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The Muslim Vote in the 2016 Presidential Election

October 20, 2016 @ 6:00 pm

The Center for Global Islamic Studies presents a multi-disciplinary discussion while in the midst of a polarized and heated 2016 election season. Muslims have been frequent subjects of a national debate, but have seldom been among the participants of this discussion. This panel will discuss recently released data from the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding (ISPU) which aims to define American Muslim attitudes towards various topics from politics and religion, to violence and identity. What emerges is the profile of a Muslim community that is both pious and patriotic, optimistic and weary of discrimination.  The event aims to provide deeper understanding of how to develop strategies for broader political and civic engagement for all Americans and overcoming divisive and disruptive rhetoric.



Meira Neggaz, Institute for Social Policy and Understanding

Tamara Ayon, Florida Executive Director, Emerge USA

Prof Kenneth Wald, Professor in Political Science, University of Florida


Meira Neggaz is the Executive Director at the ISPU, a non-profit research organization that empowers American Muslims to further community development and fully contribute to democracy and pluralism in the United States. There she is responsible for the institution’s overall leadership, strategy, and growth. Before joining ISPU, Meira was the Senior Program Officer for Marie Stopes International (MSI), a leading, UK-based organization working in 42 countries. Formerly, Meira was the first Executive Director of WINGS in Guatemala. She holds a BA from Huron University in London and a Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.

Tamara Ayon is the Florida Executive Director for Emerge USA, and the former Executive Director for the Broward Democratic Party. Tamara has been a political activist  and community organizer for 20 years. She has worked on everything from immigration reform, environmental protection, education reform, civil rights and criminal justice reform to campaign management. She resides in South Florida with her 12 year old daughter and works on music and art in her spare time. Emerge USA is a Muslim Arab American South Asian Civic Engagement group that works to build political involvement through grassroots networking in swing states across the United States. Emerge USA aims to politically empower and train its constituents to be effective community organizers and work in coalitions to advance beneficial policies and legislation that help protect and enforce the constitutional rights and civil liberties afforded by the United States Constitution. Sparked by rhetoric, charged by momentum. Emerge USA’s  mission is to civically elevate the American Muslim community.

Kenneth Wald is Distinguished Professor of Political Science and the Samuel R. “Bud” Shorstein Professor of American Jewish Culture and Society at the University of Florida. He has written about the relationship of religion and politics in the United States, Great Britain, and Israel. His most recent books include Religion and Politics in the United States (Rowman & Littlefield, 2010, 6th ed.), The Politics of Cultural Differences: Social Change and Voter Mobilization Strategies in the Post-New Deal Period (Princeton University Press, 2002, co-authored), and The Politics of Gay Rights (University of Chicago Press, 2000, coedited with Craig Rimmerman and Clyde Wilcox).


The event is co-sponsored by the UF Department of Political Science, Emerge USA, the Bob Graham Center for Public Policy and the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding.


October 20, 2016
6:00 pm


The Ocora (Pugh Hall)
Pugh Hall
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