Speakers Conference 2018

Speakers Appearing on ICNE Conference 2018:

Jimmy Jones
Member of CAIR

      • Jimmy Jones is a member of CAIR’s national board and has been a civil and human rights activist for more than four decades.
        Dr. Jones is a tenured full professor of World Religions with a concurrent appointment in African studies at Manhattanville College (Purchase, NY) where he chairs both of both of these academic disciplines.
        As chair of the board of the Islamic Seminary Foundation/ The Islamic Seminary of America (TISA), Prof. Jones is involved in several projects that are designed to set professional standards, develop support networks and establish educational/training initiatives for imams, chaplains and other persons who lead in or provide services to the Muslim American community.
        Dr. Jones’ writing, research and lecture activities are focused on comparative religions, Muslim American identity development, civil rights/race relations, and conflict resolution. He has lectured at, taught at, or consulted to institutions in Bahrain, Bermuda, Bosnia, Egypt, Great Britain, India, Jerusalem, Trinidad-Tobago, Qatar, Saudi-Arabia, United Arab Emirates and throughout the United States.
        A member of the American Academy of Religion, Prof. Jones holds a bachelor’s degree from Hampton University, a master’s degree from Yale Divinity School and a doctorate in ministry from the Hartford Seminary.


Rodney L. Petersen
Executive Director of CMM

      • Rodney L. Petersen is a member of the Presbyterian Church, USA and works as Executive Director of CMM, Cooperative Metropolitan Ministries, of the Lord’s Day Alliance and is a Visiting Researcher at Boston University School of Theology. He is an American scholar in history, ethics, and religious conflict. After teaching and working in Europe, he became Executive Director of the Boston Theological Institute for nearly a quarter century. In addition to his work with the BTI, he taught in both the member schools and overseas. Currently he runs community workshops on Forgiveness and Reconciliation. See on Wikipedia.


Marjean Perhot
Director, Refugee and Immigration Services, Catholic Charities

      • Marjean Perhot, Director, Refugee and Immigration Services, Catholic Charities, Boston, Boston, Mass.,
        has more than 20 years professional experience in working with immigrants and refugees in Boston and Cleveland. She is responsible for community interpreter services, a social enterprise, immigration legal services and refugee resettlement in her role as division director for Catholic Charities Archdiocese of Boston. Perhot provides education and outreach throughout Massachusetts and at national conferences as well as media interviews on refugee and immigrant issues. She currently serves as a member of the Immigrant and Refugee Resource Section steering committee for CCUSA and is a member of the Massachusetts Governor’s Advisory Council on Refugees and Immigrants.


Paulist Fr. Tom Ryan

      • Paulist Fr. Tom Ryan directs the Paulist Office for Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations.
        He is based in Boston. Fr. Ryan joined the Paulist community in 1972 and was ordained a priest of the Roman Catholic Church in 1975. He weds his passion for Christian unity and interreligious understanding with his deep interest in the spiritual life by leading retreats, preaching missions, and writing books and articles. Learn more about Fr. Tom at his website.


Michael Prentice

      • Michael Prentice is a life long resident of Roxbury and a dedicated organizer involved in issues around police brutality, housing stabilization, and environmental justice. He currently is building with the Black Community Information Center, Reclaim Roxbury, Alternatives for Community and Environment (ACE),((( and is a worshiper at the Mosque for Praising Allah. ))))His training is in Sociology and in the Arabic language, and aspires to (((further the cause of Allah, and))) strengthen Black solidarity throughout every facet of his neighborhood.


Michael Felsen

      • Michael Felsen is an attorney who served as president of Boston Workmen’s Circle Center for Jewish Culture and Social Justice from 2007-2013. He has been active in promoting Jewish-Muslim relations in the Greater Boston area for more than a decade, and has written on that subject, and on the Israeli/Palestinian situation, in such publications as the Boston Globe, The Jerusalem Post, Haaretz, the Daily Star (Lebanon) and the Daily News (Egypt). His interfaith work has included board memberships with the Harvard Humanist Chaplaincy, the Interreligious Center for Public Life and Cooperative Metropolitan Ministries. He is an active member of Boston Workmen’s Circle’s Jewish-Muslim Solidarity Committee and its Yiddish Community Chorus, A Besere Velt (A Better World).


Luz Mélida Zambrano
Co- Founder and Co-Director, Center to Support Immigrant Organizing CSIO

      • Provide leadership development as well as organizational, board and staff development support to individuals, groups and organizations. Coordinate and facilitate multi-ethnic, multi-racial initiatives dedicated to organize and strengthen social and economic justice movements.


Dr. John Robbins
Founding Executive Director

      • John Robbins is a dedicated and experienced community organizer, nonprofit leader, and public intellectual. He holds a Ph.D. in English and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Tufts University. A dedicated educator, he has taught algebra to high-risk youth at a public high school in Maryland, English to refugee and orphan children in Turkey, and literature at Cornell and Tufts Universities. His writings have appeared in numerous outlets including Fortune, Time, Muslim Matters, the Hill, the Jewish Journal, the Boston Globe, the Boston Herald, and the Huffington Post. Dr. Robbins sits on the board of directors of Cooperative Metropolitan Ministries, the greater Boston area’s oldest interfaith social justice network.
      • LinkedIn


Chris Messinger
Boston Workers’ Circle representer

      • Chris Messinger has spent many years as a community organizer and educator. He is currently co-chair of the Acting For Racial and Economic Justice committee at the Boston Worker’s Circle, and on the National Leadership Council for the Within Our Lifetime network. Locally he has helped build coalitions that include Muslim, Christian and Jewish teens, winning significant victories at the state and local level (youth jobs funding, increased minimum wage, expanded clean air protections). He enjoys playing soccer and foraging for mushrooms.


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