Najeeba Syeed wins Auburn Seminary’s Walter Wink Scholar-Activist Award

Director of Center for Global Peacebuilding recognized for outstanding work in interfaith activism


NEW YORK — Monday, Auburn Seminary awarded Najeeba Syeed, Esq., its prestigious Walter Wink Scholar-Activist Award for 2017. The award serves to recognize exceptional faith leaders who have dedicated their lives to work for social justice.

Syeed is an associate professor of interreligious education at Claremont School of Theology and the director of the Center for Global Peacebuilding, with a distinguished history of work at the intersection of interfaith education and social-justice activism.

“We are tremendously proud to honor Professor Sayeed with Auburn’s ‘Walter Wink Award for Scholar Activism’ at the American Academy of Religion gathering,” said Auburn’s president, Rev. Dr. Katharine Rhodes Henderson. “As a peacemaker, healer and scholar, she embodies Auburn’s mission of creating lasting, positive impact in theological education and social change-making.”

Her track record as a peacemaker and critical peace researcher makes her a sought-out advisor and she has served as an on-the-ground peace interventionist in conflicts around the globe. Syeed’s peace and justice work has been the subject of news reports and documentaries, including NBC’s broadcast of “Waging Peace: Muslim and Christian Alternatives.”

“I believe we are in a time where religion can actually be the biggest cause for peace instead of the reason for violence,” said Syeed.

Given annually at the American Academy of Religion/Society Meetings, the Walter Wink Scholar Activist Award recognizes courageous individuals who dedicate their lives to advocating for justice and peace across the world. Like long-time Auburn faculty member Walter Wink, these awardees are troubling the waters and healing the world. Former awardees include Dr. Simran Jeet Singh (2016) and Rev. Dr. Traci West (2015). This year’s third annual award ceremony took place in Boston, with Henderson presenting the award to Syeed.


Auburn Seminary identifies and strengthens leaders — from the pulpit to the public square — to build communities, bridge divides, pursue justice and heal the world.


Aimee Thunberg
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