PRA Press Releases

Political Research Associates Appoints Investigators for Campus Antisemitism and Islamophobia Project

Political Research Associates (PRA) is pleased to announce the appointment of two experienced investigators to share research duties in a planned year-long probe of campus antisemitism and Islamophobia in the U.S.

Michelle Goldberg and Pamela K. Taylor, both journalists and authors, will collaborate on the project, which focuses on assessing the character and extent of these two forms of bigotry on U.S. college and university campuses and the conditions that give rise to them; identifying the key players; creating guidelines for distinguishing between bigoted and legitimate speech; and identifying opportunities for counteracting campus Islamophobia and antisemitism.

"We're lucky to have found not one, but two, excellent researchers for this important project," said the Rev. Dr. Katherine Hancock Ragsdale, PRA's president and executive director. "And we are grateful to the Irving Harris Foundation for its generous funding of this work."

Michelle Goldberg is a journalist and author based in New York, whose New York Times bestseller Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism (W. W. Norton, 2006), was a finalist for the New York Public Library's Helen Bernstein Award for Excellence in Journalism. Her latest book, The Means of Reproduction: Sex, Power and the Future of the World, will be published by Penguin Press in April 2009.

Goldberg was a senior writer at, where she traveled to Jordan and Egypt to track down immigrants who had been swept up in post-9/11 raids. She also covered right-wing de-monization campaigns against professors of Middle Eastern studies, as well as various manifestations of antisemitism on both the Left and the Right. She has also reported from Israel, Iraq, India, Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia and Argentina, and her work has appeared in The Nation, Rolling Stone, Glamour, The Guardian (UK) and The New Republic, where she has a blog. She is a member of the advisory board of J-Street, a group that is building a liberal, pro-peace alternative to supporters of aggressive Israeli policies in the Middle East.

Pamela K. Taylor is a co-founder of Muslims for Progressive Values and former director of the Islamic Writers Alliance. She is a member of the national board of advisors to the Network of Spiritual Progressives, and served as co-chair of the Progressive Muslim Union for two years. Taylor has been active in interfaith dialogue for 20 years, both in local initiatives and speaking at numerous conferences, universities, and places of worship. She received her M.T.S. from Har-vard Divinity School, and writes regularly on spiritual matters and the Islamic faith. She has written essays in Nurturing Child and Adolescent Spirituality: Perspectives from the World's Re-ligious Traditions (Rowman & Littlefield, 2005) and The Veil: Women Writers on Its History, Lore, and Politics (University of California Press, 2008). As a freelance writer, she has been published extensively in newspapers, magazines, and journals, and is an award winning poet.

PRA's director of research, Tarso Luís Ramos, will be responsible for project oversight, while senior analyst and in-house expert on antisemitism and Islamophobia Chip Berlet will provide guidance, advise project design and implementation, and make research and writing contribu-tions to the project.

Political Research Associates (PRA) is an independent, non-profit research organization, estab-lished in 1981 in response to the emergence of the New Right. PRA's incisive research and analysis on the full spectrum of the U.S. Right's movements, institutions, and ideologies that un-dermine human rights supply social change makers with the depth and breadth of information needed to challenge systemic oppression.

For more information, contact Jan Nunley, Director of Communication and Development,


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