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(PDF) (DOC) (JPG)January 25, 2011

(MAHWAH, NJ) – Ramapo College of New Jersey will celebrate the Fifth Annual Diversity Convocation on Wednesday, February 2 with musician and activist Salman Ahmad. The United Nations Good Will Ambassador will give a performance/lecture titled “America and Islam Through a Rock and Roll Lens.” Ahmad is author of the memoir, “Rock and Roll Jihad: A Muslim Rock Star’s Revolution.”

Ahmad is a Pakistani rock star whose band Junoon has sold more than 25 million albums. A medical doctor by training, Ahmad currently travels the globe as a United Nations Goodwill Ambassador, spreading a message of harmony and reconciliation between the West and the Muslim world. He was a featured performer at the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize ceremony, alongside musical talents such as Alicia Keys, Melissa Etheridge and Annie Lennox. He currently teaches a course on Muslim music and poetry at the City University of New York’s Queens College campus. Ahmad spends his free time moving between Pakistan and Rockland County, New York, with his wife Samina and their three sons. For more about Ahmad’s musical and peacemaking career visit the Junoon site at

Ahmad and his wife have created the Salman and Samina Global Wellness Initiative (SSGWI), a New York based NGO that promotes interfaith and cross-cultural dialogue, global health and wellness, and music education.

The convocation will be held from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. in the Berrie Center’s Sharp Theater. A snow date is set for Wednesday, February 16.

Diversity Convocation events will also include a film screening and discussion on Wednesday, February 23 of “Coffee Futures” in the H-Wing Auditorium.  Anthropologist Zeynep Devrim Gursel Ph.D., the director and co-producer, will participate. The film weaves together the Turkish custom of coffee fortune-telling with Turkey’s decades-long attempt to join the European Union, revealing the textures of a society whose fate has long been nationally and internationally debated.

These events are sponsored by the Ramapo College Board of Trustees, President Peter P.  Mercer and the College’s Diversity Action Committee. View the Diversity Action Committee Convocation website at  Contact committee co-chairs Peter Campbell, and Paula Straile-Costa, for more information.


Ramapo College of New Jersey is the state’s premier public liberal arts college and is committed to academic excellence through interdisciplinary and experiential learning, and international and intercultural understanding. The College is ranked #1 among New Jersey public institutions by College Choice, has been named one of the 50 Most Beautiful College Campuses in America by CondeNast Traveler, and is recognized as a top college by U.S. News & World Report, Kiplinger’s, Princeton Review and Money magazine, among others. Ramapo College is also distinguished as a Career Development College of Distinction by, boasts the best campus housing in New Jersey on, and is designated a “Military Friendly College” in Victoria Media’s Guide to Military Friendly Schools.

Established in 1969, Ramapo College offers bachelor’s degrees in the arts, business, data science, humanities, social sciences and the sciences, as well as in professional studies, which include business, education, nursing and social work. In addition, the College offers courses leading to teacher certification at the elementary and secondary levels, and offers graduate programs leading to master’s degrees in Accounting, Business Administration, Creative Music Technology, Data Science, Educational Technology, Educational Leadership, Nursing, Social Work and Special Education, as well as a post-master’s Doctor of Nursing Practice.


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