Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Once again, Anaheim proclaims April Arab American Heritage Month

For the second consecutive year, the city of Anaheim presented a proclamation to recognize April as Arab American Heritage Month. See last year's proclamation here.

Here's my address to the council thanking them and encouraging the community to 3 things in April in celebration of Arab American Heritage Month:

Thursday, March 02, 2017

Democratic Party of Orange County passes resolution to oppose immigration ban

The Democratic Party of Orange County Central Committee passed a resolution on Monday, February 27, 2017.


WHEREAS, On Holocaust Remembrance Day, President Trump issued an Executive Order that would suspend refugee programs and bar refugees from seven (7) Muslim majority countries from entering the United States, directly threatening the lives of thousands of people who desperately need sanctuary in this country, and

WHEREAS, After a long and shameful US history of barring immigrants based on where they came from, starting in the late 19th century with laws excluding all Chinese, almost all Japanese and eventually all Asians in the so-called “Asiatic Barred Zone” as well as the 1924 implementation of a comprehensive “national-origins system,” skewing immigration quotas to benefit Western Europeans and excluding most Eastern Europeans, almost all Asians and Africans, Congress banned and President Johnson signed legislation stating plainly that no person could be “discriminated against in the issuance of an immigrant visa because of the person’s race, sex, nationality, place of birth or place of residence, and

WHEREAS, This illegal travel ban runs counter to the best traditions of the United States of accepting and absorbing immigrants as well as international human rights law which was adopted in response to the Holocaust.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED: That the DPOC does hereby strongly condemn the Trump Immigration Ban, and herby calls on all national, state and local Democratic officeholders and the political entities they represent to publicly oppose and work to overturn this measure, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED: That the DPOC does hereby call for an immediate end to the racist policies of the Trump Administration that have given rise to recent ICE raids and deportations and which threaten humanitarian policies such as DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and hereby urges Congress to immediately pass Comprehensive Immigration Reform which will protect and respect the rights of all marginalized immigrant communities.

Respectfully submitted: Author: Jeff LeTourneau DPOC Northern Vice-Chair Resolutions Committee Vice-Chair

Special thanks and acknowledgement to The New York Times and American Jewish World Service for contributing content.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Rep. Gutierrez guest for Trump speech American-born daughter of Palestinian refugees

Washington, DC – Rep. Luis V. GutiĆ©rrez (D-IL) announced today that his guest for the President’s address to a joint session of Congress on February 28 will be Ms. Fidaa Rashid, a Chicago immigration attorney who works with a mostly Middle Eastern clientele – those most directly targeted by Trump’s Muslim Ban. Ms. Rashid was born in the U.S. to parents who were refugees from Gaza in the Palestinian Territories.

“If he looks up during the speech,” Rep. Gutierrez said, “I want Trump to see the face of a woman, the face of a Muslim, and the face of someone whose family has enriched and contributed to this country despite starting out as refugees. Trump needs to know that real people are hurt by his policies and Ms. Rashid can make that point in so many ways. I am looking forward to it.”

Rep. GutiƩrrez is beginning his 13th term representing the Fourth District of Illinois, is a Member of the Judiciary Committee and is the Chair of the Immigration Task Force of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

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.”

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