Juan Galvan – El Jefe
Juan Galvan is a notable author, speaker, and advocate for the Latino Muslim community. Born in Texas as a third-generation Mexican-American and the son of migrant workers, Juan spent his early years hoeing cotton in the rural Texas Panhandle. He obtained his degree from the University of Texas at Austin in 2001, and it was during this time that he embraced Islam.
Juan has been an active advocate for the Latino Muslim community since he embraced Islam, which led him to create his first Islam-related website at HispanicMuslims.com. He later joined the Latino American Dawah Organization (LADO), where he helped purchase the domain LatinoDawah.org with Samantha Sanchez. For many years, their website was the first destination on the Internet for many new Muslims. Juan’s passion for supporting and empowering the Latino Muslim community has been a driving force in his life, and he currently serves as President/CEO of the organization. El Jefe means “the leader.” Today, the LADO Group (LADO) focuses on providing scholarships and grants to support the education and professional development of Latino Muslims and their organizations.
Through his position on ISNA’s Latino Muslim Coordinating committee, Juan Galvan worked alongside prominent members of the community, including Samantha Sanchez, Khadijah Rivera, Benjamin Perez, and Carl Askia El-Amin, to promote Latino Muslim speakers and conferences. In fact, it was at a ISNA Latino Muslims Conference in Chicago that he met his wife of 20 years. He has spoken at numerous events, including the annual Hispanic Muslim Day event at the North Hudson Islamic Educational Center (NHIEC).
Juan’s contributions to the community also include his work as an editor and sought-after content expert on the Latino Muslim community. He spearheaded the first-ever issue dedicated to Latino Muslims in Islamic Horizons and coordinated two issues of The Message International magazine focusing on Latino Muslims. Juan also co-founded LADO’s online newsletter, The Latino Muslim Voice, and actively contributes articles. His insights have been quoted in many publications including the New York Times, the Houston Chronicle, and the Los Angeles Times.
Juan continues to be a strong advocate for the inclusion of the Latino Muslim voice in the mainstream Muslim narrative. He has assisted dozens of students, professors, and reporters with research and has provided access to the Latino Muslim community through interviews and his writings. He co-authored a report called Latino Muslims in the United States: Reversion, Politics, and Islamidad. He is a contributor and the editor of the book Latino Muslims: Our Journeys to Islam, and he is honored to work with Latino Muslim pioneer, Rahim Ocasio, to educate Muslims from all walks of life about an overlooked part of Latino Muslim history with the book, Alianza Islamica: Spanish Harlem’s Islamic Odyssey. Juan is also involved in education and interfaith dialogue, publishing a book in 2019 titled ‘And One of His Signs…’: Quran Verses that Softened my Heart‘.
After experiencing the difficult learning process of self-publishing for his first book, Juan Galvan founded Publishing Experts, LLC and wrote the book Assisted Self-Publishing to help aspiring authors. He currently manages the LatinoDawah.org and HispanicMuslims.com websites, as well as his blog at LatinoMuslim.com. Juan lives in the Midwest with his wife and three sons and is actively involved on social media where he encourages others to expand their views on Latino and Muslim identity.