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Headshot of Najeeba Syeed, a South Asian Muslim American woman wearing a yellow headscarf
Guest Speaker

Najeeba Syeed is Associate Professor, Muslim and Interreligious Studies at Chicago Theological Seminary. She was a Associate Professor of Interreligious Education at Claremont School of Theology from 2010-2020, and is recognized as a leader in peacebuilding  and social justice based research. Under her leadership the two conflict resolution centers she led received the Jon Anson Ford Award for reducing violence in schools and in the area of interracial gang conflict and was named Southern California Mediation Association’s “Peacemaker of the Year” in 2007. She has chaired national conferences on Muslim and Interfaith Peacebuilding, served as a mediator in many cases, started restorative justice mediation programs in many institutions including University of Southern California and several middle and high schools. Schools have reported a drop in disciplinary referrals and violence. Her track record as a peacemaker and critical peace researcher has made her a sought out advisor and she has served as an on the ground peace  interventionist in conflicts around the globe. Syeed’s peace and justice work has been the subject of news reports and documentaries as well such as this film which aired on NBC “Waging Peace: Muslim and Christian Alternatives.”

She was formerly the executive director of the Western Justice Center Foundation founded by Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Dorothy Nelson and previous to that appointment was the executive director of the Asian Pacific American Dispute Resolution Center. Under her directorship the organizations grew significantly in the areas of school based interracial conflict resolution, anti-bullying initiatives, environmental mediation, restorative justice, cross cultural conflict resolution training, gang intervention programs, community engaged design for youth violence prevention and served a range of clients including the Coca-Cola company, UCLA, USC, Arts Center College for design, LAUSD and the Department of Justice.