ADC Michigan Advancing Justice Bulletin
Dearborn, MI | www.adcmich.org | December 9, 2014 – The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee Michigan Office (ADC-Michigan)
ADC-Michigan Director appears in film documenting Arab-American History
ADC-Michigan Director Attorney Fatina Abdrabboh was recently featured in a film by Abe Kasbo. The film, “One Thousand and One Journeys: The Arab-Americans”, sheds light on several leading Arab Americans, including Ms. Abdrabboh, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Anthony Shadid, General John Abizaid, Senator George Mitchell, Ralph Nader, Helen Thomas, actor Jamie Farr, comedian Dean Obeidallah, and others. Ms. Abdrabboh commented, “I am honored and humbled to be a part of this bold work that not only documents our history in this country, but also allows us to appreciate the resilience and perseverance of our parents and grandparents, many of whom overcame insurmountable obstacles to become Americans. Hopefully this film will serve as an inspiration to future generations of Arab-Americans.”
ADC-Michigan Investigates Troubling Allegations of Religious Discrimination Among Inmates in Michigan
The ADC-Michigan is currently investigating troubling allegations of religious discrimination against inmates in various private and public holding facilities in Michigan. Based on the complaints received by the ADC-Michigan, some facilities may be in violation of Federal and State laws designed to protect inmates’ religious practices and legally-mandated equal accommodations. Specifically, the complainants allege that they were denied Halal meals while being held in correctional facilities. The ADC-Michigan is in contact with the facilities in question and remains optimistic about the cooperation of the designated department. “When facilities comply with dietary requirements of some religious minorities but decline to accommodate the needs of other inmates, this raises red flags of racial discrimination. The ADC-Michigan will continue to pursue this matter aggressively because it lies at the core of advancing a just legal system,” said ADC Director Fatina Abdrabboh.
ADC-Michigan resolves discrimination case at University in Michigan
ADC-Michigan recently received a call from a local Arab American student who alleged discrimination and intimidation by university employees. The student felt that she was subjected to highly demeaning and demoralizing behavior which was magnified by her limited English language skills and her nontraditional status as a divorced Arab American woman. ADC-Michigan was able to step in at a critical time to resolve the student’s problem and reach an effective agreement with the university, enabling the student to address all her concerns while simultaneously creating conditions within the university where such issues are prevented in the future.
ADC-Michigan works to promote free speech at university in Ohio
ADC-Michigan worked to protect the rights of Arab-American students at a university in Ohio who were denied the right to peacefully demonstrate on their campus. The students attempted to exercise their First Amendment rights by demonstrating peacefully and in full accordance with the law. The ADC-Michigan collaborated with the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) organization to advocate the students’ rights. ADC-Michigan Director Attorney Fatina Abdrabboh said,
“We cannot stand by and allow any American to have their Constitutional rights violated. Nor will we take lightly any instance that undermines the right of Arab-Americans to freely express their opinions, particularly when those opinions are expressed peacefully and in accordance with the Constitution.”
ADC-Michigan Seeks Nominations for its First Annual Helen Thomas Defending Justice Award
The Helen Thomas Defending Justice Award was created by the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee Michigan Regional Office (ADC-Michigan) to honor Ms. Thomas’ commitment to freedom of expression, equality, and social justice. A distinguished leader will be acknowledged with the award every year at ADC-Michigan’s annual banquet. The winner will also receive a $1,000 stipend to be invested in his or her professional development.
We are presently soliciting nominations for the first annual Helen Thomas Defending Justice Award to recognize an individual who embodies Helen Thomas’ unfailing service to the community and her indefatigable spirit of advocacy and social justice. Please send nominations to firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://www.adcmich.org/Programs for more information.
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