Speaker Date Topic
John Emery, Islamic Resource Group Mar 21, 2018 12:00 PM
Minnesota Muslims Up Close
Minnesota Muslims Up Close

John Emery completed intensive study of the Arabic language in the US Army.  He served as a translator and interrogator for nine years, including service in the United States, North Africa, the Persian Gulf, and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.  John worked for Army Intelligence, Naval Intelligence, NSA, FBI, DIA, and other agencies.

After his honorable discharge from the US Army, John completed his B.A. in Global Studies at the University of Minnesota.

John is currently a speaker for the Islamic Resource Group, a Minnesota nonprofit dedicated to building bridges of understanding between Minnesota Muslims and the broader Minnesota community.

This presentation will cover the basics of what Muslims believe and do, with a special focus on the demographics of Minnesota Muslims.  The presentation will dispel some common myths and misconceptions about Muslims, and highlight the similarities between the Abrahamic faiths.

Lindsey Smith, Syrian-American Medical Society Mar 28, 2018 12:00 PM
The Syrian-American Medical Society
The Syrian-American Medical Society
Lindsey Smith, a Minneapolis native Nurse Practitioner, is a volunteer with the Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS) and has recently taken on the honorable role of President of the Minnesota Chapter.   With SAMS, she was part of the first team that responded to the crisis of 35,000 refugees stranded along the Greek-Macedonian border after military presence sealed the border.  After forceful evacuation and dispersement into military camps, she continued this work for those awaiting asylum.  
She is on the board for SAMS Global Response Team that focuses their efforts on countries in crisis and natural disasters outside of the Syrian conflict.  This summer, during the battle against ISIS in Mosul, Iraq, she worked with a team in an abandoned garage on the front lines caring for those who were able to flee from ISIS.  Shortly after, she was deployed with SAMS to Puerto Rico after hurricane Irma devastated the island.  
She continues to advocate for those in need. In April she will be leading a team, including nine other Minnesotans, to volunteer in refugee camps in Lebanon near the Syrian border where 30% of the population are refugees and more than half are children.   
John Noltner, Freelance Photographer Apr 04, 2018 12:00 PM
Lessons on the Road to Peace
Lessons on the Road to Peace

John Noltner has worked as a freelance photographer for 25 years, creating images for national magazines, Fortune 500 companies and nonprofit organizations. His assignments have taken him across the country and around the world. His images have appeared in National Geographic Traveler, Smithsonian, Midwest Living Magazine, Forbes and Businessweek. His work has been exhibited across the country and he is in demand as a speaker at colleges, universities and national conferences.

Photographer John Noltner drove 40,000 miles across the country asking people the simple question, "What does peace mean to you?"


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