Posted on July 12, 2016 in Press Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                       

July 12, 2016           


Media Advisory


Arab Americans Raise Civil Liberties Concerns at DNC Convention

Panel to Address Profiling, Surveillance and Due Process

Washington, DC – On Wednesday, July 27 at 1PM, the Arab American Institute Foundation will host a panel discussion, “Civil Rights and Civil Liberties in a Climate of Suspicion.” The session, held at the National Constitution Center at Independence Mall, will outline current policy concerns and offer meaningful solutions for delegates and the Philly community. Panelists will address profiling, surveillance, Countering Violent Extremism programs and the disparate impact these programs have had on Arab Americans and American Muslims. 

Panelists include:

Maya Berry - Executive Director, Arab American Institute

Establishing AAI’s first Government Relations department in 1996, Berry led that team for five years before becoming Legislative Director for House Minority Whip David Bonior. Berry started her career in public service working for ACCESS, the nation’s oldest and largest Arab American human services non-profit. Berry has attended numerous Democratic National Conventions as a delegate or standing committee member since 1992, and was appointed to the DNC’s 2016 Platform Committee.

Michael German - Fellow, Brennan Center for Justice

As a Fellow with the Brennan Center for Justice’s Liberty and National Security Program, German’s work focuses on law enforcement and intelligence oversight and reform. A sixteen-year veteran of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, German served as a special agent working in domestic terrorism and covert operations. German left the FBI in 2004 after reporting continuing deficiencies in FBI counterterrorism operations to Congress. He is the author of Thinking Like a Terrorist: Insights of a Former FBI Undercover Agent. German’s counterterrorism work inspired the plot of the movie Imperium starring Daniel Radcliffe, set for release in August.

Susan Herman - President, American Civil Liberties Union

Elected President of the American Civil Liberties Union in October 2008, Herman teaches at Brooklyn Law School where she holds a chair as Centennial Professor of Law. She writes extensively on constitutional and criminal procedure topics for scholarly and other publications, ranging from law reviews and books to periodicals and online publications. Her current book, Taking Liberties: The War on Terror and the Erosion of American Democracy, published by Oxford University Press in October 2011 and in an updated paperback edition in 2014, is the winner of the 2012 IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law/Roy C. Palmer Civil Liberties Prize. 

Vincent Warren - Executive Director, Center for Constitutional Rights

As Executive Director of the Center for Constitutional Rights, Warren oversees CCR’s groundbreaking litigation and advocacy work, which includes using international and domestic law to hold corporations and government officials accountable for human rights abuses; challenging racial, gender and LGBT injustice; and combating the illegal expansion of U.S. presidential power and policies such as illegal detention at Guantanamo, rendition, and torture.


WHAT: Civil Rights and Civil Liberties in a Climate of Suspicion 

WHEN: Wednesday, July 27, 1-2:30 PM                       

WHERE: National Constitution Center at Independence Mall 

RSVP: Press RSVP to


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A not-for-profit affiliate of AAI, the Arab American Institute Foundation’s goal is to encourage, recognize, and celebrate Arab American participation in American civic life, and to cultivate and mobilize a strong, educated, empowered Arab American community that can play a meaningful role in the betterment of our country. AAIF’s programming provides communities with the platform and hard data necessary to strategically and successfully combat xenophobia, and anti-Arab and anti-Muslim bigotry. Through its numerous outreach programs AAIF builds leadership skills among students and young professionals and informs the public, government agencies, and organizations about the contributions and concerns of Arab Americans.

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