Speakers Bio


Director of Outreach for American Islam

Bassem Chaaban is the Director of the Center for Peace which is the outreach department  of the Islamic Society of Central Florida and Director of Outreach for American Islam, Inc.  He has been actively involved in lecturing and presenting the elements of Islam, helping dispel the stereotypes and misconceptions about Islam and Muslims.  He has spoken at different Universities, Colleges, public schools, churches and civic organizations throughout the State of Florida and is professor of World Religions at the Humanities department of Seminole State College.  He is the chairman of the City of Orlando Human Rights Chapter 57 Review Board that deals with Human and Civil Rights cases in the community.

In addition, he is a former national advisor for Nacel Open Door, a non-profit organization dedicated to international student exchange that deals with building bridges of understanding between cultures.  He holds a Bachelors degree in Economics and another in Business Administration from the University of Central Florida.  He has a Masters Degree in Public Administration with a certificate in the non-profit sector.


Areas of Focus: Islamophobia in the Media

For over forty-years Alan Wilgus has fought against ignorance and hatred believing that one person can make a difference. During his career as an Army Infantry officer he chose assignments that thrust him into the forefront of social change. In 1972 he served as a Race Relations Staff officer combating racism by raising awareness through training during a turbulent period for our country and its armed forces.


As a commander he facilitated the integration of women into training and combat support units. Later taking the best from the Human Potential Movement he pioneered the application of organizational development (OD) methodology in a military setting. Consulting to general officer headquarters across the Army and later serving on the faculty of the US Army Organizational Effectiveness School and Center at Fort Ord, CA. his focus was on the creation of high-performance work teams.


Upon retirement from the Army as a Major he spent a second career working with Fortune 500 companies as a management consultant. A published expert in organizational design and change, his interventions empower employees through the creation of team-based structures that improve bottom-line performance while creating more satisfying jobs.


While living in Atlanta he became active in his community through his local Kiwanis club where he has held several leadership positions including club president. He is a founding Director of Building


Understanding (BUDS) an organization that works to dispel prejudice by providing learning opportunities to young adults.

As a former military Psychological Operations (PSYOPS) officer he is familiar with how propaganda is used to influence both an enemy on the battlefield and a civilian population. He continues to fight bigotry and hatred by using this knowledge in speaking and writing about how Islamophobia is spread through the internet. Alan has a BS in Behavioral Science and a MA in Organization Development. He and his wife Helen currently reside in The Villages, Florida


Areas of Focus: Health & the Medicine of the Prophet

Patsy Holden has been teaching Alkaline Diet and Food as Medicine classes since 2011.  She graduated in 2009 from the University of Central Florida with a Master in Anthropology, and has studied ancient diets and forms of holistic and spiritual medicine from cultures around the world, adopting most of the things she has learned into her own life.  Using holistic protocols such as detoxification, diet change, and the use of powerful foods that are well-documented in their ability to heal, she has witnessed the complete reversal of minor, serious and even terminal health problems such as late-stage brain tumors, breast cancer, long-term chronic viral infections, COPD, eczema and adult acne, arthritis, and chronic fatigue and depression.  Today, she grows much of her own food in her small suburban garden and promotes local farms and restaurants, and she speaks about the Alkaline Diet and Food as Medicine at various public venues such as churches, women's groups and colleges.


Areas of Focus: Shariah and the Constitution

Carlo Pedrioli joined the faculty at Barry University School of Law in August 2009.  Prior to returning to academia, he was a legal aid attorney with California Rural Legal Assistance (CRLA) in Modesto, California, for several years.  At CRLA, Professor Pedrioli represented indigent clients, mainly in the areas of housing, employment, and elder law.  While he was working toward his Ph.D., Professor Pedrioli taught Mass Communication Law and Constitutional Law and coached intercollegiate debate at the University of Utah.  Professor Pedrioli is a member of the State Bar of California and the bars of various federal courts.


Professor Pedrioli’s research interests include constitutional law, civil rights, critical theory, law and rhetoric, and legal history.  Professor Pedrioli primarily teaches Constitutional Law, Property, and Criminal Procedure.  Additionally, he teaches related courses such as Constitutional Theory and Creating the Constitution, and he has taught Comparative Constitutional Law in Barry’s summer abroad program in El Escorial, Spain.  Since assuming his current position, Professor Pedrioli has provided pro bono representation to indigent litigants in federal court, particularly at the appellate level.