Friday, February 17, 2017

ACCESS welcomes Ahmad Abuznaid as new Director of National Network for Arab American Communities (NNAAC)

ACCESS, the largest Arab American community nonprofit in the U.S., is pleased to announce the addition of Ahmad Nabil Abuznaid, Esq. to its leadership staff. Abuznaid joins ACCESS as the new Director of the National Network for Arab American Communities (NNAAC)—one of three national institutions belonging to the 46-year-old organization.

As a licensed attorney, Abuznaid co-founded and served as the Chief Operating Officer of the Florida-based nonprofit Dream Defenders, an organization comprised of communities in struggle that was formed in the aftermath of the killing of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. Through his work with Dream Defenders, Abuznaid—who also served as the organization’s organizer and Legal and Policy Director prior to climbing the ranks to COO—helped lead the fight to end mass incarceration, police brutality and zero tolerance policies in Florida schools.

In 2014, Abuznaid advocated before the United Nations Human Rights Committee in Geneva, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and the United States Commission on Civil Rights. Ahmad has been a speaker on college campuses and at social justice conferences across the U.S., Canada and Europe.

In 2015, Abuznaid began to lead delegations of activists from the Movement for Black Lives to Palestine, in an effort to deepen relationships and build coalitions that are engaged in similar work beyond borders.

Abuznaid is a graduate of Florida State University and the Florida Coastal School of Law, receiving pro-bono honors.

"I feel so fortunate to have this opportunity to lead NNAAC,” states Abuznaid. “This is a deeply challenging time for the Arab American community—and for the American community as a whole. We cannot afford to sit on the sidelines; we cannot afford to work in silos; we cannot afford to lose. Our time is now. I am excited to work with ACCESS to meet the challenges facing our community head on.”

Abuznaid replaces outgoing NNAAC Director Nadia El-Zein Tonova, who was recently appointed Director of National Partnerships for ACCESS. As an ACCESS national institution, NNAAC serves a consortium of 27 independent Arab American community-based organizations throughout 12 states. NNAAC is dedicated to building the capacity of Arab American nonprofit organizations that focus on the needs and issues impacting local communities, while working to collectively address specific issues nationally. NNAAC—which champions the movement to TAKE ON HATE—is comprised of three main programs that include capacity building, advocacy and civic engagement, and youth and community service.

“We are thrilled to welcome Ahmad to our leadership team,” states ACCESS Executive Director and CEO Hassan Jaber. “He embodies the characteristics that are at the very core of our organization. He is a champion of grassroots civil rights activism who understands the significance of coalition work to effectively combat bigotry and impact change in our communities. As the communities we serve become even greater targets of biased policies and hateful rhetoric, we welcome Ahmad’s experienced leadership at this very critical juncture.”

Monday, February 13, 2017

#BeautifulResistance: 5 events to resist Trump in SoCal this month

Protest Trump/Netanyahu Meeting! NoBanNoWall! Jerusalem4All!
Wednesday, February 15 in Los Angeles

Organizing for Resistance Town Hall
Saturday, February 18, Los Angeles

Free the People Immigration March - Sanctuary for All
Saturday, February 18, Los Angeles

Resistance 48: Peaceful Rally for Justice in OC
Monday, February 20, Huntington Beach

Mimi Walters: Respect the Constituents of CA-45
Friday, February 24, Irvine

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Epic anti-Trump performance at #GRAMMYs by A Tribe Called Quest

"I would like to thank President Agent Orange for his unsuccessful attempt at a Muslim ban," said Busta Rhymes during A Tribe Called Quest's performance at the 2017 Grammys!

Friday, December 09, 2016

#Palestine2Pipeline campaign unites Palestinians and Native Americans at Standing Rock!

Grassroots organizing, nonviolent direct action and leadership from front-line indigenous people succeeded in stopping the $3.8 billion, 1,200-mile pipeline in its tracks.

The pipeline has been stopped after the Army Corps of Engineers announced on Sunday, December 4 that it denied the easement of the Dakota Access Pipeline. This is a remarkable victory for the Standing Rock Sioux Nation and the thousands of native and non-native allies.  

The Arab American Civic Council, partnered with the Palestinian Youth Movement and Activate Labs on From Palestine to the Pipeline: A Journey for Justice, a campaign answering to a national call to action for Standing Rock.  

Ready to march on Sunday, November 27
with water protectors including historian LaDonna Brave Bull Allard 

We are proud to have taken part in this struggle as allies of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe by sending Palestinian American delegations to Standing Rock to learn, offer support, share stories, and help water protectors in the front lines.

We shared stories of the Palestinian struggle for statehood, sovereignty, and access to existing resources, including water. Through a gift from Folk Art Mavens, we were able to distribute 60 Palestinian Kuffieyehs (scarves) to tribal elders and water protectors as they marched in the front lines against the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline.

The struggle is not over yet. Many native people are skeptical and will remain in Standing Rockuntil the project completely ends. President-Elect Donald Trump supports the pipeline and could overturn the Army's decision after his inauguration.
We met Syrian American documentarian Elias Matar
(watch his film Flight of the Refugees)
Pueblo Action Alliance

We ran into activist Medea Benjamin,
co-founder of Code Pink


Thursday, December 08, 2016

CSUF removes map of Syria off exhibition (about Syria) for not specifying Israel on it

[UPDATE: on December 9 it was announced by 'A Country Called Syria' that the map has made it back in the forefront of the exhibition].

According to 'A Country Called Syria' co-founder and exhibit organizer Dania Alkhouli, the Dean at CSUF Library has been hounded by massive complaints regarding our exhibition's banner because of its map and its lack of specification of Israel. The map beneath their logo on the banner, the land identified as Palestine and Israel barely shows. The graphic designer selected this map because of its fit for the sizing and printing to enable them to produce a cost effective banner—not to "erase Israel off the map."

Without their consent or warning, the banner was stripped out of our exhibit exactly 14 days prior to closure. This means guests will no longer know the name of the organization, contact information or social media outlets.

A Country Called Syria is a nonpartisan organization dedicated purely to educating on SYRIA and its history, culture and valuable contributions to the world, as well as the humanitarian crisis it is currently crumbling beneath.

With all that, there are individuals on campus still concerned with whether or not the barely visible tip of ONE country is labeled, as opposed to everything else necessary to fixate upon? So much so that the campus staff and administrators felt fearful enough to tear down an essential piece of the exhibition.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Support #Palestine2pipeline journey for justice in #StandingRock

This year, as Americans eat their turkeys and count their blessings, members of the Sioux Nation in Standing Rock, North Dakota are being attacked with tear gas, rubber bullets, and water cannons.

Last week, I planned to go on a journey for justice to stand with the people of Standing Rock along with a team of Palestinian-Americans and allies in the fight against environmental destruction and injustice. Due to multiple flight delays, I did not reach my destination and had to return home after spending a night in Dallas. However, I just purchased another ticket and I plan to be there tomorrowFriday, Nov. 25

I am thankful for this opportunity to stand in solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe as a friend and an ally, and for having wonderful friends who supported this campaign with monetary donations, tents, sleeping bags, and the 60 Palestinian kuffiyehs from Folk Art Mavens to be hand delivered to water protectors on the front lines. 
‘From Palestine to the Pipeline: A Journey for Justice’ is a collaboration between the Arab American Civic Council, Activate Labs, and the Palestinian Youth Movement.
While working to end all US support for Israeli occupation that continues to steal the land and resources of the indigenous Palestinian population, it is essential for Palestinian rights activists here to recognize the continuing denial of the rights of Native nations and their people. 

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

OC Weekly's Gabriel San Roman to receive ADC Truth in Media Award

ADC Orange County announces Gabriel San Román from the OC Weekly as the 2016 Truth in Media award recipient. Gabriel San Román is an award-winning multimedia journalist from Anaheim, California. He worked as co-producer on the daily drive time Uprising morning show on KPFK Pacifica Radio and produced numerous segments about Middle Eastern politics and Arab-American culture. In print, he's written about Anaheim's Little Arabia countless times and wrote a 2015 OC Weekly cover story about the assassination of Alex Odeh upon its 30th anniversary. San Román has been a tireless voice against anti-Arab discrimination and Islamophobia. He began authoring articles for the Orange County Weekly in 2006 and has since become a Staff Writer.

The Alex Odeh Memorial Banquet is on Sunday, October 23rd. Please see the attached flyer for more details.

Tickets are available at Deadline to purchase reduced price tickets is October 21. After this deadline, tickets will be available for $125 at the door.

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Ahmed Ahmed is back... at the United Shades Of Ahmedica

The United Shades Of Ahmedica

World Famous Egyptian-American comedian Ahmed Ahmed is returning to his hometown in Riverside, CA to perform and film his first hour special!
He'll be hosting a VIP after party upstairs at The Fox Theater for invited guests and North High Alumni. Ray Welch will be dj'ing!!

Please get tickets at