Aziza Hasan ’03 was among the 18 individuals whom President Barack Obama appointed this fall to the President’s 3rd Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.
Hasan, Los Angeles, is currently the executive director of NewGround: A Muslim-Jewish Partnership for Change, an organization she co-founded in 2006.
From 2006-12, Hasan served jointly as co-director of NewGround and as the southern California and government relations director for the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC).
In that role, Hasan worked with elected and appointed government officials and law enforcement agencies, often responding to events of national significance, such as the shootings at Fort Hood near Killeen, Texas, in November 2009.
She co-authored the 2009 paper “Abusing Women, Abusing Islam: Re-Examining Sharia Court Rulings in Contemporary Times,” the findings of which she has presented at the U.S. Department of State and various conferences, as well as to numerous elected officials and nonprofit advocacy groups.
She has spoken to audiences across the country on topics such as women’s rights in Islam, forgiveness and peace in Islamic tradition and conflict resolution in Muslim communities.
Hasan graduated from Bethel with a degree in history and a certificate in conflict resolution.
While at Bethel, she was active in student government, debate and forensics (for which she received a Thresher Award as a senior) and social justice organizations, and was the event and project coordinator for the Kansas Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (KIPCOR), 2000-03.
The President’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships brings together religious and secular leaders as well as scholars and experts in fields related to the work of faith-based and neighborhood organizations.
The council is charged with identifying steps the government should take to reduce poverty and inequality and create opportunity for all, including changes in policies, programs and practices that affect the delivery of services by faith-based and community organizations and the needs of low-income and other underserved persons.
Hasan expressed particular thanks to the faculty and KIPCOR staff with whom she worked most closely while at Bethel.
“I have so much gratitude for everything you have done to help me see effective ways to better navigate difference,” she said.