Posted by Arab American Institute on January 23, 2017 in Blog

Building on the release of AAI's "Advocacy Road Map," Government Relations Director Nadia Aziz joined activists in Philadelphia on Sunday, January 22 to discuss the community's immediate priorities and help develop them into an action plan. 

"The November election jolted many in our community, especially given our stance for immigrant rights and religious freedom. So, it's important for us to get together, as a  community, to figure out how to deal with the potential domestic and foreign challenges. This meeting went a long way in developing that strategy," said Marwan Kreidie, Executive Director of the Philadelphia Arab-American Development Corps and an AAI National Policy Council member. 

Among the priorities outlined were: 

- identifying and documenting hate crimes; 

- responding to any type of religious or ethnic registry; 

- supporting refugee resettlement; 

- opposing unjust policies toward Palestine including efforts to infringe free speech; and 

- defending Fourth Amendment cities also known as Sanctuary Cities. 

Community members then outlined specific local actions to move each area forward including a series of meetings with key local and state officials. 

"I think those in attendance appreciated that there were very specific, and frankly simple, actions that could make a difference on the issues we care about as Arab Americans. It was also great to meet new community members. I know I left feeling more empowered and I am sure others felt the same," said Aziz. 

Several resources, in addition to the "Advocacy Road Map," were shared with those in attendance to use during their meetings and outreach. They included: 

Refugee Vetting Process and Infographic

Action Alert: Senator Casey re Anti-Semitism Awareness Act 

How to Report Discrimination & Hate Crimes