About the Presenters

 Giuliana Valencia-Banks

Giuliana Valencia-Banks serves as Baltimore County’s first chief of immigrant affairs, assuming the newly created position in 2021. She partners with other offices and organizations to promote the wellbeing of immigrant communities across Baltimore County and serves as a liaison for those communities. Guiliana was most recently in the spotlight for her outreach to the families of the immigrant workers killed in the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge. Guiliana was previously the outreach and operations manager at the Esperanza Center of Catholic Charities of Baltimore.

Zeyneb Sayilgan, Ph.D.

Zeyneb Sayilgan, Ph.D., is the Muslim Scholar at ICJS, where her research centers around Islamic theology and spirituality, Christian-Muslim relations, and the intersection of religion and migration. Her personal experience of growing up in Germany as a child of Kurdish Muslim immigrants from Turkey informs her academic work and engagement in interreligious learning. Sayilgan is an affiliated faculty at Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria and also a Fellow Emerita in Peace and Reconciliation at its Center for Anglican Communion Studies. She has a Ph.D. in Theological and Religious Studies from Georgetown University, a Master’s degree from Hartford Seminary in Islamic Studies and Christian-Muslim Relations, and a B.A/M.A. in Islamic Studies and Public Law from the Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz, Germany.