Our Impact

IN 2018 . . .


ISPU addressed 28 challenges with 7 research projects.

We partnered with 206 experts to conduct research and provide thought leadership.

89% of those we surveyed found ISPU research to be relevant.


ISPU directly reached more than 27,000 people through 47 events, and connected regularly with more than 25,000 people online.

Our research appeared in the media on more than 1,166 occasions—that averages about three articles per day.


ISPU connected 1,906 national, state and local policymakers and community leaders with vital resources, data, toolkits, and recommendations.

We trained leaders from 732 institutions—including schools, mosques, Hollywood script writers, and more—on our research findings and recommendations


The Institute for Social Policy and Understanding and the Religious Freedom Center of the Newseum Institute presented, American Muslims at the Crossroads, on Tuesday, March 21, 2017 at The Newseum in Washington, DC. Photo by Tim Lundin | TDLphoto.com

ON MARCH 21, we released the findings of our American Muslim Poll 2017 at the Religious Freedom Center of the Newseum Institute in Washington, DC. Our panel, moderated by Mehdi Hasan, featured our own Dalia Mogahed, Imam Johari Abdul-Malik, Walter Ruby, Dr. Zainab Chaudry, and Dr. Susan Sherr. Since this release, over 700 full poll reports and key findings documents have been downloaded from our website. (Photo by Tim Lundin / Newseum)

Executive Meira Neggaz giving a presentation to local German leaders from Welcoming Communities Transatlantic Exchange.

ON MAY 1, Executive Director Meira Neggaz spoke to a group of about 30 local German leaders who are on the Welcoming Communities Transatlantic Exchange (WCTE). ISPU helped the group learn more about the American Muslim community, the challenges faced by American Muslims, and ways to address these challenges, helpful data points that these leaders can use in their home communities as they work to integrate immigrants, welcome refugees, and strengthen social cohesion.

Executive Director Meira Neggaz speaking with a group of mostly seniors at the Montgomery County Muslim Foundation.

ON MAY 10, Executive Director Meira Neggaz spoke with a group of mostly seniors at the Montgomery County Muslim Foundation near Gaithersburg, MD. She presented ISPU research on both Aging and Mental Health, the former of which resonated greatly with the challenges many in the audience were also facing. The group was very interested in charting a path forward when it comes to aging within the Muslim community. (Photo by Ali Nawaz Memon)

A panel including Michael German (Brennan Center), Hina Shamsi (ACLU), ISPU Scholar Engy Abdelkader (Bridge Initiative) and Corey Saylor (CAIR)

ON MAY 16, we held a panel in DC on the political, legal, and civic implications of designating the Muslim Brotherhood as a foreign terrorist organization. Our all-star panel included Michael German (Brennan Center), Hina Shamsi (ACLU), ISPU Scholar Engy Abdelkader (Bridge Initiative) and Corey Saylor (CAIR). (Photo by Tatiana Kanishcheva)

Two smiling men shake hands in a photo gallery

ON JUNE 15, we were honored to host a panel discussion with a selection of individuals from our Muslims for American Progress (MAP) project at Bank Suey, a community space in the heart of Hamtramck, Michigan. Imam Saleem Khalid, one of the panel members, perfectly conveyed the importance of MAP in one of his most pertinent comments: “If we don’t make it a point to look beyond the confines of our own comfort, and develop a concern and an awareness of what is going on around us, then all of us will share in the pain that this lack of concern ultimately breeds.” For more insights, you can watch the discussion here.

A woman looks on at a wall exhibit of Muslim portraits

IN JULY, we installed Muslims for American Progress (MAP) exhibits in four Busboys and Poets locations in the Washington, DC, area. The exhibition will run through November. If you’d like to grab a bite to eat and view our exhibition, you can visit the cafés on 14th & V St. in Washington, DC; Shirlington, VA; Hyattsville, MD; and Takoma Park.

A group shot of the attendees at the Islamic Schools Convening

ON JULY 25, ISPU—in partnership with the John Templeton Foundation—brought together expert educators, curriculum developers, school administrators, researchers, and other practitioners for a convening focused on how weekend Islamic schools could help build character and critical thinking skills in young Muslims. The end product of this convening and the report which will follow will be a set of recommendations that aim to assist educators, foundations, and others in knowing how best to support Islamic schools.

Panelists Ghufraan Akram, Ali Sayed and Suehaila Amen speak to a crowd at MCWS mosque

ON SEPTEMBER 22, ISPU organized a panel discussion about Muslim Social Services at the Muslim Community of Western Suburbs (MCWS) in Canton, Michigan. We invited HUDA Clinic’s Ghufraan Akram and HYPE Athletics’ Ali Sayed and Suehaila Amen to discuss how their organizations are tending to both the short- and long-term needs of those in need.

Click through the circles above to view different events.










“Thank you for sharing your important work! With increased awareness about your solid data driven research, media outlets will seek out your scholars for the real deal instead of relying on pundits to paint a story.”

–Aliya Poshni, Donor


“I refer to ISPU’s American Muslim poll when I give public talks on Islamophobia. It helps to nuance the picture of American Muslims and to challenge unfair stereo-types concerning Islam’s compatibility with the U.S. Keep up the outstanding work!”

–Todd Green, Professor



“ISPU’s work is a lifesaver. I use ISPU’s stats and data to educate a whole host of groups. Even when I meet groups skeptical of the challenges facing Muslims, ISPU’s data usually wins the day. It has helped multiple times.”

–Mohamed Shukri, Daban Consulting


“I use ISPU research to reinforce my arguments, inform my rebuttals and to prove the absurdity of a world that far too often relies on fear and misunderstanding.”

-Dean Obeidallah, Host of The Dean Obeidallah Show


“I have used these research numbers again and again in recent weeks—thank you for leading the effort on social policy.”

–Congressman Don Beyer, Virginia


“[Hosting debates is] precisely the role I think orgs like ISPU can play, that fine-grained understanding of internal Muslim community dynamics and how to have these debates in a way that isn’t polarizing but rather constructive.”

–Shadi Hamid, Brookings Institute


“This is exactly the kind of timely and specific information we need. . . . If everyone could send us something like this on various Administration priorities (e.g., ACA, Climate Change, Immigration Reform, etc.), we’d be able to work many more new (to us) leaders into our events and other work.”

–Melissa Rogers, White House


“ISPU’s Islamophobia work is powerful. I use it all the time in my work organizing for social justice. Since hearing about the research, that showed the intersectionality between anti-Muslim bigotry and other types of bigotry, we have conducted more than 50 trainings to coalition build. And it works!”

–Manzoor Cheema, Movement to End Racism and Islamophobia



“We had a presentation about the research back in October and that initiated the discussion. It allowed the youth council and the leaders in the community to take a much more serious approach to a very real problem.”

–Nilamudeen Shaihu, MCA

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