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Najeeba Syeed is associate professor of interreligious education at Claremont School of Theology and director of the Center for Global Peacebuilding.
She is recognized as a leader in peacebuilding and social justice-based research and twice received the Jon Anson Ford Award for reducing violence in schools and in the area of interracial gang conflicts 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.
Her research articles have focused on: 1) Faith-based, community-based conflict resolution 2) Restorative and healing justice 3) Interfaith just peacemaking and social justice hermeneutics for interfaith learning 4) Intersectional analysis of state violence and structural racism. Currently she is co-editing a book with Heidi Hadsell on “Critical Approaches to Interreligious Education,” a project supported by the Henry Luce Foundation. The title of her own forthcoming book is “Politics of Interreligious Education.” Along with colleagues she has developed training modules in Islamic conflict resolution and mediation presented at Harvard Law School.