I would like to wish you a joyful season and a wonderful year ahead. During this holiday season, we are taking the time to appreciate and be grateful for all your support and the things you do for our organization. As 2014 comes to a close, I ask you to take a moment to reflect on how the community’s support of ADC makes the vital work we do possible, and consider donating to ADC to help us continue this work.
As you may know, I have been fortunate to be ADC’s president for about a year, which has been full of challenges and opportunities. We have re-committed ourselves to our grassroots mission: combatting discrimination, defending civil rights and civil liberties of Arab Americans and others, and promoting a common understanding of our cultural heritage that transcends ethnic, racial, political, and religious boundaries.
These principles drive every aspect of our work. And thanks to your support, this past year ADC highlights include:
ADC launched a campaign to end ethnic stereotyping of Arab’s at Coachella Valley High School. Coachella Valley High School has since changed its Arab mascot caricature and removed a majority of the negative imagery of Arabs.
ADC filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in Zivotofsky v. Kerry, supporting the position of the U.S. State Department that section 214(d) of the Foreign Relations Authorization Act is unconstitutional and is part of a broader attempt to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
ADC also filed an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court in EEOC v. Abercrombie & Fitch. This case involves an Arab woman who was not hired because of her religious practice of wearing the hijab.
ADC worked on issues of employment, housing, education and travel-related discrimination; Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Syrians and filing for re-designation; as well as other immigration cases; law enforcement misconduct, hate crimes, and family law cases; prisoner and detainee matters; and much more.
This past summer, we took immediate action to organize against Israel’s latest assault on Gaza with an emergency advocacy day, candlelight vigil, #LetChildrenLive media campaign, and many other activities.
ADC launched the Women’s Empowerment Forum (WEF) and hosted a successful International Women’s Day Celebration in March. The WEF is currently working to promote female leadership and gender equality.
ADC presented our fourth annual cultural event, Turaath: Celebrating Arab Culture in America. This year, Turaath’s theme was “Arab Music from Baghdad to Andalusia,” highlighting the intersections of Arab and Spanish cultures.
We wish you the best for a serene, happy, and healthy 2015 and look forward to keeping in touch and continuing to build a formidable organization for the civil rights of people of Arab descent and their rich cultural heritage.
Samer Khalaf, Esq.
PS: If you are making your donation to ADCRI, you will receive your tax-deduction for this year, if you make it by the end of 2014. Your employer or that of your spouse may double or triple your gift; please check with your HR department.