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Former Obama Religion Adviser Speaks at AYMP Event

Former Obama Religion Adviser Speaks at AYMP Event

Author Aisha Yaqoob by

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Dalia Mogahed joined dozens of Atlanta Muslims for the second annual Atlanta Muslim Young Professionals conference on Saturday, April 11th at the Georgia Institute of Technology. The theme of “Passion and Purpose in the Modern Work Environment” attracted young professionals from all industries to learn skills for professional development and networking through interactive sessions and expert speakers, including Mogahed.

Mogahed, CEO of Mogahed Consulting and former Executive Director of the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies, gave the keynote address. Mogahed’s discussion about Leadership in the 21st century focused on the need for communities to develop young leaders.

Mogahed also spoke of her experiences working with President Obama’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships back in 2009, and encouraged attendees to think about community development.

Speaking of finding passion in work, Dr. Sarah Higinbotham gave a moving talk about her experience with the Georgia State Prison Initiative, which worked to educate local prisoners. Dr. Higinbotham’s passion clearly showed as she sought to inspire the audience members to think beyond themselves, and more about the society in which they live.

On the topic of personal branding, the conference hosted two speakers who shared practical tips for creating a personal brand in the workplace. Both Nykema Jackson and Faruq Hunter also spoke of the intricacies of networking and presenting oneself to colleagues and superiors.

On discovering purpose in one’s work, Dr. Abbas Barzegar led a panel discussion with fellow AMYP advisory board members, Azizah Kahera and Shuaib Hanief. The panelists discussed their journeys to their current careers and how they have made their work purposeful.

After the conference, attendees and community members joined Mogahed for a dinner at Crystal Banquet Hall in Duluth. This intimate get-together was an opportunity for Mogahed to speak about where the Muslim community is going and what young Muslims can do as citizens of to change the way people think about Islam and Muslims.

Photos from the event can be found online here. For more information about AMYP, visit their website at

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