mogahed is former Executive Director of the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies, where she led the analysis of surveys of Muslim communities worldwide. With John L. Esposito, she co-authored the book Who Speaks for Islam? What a Billion Muslims Really Think. President Barack Obama appointed Mogahed to the President’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships in 2009. She was invited to testify before the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations about U.S. engagement with Muslim communities. She is a frequent expert commentator in global media outlets and international forums. More about Dalia

Stephen Franklin

Stephen Franklin, a Pulitzer Prize finalist, covered the Middle East for the Chicago Tribune, was the editor and project manager for Islam for Journalists, an online guide for journalists and others. He has trained journalists from Africa to the Arab World and South Asia. He has taught at Northwestern University, the University of Illinois, DePaul University and Columbia College, Chicago. As a fellow with the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ), he worked with Egyptian journalists. He is a former U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer in Turkey. More about Stephen

Precious Muhammad

Precious Muhammad—author, award-winning speaker, historian, poet, publisher, and Harvard-trained researcher—is nationally known for her ability to educate, inspire, and empower live audiences and readers of diverse racial, religious, ethnic, and socio-economic backgrounds about the growth and development of Islam in America and the full diversity of the American Muslim experience. More about Precious

Asifa Quraishi-Landes

Asifa Quraishi-Landes is a fellow at ISPU and a Professor of Law at University of Wisconsin Law School. She specializes in comparative Islamic and U.S.constitutional law. She was awarded a 2012 Guggenheim Fellowship for her work on Islamic constitutionalism for the 21st century. Asifa Quraishi’s recent publications include articles on comparative legal theory, Islamic criminal law, and Muslim family law in United States courts. Asifa Quraishi has served as a Public Delegate on the United States Delegation to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, on the Task Force on Religion and the Making of U.S. Foreign Policy for the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, and as advisor to the Pew Force on Religion & Public Life. More about Asifa

Kumar Rao

Kumar Rao is a fellow at ISPU and Senior Staff Attorney at the Center for Popular Democracy. At the organization, he helps manage its racial justice policy work and supports partner organizations and their campaigns around racial equity, criminal justice, and the Movement for Black Lives. Prior to joining CPD, he worked as an attorney at several renowned rights organizations in the United States and abroad, including the International Legal Foundation, the Center for Constitutional Rights, and the Bronx Defenders.Kumar has taught New York State CLE programs and served as a Leadership Institute Fellow at the Center for American Progress in Washington, D.C., and guest faculty at Brooklyn Law School and the School of Visual Arts. He has been interviewed by high-profile media outlets and spoken on multiple panels about racial justice and civil rights issues. More about Kumar

Carey Shenkman

Carey Shenkman is a fellow at ISPU, as well as an attorney, litigator, and author specializing in human rights and Constitutional law. He works with numerous organizations, including ISPU, CAIR, the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), and ARTICLE 19. He serves on the board of the Calyx Institute, which focuses on educating the public about privacy in digital communication, and is an advisor to Columbia’s Global Freedom of Expression Program. He previously worked for the late Michael Ratner, President Emeritus of CCR. Mr. Shenkman holds two degrees in mathematics and regularly writes on issues of free speech, human rights, and technology. He graduated from New York University School of Law, where he served as an editor of the NYU Law Review. More about Carey


Rochelle Terman

Rochelle Terman is the Provost’s Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Political Science at the University of Chicago, where she will begin as Assistant Professor in Fall 2020. She studies international norms, gender, and advocacy, with a focus on the Muslim world. Her current book project, Backlash: Defiance, Human Rights, and the Politics of Shame, investigates counter-productive consequences of global “naming and shaming” campaigns. The manuscript is based on her dissertation, which won the 2017 Merze Tate Award for the best dissertation in international relations, law, and politics from the American Political Science Association. Terman is also interested is computational social science, and teaches courses on machine learning, text analysis, and programming. More about Rochelle

The Institute for Social Policy and Understanding is a non-partisan research and education organization specializing in the Muslim American community. Since 2002, ISPU has been at the forefront of discovering trends and opportunities that impact the American Muslim community. Our research aims to educate the general public and enable community change agents, the media, and policymakers to make evidence-based decisions. In addition to building in-house capacity, ISPU has assembled leading experts across multiple disciplines, building a solid reputation as a trusted source for information for and about American Muslims. We have provided data-driven education on American Muslim communities to school boards, media organizations, the Department of Justice, the White House, and many other institutions.

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