Posted by Arab American Institute on April 01, 2018 in Blog
Thursday, April 26, 2018
1331 Pennsylvania Ave, NW | Washington, D.C.
5:30 Reception | 6:30 Gala
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
Award for Institutional Excellence
From its inception, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has worked tirelessly to champion the rights of all Americans as enshrined to them by the Constitution. Formed in response to the unjust raids and deportations of hundreds of Americans by the U.S. Department of Justice in 1920, it has led the charge for individual freedoms and civil liberties at nearly every pivotal moment in modern U.S. history. The Arab American Institute Foundation is proud to honor the American Civil Liberties Union with the Award for Institutional Excellence at the 2018 Kahlil Gibran Spirit of Humanity Awards Gala.
As we celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Gibran Gala, AAIF honors those who, during times of polarization and tension, seek to promote unity and inclusion at home and around the world. For nearly 100 years, the ACLU has fought for liberty and freedom in the face of unjust policies. As more than one hundred thousand Japanese Americans were rounded up for internment following Pearl Harbor, it stood practically alone in opposition. More than a decade later, it teamed up with the NAACP and confronted the ugly forces of bigotry and racism in the Jim Crow South. Winning one of the most important courtroom victories of the century, Brown v. Board of Education, the ACLU helped bring equal education to children across the United States, chipping away at the forces of institutionalized racism. Having participated in more Supreme Court cases than any other private organization in the past 90 years, the ACLU’s fight to protect our constitutional rights carries on in courtrooms, legislatures, and communities across the country today.
Throughout all of its work the ACLU has taken on the most difficult cases, fighting back against government abuse and discriminatory policies, including the recent Muslim and Refugee Ban. As we face newer challenges, the efforts of the ACLU lawyers and volunteers reminds us that we must continue to not only demand more of our leaders, but also of ourselves to ensure that our country remains a safe and welcoming place for all.
In receiving the Award for Institutional Excellence the ACLU joins a distinguished group of organizations, including the Children’s Defense Fund, the Southern Poverty Law Center, and Amnesty International USA; all of which exemplify Kahlil Gibran’s endeavor “to advance toward what will be.”
We will be joined by the ACLU’s Executive Director Anthony D. Romero to accept the award, along with fellow awardees José Andrés & World Central Kitchen, former U.S. Ambassador to the UAE Marcelle M. Wahba, and Irish Senator and award-winning musician Frances Black at AAIF’s 20th annual Kahlil Gibran Gala. We hope you will join us too.