On Tuesday, April 18th, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) joined a coalition of Arab-American organizations for a joint advocacy day on Capitol Hill. The theme of the day was “Advocating for justice.” Other organizations participating in the advocacy day were the Arab-American Institute (AAI), the Network of Arab-American Professionals (N AAP), and the National Network for Arab American Communities (NNAAC).
The day began with a congressional briefing in the Rayburn House Office Building. The briefing featured a diverse group of panelists, including Abed Ayoub, ADC Legal & Policy Director; Sakira Cook, Counsel for the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights; Patrick Edington, Policy analyst for the Cato Institute; Maya Berry, Executive Director of AAI; and Joanne Lin, Immigration Policy Advocacy Counsel for the ACLU among others. The panelists discussed broad range of domestic and foreign policy issues, including racial profiling, the rise of anti-Arab and anti-Muslim bigotry, privacy and surveillance, the need for equal protection in travel, as well ways to better address the Syrian refugee crisis.
Several members of Congress attended the briefing and gave motivational speeches, including Congressman Keith Ellison (MN), Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (MI), and Congressman Garret Graves (LA). Congressman Keith Ellison urged the importance of the Arab-Americans coming to Capitol Hill and meeting with members of congress in order to change the status quo on these issues. All members of congress emphasized that it was great to see all of these Arab-American organizations coming together to discuss and advocate on issues of common interest to the Arab-American Community.