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Biography and Booking information

{Amer F. Ahmed }
Acclaimed Diversity Scholar Examining Islamophobia

Amer F. Ahmed is scholar, intercultural diversity consultant and college administrator. He is also an acclaimed spoken word poet and Hip Hop activist.

His engaging multi-media presentations, which include "Islam: Beyond the Myths, Breaking Down the Barriers," are truly transformative, addressing a range of critical questions that are especially important in the current climate of prejudice and bigotry toward Muslim people in the United States:

  • What are the tenants of the faith and who are its followers? 
  • What implications does a lack of knowledge of Islam and Muslims in the United States have on our campuses, in our workplaces and communities?
  • How do advocates for diversity, social justice and inclusion challenge the dominant narratives about Muslims framed by popular media?

Born in Springfield, Ohio, to Indian Muslim immigrants, Amer has dedicated his life to engaging and facilitating diversity across human difference. His education, world experiences and his Indian-Muslim-American upbringing help him understand the need for respect and dignity of all people.

As an undergraduate student at Miami University in Ohio, he studied Anthropology and Black World Studies enhanced by powerful study abroad experiences in South Africa and Nepal. He then went on to Indiana University-Bloomington for his M.A. in Anthropology and African American/African Diaspora Studies.

During his time in Bloomington, Amer became an integral part of a fast-growing non-profit Hip Hop Congress, the largest grassroots Hip Hop organization in the United States (www.hiphopcongress.com), eventually serving in its Board of Directors.

Following his graduate studies, Amer served as Director of Intercultural Programs at Loras College in Dubuque, IA, and later at Concordia College in Moorhead, MN. More recently he served as Associate Director for the Office of Multi-Ethnic Student Affairs at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and is   currently the Dean of the Sophomore Experience and Intercultural Center Director at Swarthmore College. He is also a doctoral candidate in Adult and Higher Education at University of South Dakota.

His education, global experience and prominent role in the Hip Hop Congress have assisted him in addressing pressing issues of diversity on these campuses. He served as an Associate Instructor and PR Officer for the Muslim Student Union (during 9/11) and helped open up important discussion and dialogue regarding Islam in a post-9/11 context, both in the world and in the U.S.

Throughout his career, Amer has consistently addressed marginality that impact how individuals experience institutions and issues of social justice that continue to face traditionally marginalized communities.  In addition, he bridges this work with the field of Intercultural Communication emphasizing developmental approaches to Intercultural sensitivity.  Such approaches have been useful in his work on Organizational, Leadership and Student Development and Assessment as well as in Workshop facilitation and Public speaking. 

Amer is deeply rooted and committed to the empowerment of young people through groundbreaking approaches that seek to unlock their creative potential.  Through unique engagement with new and social media, arts and facilitation; Amer is committed to lifting voices of the youth to create transformative change in the world.

Ahmed also does presentations on:
- Hip Hop Interculturalism
- Intercultural Leadership Development
- Utilizing Intercultural and Social Justice Frames to Build
Inclusive Student Affairs Practices
- Building Multicultural Student Coalitions
- Hip Hop Education
- Islam and Hip Hop
- Asian American Identity in the Age of Jeremy Lin
- Slum Dog Millionaire vs. Bollywood: Media, Culture and South Asian Identity in the 21st Century

Full descriptions of all of his talks are available in
his press packet (below, right).

Photo above left courtesy of Gonzaga University, Photo By Raja Bose

"Bringing a lecture about Islam and the myths and perceptions of the religion was truly amazing to have on our campus. What was great about the experience was that there were so many similarities to Christianity that the audience did not know about. What was also amazing is the conversations that continued to happen throughout the week about the event. I would definitely recommend having Amer F. Ahmed on your college campus."
- Kimberly Herrera, Coordinator, Student Activities, Anne Arundel Community College, MD
"Islamophobia, one of the most important issues of our time, comes face to face with one of the most precise presenters on the topic. With extensive experience, fierce insight and bold intelligence, Amer F. Ahmed unravels the culture of fear—and misinformation—that too often dominates our national understanding of race, equality, citizenship and American Muslims."
— Bakari Kitwana, author, The Hip-Hop Generation
"(Amer's)presentation was both informative and thought-provoking, drawing out many of the myths that people hold towards Islam and providing knowledge to counteract the harmful stereotypes...Amer was able to provide facts supported with recent events and life experiences in a manner that drew on the seriousness of the situation while brightening the mood through the use of humor to distinguish some of the flawed thought processes that occur in society and media today.”
- Joshua Parr, Vice President/ Interim President, Multicultural Student Coalition, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee
"Amer Ahmed was a phenomenal choice for our annual MLK Day program. Speaking about the global intersections between hip hop and activism, he connected with our students deeply in his workshops and informal conversations afterward. In a distinctively engaging way, he invited—and inspired—students to think deeply about our world. We couldn't have asked for more."
- Tom Simpson, Ph.D.Chair, Martin Luther King Day Committee, Phillips Exeter Academy

"His is a fresh new vision of a world in which the very concept of culture is changed, and we have much to learn from him.”
- Patti Digh, co-founder, The Circle Project and author, Life is a Verb and Global Literacies.

More Info