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Presentation: “Being Muslim: Women of Color in American Islam,”

September 25, 2019 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm

The Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding invites you to attend the following event:

“Being Muslim: Women of Color in American Islam,” a presentation and book talk by Dr. Sylvia Chan-Malik.


In this lecture, Professor Sylvia Chan-Malik will focus on the lives, subjectivities, and labors of U.S. Muslim women as a means to understand Islam’s historical presence in the United States as both a Black protest religion and a universal faith tradition. Drawing on archival images, cultural texts, popular media, and interviews, she will address how communities of American Islam became sites of safety, support, spirituality, and social activism. Dr. Chan-Malik will also address how women of color, in particular, were central to the formation of these groups. By accounting for American Islam’s rich histories of mobilization and community, she will highlight the forms of resistance that U.S. Muslims, and in particular, U.S. Muslim women, have engaged, and continue to engage in the 20th-21st-century United States. Through engagement with lineages of Black and women-of-color feminism, liberation theology, and social justice movements, Dr. Chan-Malik offers a new vocabulary for understanding U.S. Muslim communities and identity formation that is as conscious of race, gender, sexuality, and nation, as it is region and religion.


Dr. Sylvia Chan-Malik is Associate Professor of American Studies, Critical Race and Ethnic Studies, and Women’s and Gender Studies at Rutgers University-New Brunswick. Her current research focuses on the history of Islam in the United States. More broadly, Dr. Chan-Malik studies the intersections of race, gender, and religion, and how these categories interact in struggles for social justice. She holds a Ph.D. in Ethnic Studies from the University of California, Berkeley and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Mills College.

For any questions related to the event, please email

ACMCU Event and Program Coordinator Chirin Dirani: chirin.dirani@georgetown.edu.