Advisors & Friends

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Kari Ansari

Writer, editor and social commentator on the American Muslim community

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Rabbi Justus N Baird

Director, Center for Multifaith Education, Auburn Theological Seminary, New York

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M. Cherif Bassiouni

Distinguished Research Professor of Law and President, International Human Rights Law Institute, DePaul University. Nobel Peace Prize nominee, 1999

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Robert Black

Television Producer, Musician, Episcopalian Lay Leader. President & CEO of Chicago Sunday Evening Club, producer of 30 Good Minutes on WTTW 11

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Philip Bohlman

Mary Werkman Professor, Department of Music and the College, Chair Committee of Jewish Studies, University of Chicago

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Elizabeth Davenport

Dean, The Rockefeller Memorial Chapel, The University of Chicago, medical ethics scholar, musician

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William Enright

Executive Director of the Lake Institute on Faith & Giving at the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University, former Senior Pastor of the Second Presbyterian Church, Indianapolis, and author

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John Esposito

Professor of Religion and International Affairs, Professor of Islamic Studies, Founding Director of the Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at the Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University

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Reuven Firestone

Professor Medieval Judaism and Islam, Hebrew Union College, Los Angeles, California

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Richard Fragomeni

Professor, Word and Worship, Catholic Theological Union, Chicago

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Ellen I. Goldberg

President, Sister Cities of Houston. Photo journalist. Serves on the executive committee at mayor’s International Trade development Council-Middle east/North Africa. Committee member at Global Houston. Corporate Secretary at Indian Film Festival of Houston. Member of the Houston Community College Filmmaking School Advisory Committee.

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Shoshana Gottesman

Musician activist currently working at the Rothko Chapel. Board member of Interplay

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Niloufer Hai

Graduate of the University of Chicago Middle Eastern Studies, a teacher at the University’s laboratory Schools. Is an active participant in Interfaith activities and education

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Amir Hussain

Professor in the Department of Theological Studies at Loyola Marymount University (LMU) His research focuses on Muslim communities in North America. His interests include teaching comparative religion, religion and music and interfaith dialogue.

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Jean N. Pinkston-Hendricks

Co-Founder/Principal Producer/National Education Director at Henry Hendricks Weddington School for the Performing Arts, Chicago. She is devoted to sharing arts with the world through education and multicultural interaction and is committed to Changing Lives with Arts.

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Kabir Helminski

Co-Director of the Threshold Society, Watsonville, CA

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Yusuf Islam (Cat Stevens)

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Mariam Issa

Served as Vice-President of Houston Mayoral Advisory Board For International Affairs and Development-Asia, President of the Pakistani American Women’s Association, Advisory Board of Bibi Magazine, Board Member of 80/20 and Board Member of Asian American Voter’s Coalition and a Board Member of PAL-C on Capitol Hill. Currently serves on the boards of Asian Pacific American Heritage Association and The Houston/Karachi Sister City Association

A renowned and respected singer, songwriter, educator and musician, from United Kingdom

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Steven R. Janco, M.C.M., D.Min.

Dr. Janco is Associate Professor and Director of the Rensselaer Program of Church Music and Liturgy at Saint Joseph’s College in Rensselaer, Indiana. A well-known composer of liturgical music, Steve also serves as Director of Liturgy and Music at St. Eulalia Catholic Church in Maywood, Illinois. He will discuss the healing potential of music as ritual symbol.

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Dr. Carol Johnston

Associate Professor of Theology and Culture and Director of Lifelong Theological Education, Christian Theological Seminary, Indianapolis; ordained in the Presbyterian Church.

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Mark L. Kligman

Professor of Jewish Musicology, Hebrew Union College, Jewish Institute of Religion School of Sacred Music, New York, NY

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Kevin Krueger

An Ohio University graduate, Kevin worked as a designer for Herman Miller before joining SamataMason in 1996. Recognized as an experienced and accomplished designer and project manager, Kevin’s work has been honored internationally in many design industry competitions and publications.

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John Lionberger

Resident of Evanston, Illinois, serves on the boards of Outward Bound. Acclaimed Author of: Renewal in the Wilderness: A Spiritual Guide to Connecting With God in the Natural World

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Romana Manzoor

Interfaith and Program Coordinator at the American Islamic College

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Dave Mason

Dave Mason and co-founders Greg and Pat Samata formed Chicago/Vancouver-based smbolic and also a number of successful business ventures including OpinionLab, Inc., Cusp Conference LLC, and NoisemakerFilms.

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Kristina Nelson

Ethnomusicologist, resident of Cairo, Egypt, author: The Art of Reciting the Qur'an

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Greg Samata

Greg Samata formed Samata Associates in 1975 and subsequently co-founded smbolic with partners Pat Samata and Dave Mason in 1995. He is a board member of the Evan’s Life Foundation and also founded the film production company NoisemakerFilms.

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Rabbi Herman E. Schaalman

Rabbi Emeritus of The Emanuel Congregation in Chicago, former President of the Chicago Board of Rabbis and of Jewish Council on Urban Affairs

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Michael A. Sells

John Henry Barrows Professor of Islamic History and Literature in the Divinity School, The University of Chicago

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Mustapha Senghor

Chairman, Council of African Elders and Senior Vice President, Office Systems, Canon, New York

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Donald Senior

C.P., President and Professor of New Testament Studies, The Catholic Theological Union, Chicago

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Michael Shelley

Dean and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Director, Center of Christian-Muslim Engagement for Peace and Justice, Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago

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David Smock

Vice President, Center for Mediation and Conflict Resolution. Associate Vice President, Religion and Peacemaking Program, Director of Institute's religion and Peacemaking Initiative. United States Institute of Peace, Washington DC

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Jean Sullivan

President, Joseph P. and Jeanne M. Sullivan Foundation. Philanthropist with lifetime interest and commitment to human rights and social justice issues around the world

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Mark N. Swanson

The Harold S. Vogelaar Professor of Christian-Muslim Studies and Interfaith Relations at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, and the Associate Director of the school’s Center of Christian-Muslim Encounter for Peace and Justice.

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Brian Weddington

Instructor of Theatre at Malcolm X College and an Assistant Professor of Theatre with the University of Illinois at Chicago

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Akiko Turhanogullari

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Thomas Weisflog

Director of Music and Organist at St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church, Rockefeller Memorial Chapel Organist at the University of Chicago, and Accompanist at Temple K.A.M. Isaiah Israel Congregation

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Brian Zakem

Past Board Member of K.A.M. Isaiah Israel and B'nai Yehuda Beth Sholom, National Coalition Building Institute - Training Associate, and Board of South West Interfaith Team – Chicago (SWIFT)

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