July 25, 2016- In the third week of Summer Student Program 2016, students had the opportunity to partake in a workshop at IIIT/TFI Headquarters, focused on countering Islamophobia, conducted by The Bridge Initiative, based at Georgetown University. The workshop was conducted by Director of The Bridge Initiative, Dr. John Esposito and Dr. Nazir Harb Michel, Senior Researcher & Social Media Director at The Bridge Initiative.
The Bridge Initiative “…brings together celebrated faculty, subject-matter experts, and seasoned researchers to examine attitudes and behaviors towards Muslims; dissect public discourses on Islam; and uncover the operational mechanisms of engineered Islamophobia in an effort to raise public awareness and enrich public discourse on this pernicious form of prejudice. Through its website, The Bridge Initiative disseminates original and accessible research, offers engaging commentary on contemporary news, and hosts a repository of high-caliber studies, polls, articles, and other informational resources. By wedding rigorous research and analysis with the accessibility and reach of the Internet, the Bridge Initiative seeks to fulfill Thomas Jefferson’s dream of a ‘well-informed citizenry.’”
The workshop provided students an avenue into applying academic jargon and the intellectual environment into an accessible and practical tool to combat Islamophobia. Dr. Esposito and Dr. Nazir Harb stressed the importance of refining organizational social media operators, and introduced tools and practical tips that help transmit information that otherwise does not reach the masses.
With academic backgrounds like International Relations, Conflict Resolution, Middle Eastern Studies, Islamic law, political science, and sociology, this workshop allowed students to see how research and data can be made into concise, yet effective vessels of information.