Juan Jose Galvan is an author, speaker, and proud 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. After growing up in small communities there, Juan embraced Islam while obtaining his degree in 2001 while pursuing higher education at the University of Texas at Austin.
Since embracing Islam, Juan has been an active advocate for the Latino Muslim community, which led him to create his first Islam-related website at HispanicMuslims.com. Later, he 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.
Through his position on ISNA’s Latino Muslim Coordinating committee, Juan Galvan worked alongside prominent members of the community including Samantha Sanchez, Khadijah Rivera, Rocio Martinez-Mendoza, Benjamin Perez, Ricardo Pena, and Carl Askia El-Amin. He has worked tirelessly to promote Latino Muslim speakers and conferences, and it was here that he met his wife of 17 years. Among Juan’s most memorable speaking engagements was at the annual Hispanic Muslim Day event at the North Hudson Islamic Educational Center (NHIEC).
In 2002, Juan Galvan spearheaded the first-ever issue dedicated to Latino Muslims in Islamic Horizons, a highly recognized magazine dedicated to the North American Muslim community. He has also coordinated two issues of The Message International magazine focusing on Latino Muslims in 2004 and 2005.
Alongside Samantha Sanchez, Juan created LADO’s online newsletter, The Latino Muslim Voice, in 2001. Through his role as editor, he actively contributed articles that have helped him develop a growing national reputation as a content expert on the Latino Muslim community. Juan has been quoted in many publications including the New York Times, the Houston Chronicle, and the Los Angeles Times.
Juan continues to 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. In 2017, he co-authored a report called Latino Muslims in the United States: Reversion, Politics, and Islamidad.
Juan Galvan is also the editor of the book Latino Muslims: Our Journeys to Islam, and he is honoured 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. In 2019, he published a book for use in interfaith dialogue titled ‘And One of His Signs…’: Quran Verses that Softened my Heart. Dr. Christian van Gorder, PhD. has said: “Juan Galvan has shared verses from the Holy Qur’an that have changed his life and inspired his service to humanity. I highly recommend this book for interfaith discussion groups because it would serve as a helpful resource for mutual respect and constructive interactions.”
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. Juan believes that anyone can learn, and he hopes that aspiring authors the world over can share their books with the world.
Today, Juan continues to manage the LatinoDawah.org and HispanicMuslims.com websites, as well as his blog at LatinoMuslim.com. He lives in the Midwest in a small quiet town outside of Springfield, Illinois, with his wife and three sons. He’s the founder and an admin of the Facebook groups, Latino Muslims, Hispanic Muslims, and The LADO Group, where he encourages others to expand their views on Latino and Muslim identity as he has learned through his own personal experiences.