Aziza Hassan, project leader for NewGround: A Muslim-Jewish Partnership for Change, has been named to President Obama's Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. The Council, which includes a total of 18 new appointees, brings together religious and secular leaders as well as scholars and experts in fields related to the work of faith-based and neighborhood organizations. NewGround, a project of Community Partners since 2006, works to foster healthy dialogue and social change between Jews and Muslims. NewGround’s core program is the Emerging Leaders Fellowship which each year gathers a diverse group of 20 Muslim and Jewish young professionals learn conflict-resolution skills and how to apply them to discussions about Israeli-Palestinian relations, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, and more. Another program is for high school students. "People are hungry for different messages, new stories, about Muslims and Jews," Hasan told a gathering of Community Partners staff at a recent meeting.
"I am honored to have the opportunity to serve in this capacity, especially to be able to have the opportunity to do meaningful work around the issue of poverty," she said. "In my line of work I often hear the question: 'what is the point of interfaith dialogue?' To me, this council is exactly what it's about -- bringing together people of different faiths to improve the community around us."
For more on Aziza Hasan, and how she came to this work, check out this #Rising Star feature story in the online magazine Ozy.