Homayra Ziad is a writer, a dreamer, a scholar-activist, and a mother. She was raised within Islamic spiritual traditions of music and poetry, self-accounting and social justice.
Since receiving her doctorate from Yale, she has been an educator in multiple contexts and a practitioner of community-engaged teaching and scholarship. She currently directs the Program in Islamic Studies at Johns Hopkins University and is leading a Wabash grant on community-engaged pedagogy in Islamic Studies. Homayra has twenty years of experience in interreligious education and programming and was founding co-chair of the American Academy of Religion’s Interreligious and Interfaith Studies Group.
She is co-editor of Words to Live By: Sacred Sources for Interreligious Engagement (Orbis Press, 2018). As a scholar-activist, Homayra serves as Board Vice President of the ACLU of Maryland, and is active in the iCommunicate Cultural Collaborative, a Baltimore-based leadership incubator.
For four years, she led education on Islam and engagement with Muslim communities at a Baltimore interfaith organization, where she worked alongside teachers, activists and emerging religious leaders to learn the intersections of religion and social justice. She is a scholar in residence for the Institute for Muslim Mental Health, a consultant and partner with Hopkins’ Bloomberg School of Public Health, and a frequent collaborator on artistic projects with Creative Alliance, one of Baltimore’s most beloved community arts organizations. She was on the founding team of Art, Religion and Cities at Morgan State University, a public-facing teaching project that engages the display of religion in museums to ask questions about race, justice, and community, and creates internship opportunities for students from communities under-represented at cultural institutions.
Homayra has written for many academic and popular venues and has consulted and created programs for film and media. Her new creative writing project Restorying Islam seeks an awakening to the fullness of self in dialogue with the loving presence of God. It weaves personal reflection with diverse Muslim narratives of beauty, grit and protest to elevate artistry over identity in composing a healthy, generative and socially conscious spiritual life.