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Characters Unite Award Winners

Milia Islam-Majeed


Milia Islam-Majeed is the Executive Director of the South Coast Interfaith Council (SCIC), an association of more than 140 churches, synagogues, mosques and more that promotes mutual understanding, respect, appreciation and cooperation among people of all faiths and cultures. SCIC, based in Long Beach, CA, works with congregations and programs throughout the South Bay-Harbor-Long Beach area of Los Angeles and West Orange counties, encompassing some 35 cities and approximately 1.8 million people.

Milia’s passion and commitment to interfaith work has been existent and illustrated throughout her personal, academic and professional life. The daughter of Matiul and Fatema Islam, who migrated to the United States in 1986 from Bangladesh, she spent most of her childhood and adolescence in a small Midwestern town of Fulton, Missouri. She obtained her undergraduate degree in World Religions and Psychology from Westminster College in Missouri and later moved to Boston, MA, where she earned a Masters in Theological Studies of the World Religions from the Harvard Divinity School.

While at Harvard she gained the essential knowledge needed to understand and work with members of diverse ethnic, cultural, social, economic, racial and religious communities. Aside from academics, she initiated activities that were both educational and relevant to the times with the goal of serving individuals espousing various faith traditions.

Her deep commitment to interfaith work continued beyond the completion of her graduate studies. After graduation, Milia served as the Program Director of “Community Empowerment Project” in Boston. This federally funded year-long program included working with the marginalized immigrant and refugee community and their involvement in building bridges across racial, ethnic, religion, cultural and neighborhood divides in Cambridge and greater Boston.

Prior to becoming the Executive Director of SCIC, she was the Program Manager of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) Leadership Development Center in Plainfield, Indiana. Milia’s primary responsibility was program design, development and execution of leadership trainings as well as seminars for community leaders and members focusing on understanding the religious and cultural diversity vibrant in America today. In her tenure at ISNA she participated in over 20 interfaith discussions, forums and programs through faith based organizations, academic institutions, governmental agencies as well as the general community. These programs addressed multiple topics including how to co-exist in a pluralistic society.

Most recently, Milia was part of an interfaith program sponsored by the U.S. Department of State where an American delegation of six scholars and community leaders were invited to Indonesia to participate in interfaith dialogues focusing on religion and society.

Milia resides in Chino, CA, with her husband.

Milia Islam-Majeed