Posted on October 16, 2015 in Press Releases


For Immediate Release

Press Contact: Nadia Aziz | | 864-506-5509


The Arab American Institute will convene a 3-day summit in Dearborn, Michigan October 23-25 bringing together Arab American leaders from across the country. This quadrennial summit is held ahead of Presidential election years to provide a forum for presidential candidates to address and hear from the Arab American community, and for our community’s leaders to outline the Arab American platform.

In the iconic cultural center of the Arab American community, organizers, political activists, students, policy experts, and academic leaders will meet to advance the national dialogue on the domestic and foreign policy priorities particularly affecting Arab Americans.

Please contact Nadia Aziz (202-652-4981) for a full schedule and to RSVP to portions of the summit.

Over the course of the 3-day summit, events will include:

Friday, October 23rd

  • Addresses from multiple 2016 presidential campaigns, including in-person remarks by Governor Martin O’Malley on Friday, October 23rd at the University of Dearborn-Michigan. More to be announced.
  • A day-long program focused on U.S. policy on the Syrian humanitarian crisis, including remarks on Congressional action from Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), testimonies from recently arrived refugees, remarks from Michigan Governor Rick Snyder’s office, and three expert panels examining the U.S. options for response. Assistant Security for Population, Refugees, and Migrants, Anne Richard will offer remarks on behalf of the Obama administration’s resettlement policy. This day is co-sponsored by over 15 organizations, including national advocacy groups, Syrian community groups, and refugee assistance groups. See the full list here.
  • On the occasion of the Arab American Institute’s 30th anniversary marking three decades of community empowerment, we will host a dinner gala honoring four Dearborn, Michigan luminaries in the Arab American community. Special guests include Congresswoman Debbie Dingell, and Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence.

Saturday, October 24th

  • Expert panels will lead the formation of the 2016 Arab American platform. Panelists include but are not limited to:
    • Famed pollster John Zogby (Zogby Analytics)
    • Acclaimed political analyst Steve Clemons (The Atlantic)
    • Whistleblower and subject of upcoming major feature film, Michael German (The Brennan Center for Justice)
    • Middle East policy thought-leader Stephen Grand (The Atlantic Council)
    • Civil rights attorney Sakira Cook of the historic Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
    • Glenn Katon of Muslim Advocates, a lead litigator in the recent landmark civil rights cases, Hassan v. City of New York and Vaguely Qualified Productions LLC v. Metropolitan Transportation Authority et al
    • A discussion with young leaders steering the justice for Palestine movement politically and socially on college campuses and in Washington, DC.
    • Republican and Democratic party leaders, including Amy Dacey (CEO of the Democratic National Committee) will be on hand to answer the question, “why is your party the logical home of the Arab American vote?”

Sunday, October 25th

  • A community townhall hosted at the Arab American National Museum on Sunday, October 25th during which the 2016 platform will be finalized.

For three decades the Arab American Institute has set out to mobilize Arab American political participation through our #YallaVote voter registration and education campaign, encouraging public service, support for Arab American candidates and appointments, and strategic advocacy.

Please contact Nadia Aziz (202-652-4981) for a full schedule and to RSVP to portions of the summit.

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