An all-day symposium featuring student and faculty-led panels and keynote speech by nationally recognized historian Dr. Denise Spellberg, author of Thomas Jefferson’s Qur’an.

It will feature a student-led panel on Muslim voices and a faculty-led Decolonizing our Curriculum panel. The symposium will bring together community activists, student leaders, and academics, and will offer a space for discussion about campus climate, inclusion, and equity in our curricula.


8:30 - 9:00 a.m. Breakfast, Welcome and Mingling
9:00 - 11:00 a.m. Panel I: Muslim Voices
11:00 - 12:00 p.m. Lunch
OLIN 105
12:15 - 1:15 p.m. Keynote speech by Dr. Spellberg
1:30 - 3:30 p.m. Panel II: Decolonizing our Curricula
3:30 - 4:30 p.m. Snacks and Mingling



  • Zeynep Guven, co-director of Muslims and Allies at Southwestern
    Meilie Criezes, research analyst at the Houston Mayor’s office of Public Safety and Homeland Security and intersectional community activist
    Sarah Ally, human resources specialist, and community outreach activist in the Dallas area
    Omar Salim, former president of the UT MSA and architecture major at UT Austin
    Sarah Youssef, part of the current leadership in the UT MSA
    Muna Hussaini, Senior Manager at PayPal and formerly managed PayPal’s Diversity & Inclusion program 

    Moderator: Dakota Cortez, Gilman Scholarship recipient and current SU Anthropology and Feminist Studies major

  • Thomas Jefferson's Qur'an Dr. Denise Spellberg, Professor of History at The University of Texas at Austin. Her work on intellectual, religious, and gender history focuses on the medieval Islamic world, from Iran to North Africa, and also on Islam and Muslims in early modern and contemporary Europe and the United States. She is author of Thomas Jefferson’s Qur’an: Islam and the Founders and Politics, Gender, and the Islamic Past

  • Sendejo

    Dr. Brenda Sendejo, Associate Professor of Anthropology at Southwestern with a research focus on Chicana feminisms and decolonization, and steering committee member for the Faculty of Color Uniting for Success (FOCUS) Institute 


    Dr. Melissa ByrnesDepartment Chair and Associate Professor of History at Southwestern with a research specialization in Muslims and the Islamic World


    Dr. Snehal ShingaviAssociate Professor of English at the University of Texas at Austin with a research specialization in postcolonialism and South Asian literature


    Dr. Richard Reddick, Associate Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy at the University of Texas at Austin with a research focus Predominantly White Institutions (PWIs)


    Moderator: Dr. Phil Hopkins, Professor and Chair of Philosophy with a research focus on critical media studies and a teaching focus on ethics and religion

The symposium is free and open to the public, and lunch and snacks are included. Families and children welcome.

This symposium is made possible by a grant from the National Communication Association.


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