Houda Abadi receives Luther College Young Alumni Award

Luther College has awarded Houda Abadi from Atlanta, Georgia, the Young Alumni Award for 2018. Abadi, Luther class of 2003, is currently serving as the associate director for the Middle East and North Africa Conflict Resolution Program at The Carter Center in Atlanta, Georgia.

The Young Alumni Award recognizes Luther alumni who have graduated in the past 15 years and have rendered notable service to their profession and society in their vocation or avocation.

Young Alumni Award recipients have demonstrated significant professional achievement, leadership abilities and distinctive service to Luther or society. Their record of commitment, leadership, character and ethics exemplify the college mission.

The award was presented to Abadi at the college's Commencement ceremony Sunday, May 27.

Abadi has served as associate director at The Carter Center since 2014. For the first two years, she worked on conflict resolution Syria and the Israel-Palestine conflict. During that time, she developed what is now the Inclusive Approaches to Preventing Violent Extremism project. The project started with a focus on discrediting ISIS recruitment propaganda through the mobilization of Muslim religious and community leaders. It also aims to quell the dangerous tide of Islamophobia emerging in some countries, which has risen because of policies that stigmatize Muslims and people's narrow understanding of violent extremism. Through action-oriented research and capacity-building workshops with religious and community leaders, the Inclusive Approaches to Preventing Violent Extremism project strives to combat hate.

Prior to joining the Center, Abadi served as the director of education in two nonprofit organizations that facilitated dialogue between Jewish and Muslim youth. She worked on curriculum development and youth interfaith dialogue. Abadi also served as a researcher, translator and writer for Muslim women's issues at Women's Islamic Initiative in Spirituality and Equality based in New York City, New York. While in graduate school, she was the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) intern in a human rights organization and acted as a liaison between the United Nations Institute of Research and Training and Arab diplomats. She was also the 2013-14 Transcultural Conflict and Violence Presidential Fellow at Georgia State.

After earning a bachelor's degree in political communication from Luther, she went on to earn her master's degree in international relations and diplomacy with a concentration in Middle East studies and conflict resolution from Seton Hall University. She holds a Ph.D. in political communication and media studies from Georgia State University and earned a graduate certificate in communication and media studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

A national liberal arts college with an enrollment of 2,050, Luther offers an academic curriculum that leads to the Bachelor of Arts degree in more than 60 majors and pre-professional programs. For more information about Luther visit the college's website: http://luther.edu.