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Third Space Thoughts to Policy

Author: IIIT

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Third Space Thoughts to Policy is the official podcast for the Advancing Education in Muslim Societies (AEMS) program at IIIT, the International Institute of Islamic Thought. The purpose of our podcast (Third Space Thoughts to Policy) is to hear from experts and stakeholders in the field of education policy reform including policy advisors, governmental officials, academics, teachers, and parents. For IIIT, education is not just about mastering arithmetic and literacy, but improving community mindedness, moral reasoning, forgiveness, and empathy so that learning is a transformative process improving society as a whole by advancing each individual spiritually, emotionally, and mentally.
12 Episodes
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Join Amina and Dr. Debbie Almontaser as they discuss her new book, Leading While Muslim: The Experiences of American Muslim Principals After 9/11, as well as inclusion, empathy, and culturally responsive education. Dr. Debbie Almontaser is an internationally recognized, award-winning educator, speaker and authority on cross cultural understanding. She is an influential community leader and the Founder and CEO of Bridging Cultures Group, Inc. Dr. Almontaser was the founder and former principal of the Khalil Gibran International Academy in Brooklyn, NY. A twenty-five year veteran of the NYC Public School System, she taught special education, inclusion, trained teachers in literacy, and served as a multicultural specialist and diversity advisor. Currently, she is the Board President of the Muslim Community Network (www.mcnny.org). In 2005, Dr. Almontaser spearheaded the inauguration of Arab Heritage Week in New York City. She also sits on the Public Advocate Tish James’ Jewish, Muslim, and Sikh Task Force to Combat Hate. Dr. Almontaser is a founding board member of The Dialogue Project, Brooklyn Borough President’s New Diversity Task Force and board advisor for the Same Difference Interfaith Alliance. Dr. Almontaser served on the boards of Youth Bridge NY, Women In Islam, Inc., and Saba: The Association of Yemeni Americans. She is a co-founder of Brooklyn Bridges, the September 11th Curriculum Project, We Are All Brooklyn, and Women Against Islamophobia and Racism (WAIR).
Join Amina as she interviews Dr. Tavis Jules. They discuss geopolitics and education, whether globalization is on "pause", and how the absence of softer skills being taught by education systems either formally or informally can lead to disastrous outcomes.Dr. Tavis D. Jules is an Associate Professor of Cultural and Educational Policy at Loyola University Chicago, specifically focusing on Comparative and International Education and International Higher Education. Recently, he co-authored the book, Educational Transitions in Post-Revolutionary Spaces: Islam, Security, and Social Movements in Tunisia, with Teresa Barton, which explores the transformation of the education system in Tunisia following the Jasmine Revolution, the first of a wave of revolutions known as the Arab Spring. Dr. Tavis Jules also wrote the book Neither World Polity nor Local or National Societies: Regionalization in the Global South – the Caribbean Community (Peter Lang, 2012).He has taught a variety of graduate and undergraduate courses at Loyola. He received his MA (2004) in International Educational Development, specializing in Peace Education, at Teachers College, Columbia University. He then went on to receive both an Ed. M. (2005) and Ed.D. (2008) in International Educational Development—International Educational Policy Studies from Teachers College, Columbia University. Prior to arriving at Loyola, Dr. Jules held a variety of positions internationally. From 2009-2011 he worked as the Head of Knowledge and Communication for the Globally Responsible Leadership Initiative (GRLI), where he was responsible for developing fundraising, communication, marketing, and education programs. He also worked as a curriculum specialist (2008-2009) for Freedom House in New York, New York, where he wrote, coordinated, and edited an online curriculum manual and learning portal for educators teaching about democracy and freedom in Iran. His vast professional and academic experiences have led to research interests in regionalism and governance, transitory spaces, and policy challenges in small island developing states (SIDS). He also has written a plethora of book chapters ranging on topics from post-revolutionary higher education reforms in Tunisia to post-socialist conversions in the global South.
Join Amina as she interviews Fairfax County School Boardcandidate, Abrar Omeish. Abrar Omeish is a Yale graduate who is passionate about public service and community work and has served as a student, advocate, student government official, teacher, and community member. She currently works at a human rights and immigration law firm and substitute teaches in the school system. Omeish was also raised in Girl Scouting and earned the Gold Award. Just a summer ago, she ran for Fairfax County School Board, and she is running again this year. Omeish currently co-chairs the Human Resources Advisory Committee and has been incredibly passionate about equity and, driven by this interest served as the President of the Superintendent’s Advisory Council where the team carefully studied skills for "21st Century Learning" and proposed implementation thatcontributed to the current FCPS "Portrait of a Graduate." She also served on three School Board committees: advanced academics, where she consistently advocated for additional resources for students who aredisadvantaged and whose chances at success are undermined; one on student discipline following the tragic suicide of a fellow classmate and friend, led by his father and sparking necessary conversations; and the Superintendent selection committee, which contributes to the primary official role of the School Board. Omeish was also an intern for the FCPS Superintendent’s Office and, separately, led an anti-bullying campaign that amended FCPS policies. She also co-founded a completely youth-led, youth-run non-profit organization which has been running for ten years that serves lower-income youth in twenty centers across the county (www.giveyouth.org). Since then, she’s worked in several levels of government and policy-making and has been a part of community projects that have been generating real solutions tested on the ground.
Listen into Amina's conversation on education policy with Dato Seri Anwar Ibrahim, IIIT's current Chairman. Dato Seri Anwar Ibrahim is the leader of Malaysia’s ruling Pakatan Harapan coalition, President of the People’s Justice Party, and is expected to lead the country as its eighth Prime Minister. He served as Deputy Prime Minister from 1993-1998 and Finance Minister from 1991-1998. He was also the Minister of Education from 1986–1991. Since 1998, he has led the reform movement to strengthen democracy and the rule of law in the country. For his principled stance on issues of justice and the rule of law, he has spent over ten of the past 20 years in solitary confinement as a prisoner of conscience. He received a full pardon for all of the crimes alleged against him just days after his party won the Malaysian General Election on May 9, 2018.
Listen in to Amina's 2-part interview with Afeefa Syeed. This first portion focuses on defining Islamic education and human development. Afeefa Syeed most recently served as Senior Advisor at the US Agency for International Development (USAID), has been a Scholar Consultant for the Carter Center, and is currently Research Associate with Cambridge University's Institute on Religion and International Studies, and Senior Fellow and Advisory Council Member for Institute for Global Engagement's Center for Women, Faith & Leadership.She also founded a community-based school whose core curriculum includes peace education, service-in-action, and place-based learning. The school has been an incubator and global model for innovative practices in integrated learning and teaching including creating a curriculum to teach religious studies in a holistic manner.
Listen in to Amina's 2-part interview with Afeefa Syeed. This second portion focuses on the value of grassroots engagement and the role of women. Afeefa Syeed most recently served as Senior Advisor at the US Agency for International Development (USAID), has been a Scholar Consultant for the Carter Center, and is currently Research Associate with Cambridge University's Institute on Religion and International Studies, and Senior Fellow and Advisory Council Member for Institute for Global Engagement's Center for Women, Faith & Leadership.She also founded a community-based school whose core curriculum includes peace education, service-in-action, and place-based learning. The school has been an incubator and global model for innovative practices in integrated learning and teaching including creating a curriculum to teach religious studies in a holistic manner.
Listen into Amina's interview with Professor Tyler Cowen, host of the popular podcast series Conversations with Tyler on iTunes. Professor Cohen is Director of the Mercatus Center and a professor at George Mason University. His book,The Great Stagnation: How America Ate the Low-Hanging Fruit of Modern History, Got Sick, and Will (Eventually) Feel Better, was a New York Times bestseller. He received his PhD in economics from Harvard University in 1987.
Join Amina as she interviews Rania Rankoussi, an educational consultant and Director of Bright Signs, a business that offers education focused on kids learning life skills with the integration of Islamic values and morals. Rania also talks about her experiences serving UNICEF in Syria for an education project she talks more about in the interview.
Join Amina and Dr. Ahmed Alwani, Vice President of IIIT and Director of IIIT's Reform of Education project, as they discuss how to make the visions and goals of Advancing Education in Muslim Societies (AEMS) in the realm of human development and transformative education a part of reality with tangible results and pragmatic approaches.
In the third episode, join Amina as she discusses creating reading cultures with Saulat Pervez, a member of the AEMS research team.
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