Below is the archive of press releases issued by AAI and stories in which AAI appears. If you are a member of the media and interested in talking with us, please contact Omar Baddar at 202-429-9210.

AAI RESPONDS TO SUPREME COURT DECISION IN DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE V. NEW YORK

Posted on June 27, 2019

June 27, 2019

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Tess Waggoner

(202)429-9210

twaggoner@aaiusa.org The case, Department of Commerce v. New York, required the Court to consider whether the Trump Administration violated the Constitution or federal administrative law in adding a citizenship question. In the case, the Trump Administration furthered various reasons for adding a citizenship question to the census, but the Supreme Court, like the lower federal courts, found these reasons to be merely pretextual. For these reasons, the Arab American Institute (AAI) filed an amicus brief in this case which argued that Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross’s decision to add a...

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STATEMENT ON SUPREME COURT DECISION ON GERRYMANDERING CASES

Posted on June 27, 2019

June 27, 2019

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Tess Waggoner

202-429-9210

twaggoner@aaiusa.org

AAI TROUBLED BY SUPREME COURT DECISION IN LAMONE V. BENISEK AND RUCHO V. COMMON CAUSE This term, the Supreme Court heard two consolidated cases asking whether political gerrymandering is unconstitutional. The two cases argued in front of the Court were Lamone v. Benisek, which challenged a congressional maps drawn by Democrats in Maryland who rejected proposals to increase minority representation in favor of a political gerrymander, and Rucho v. Common Cause, which challenged a congressional map drawn by Republicans in North...

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Time to Restore the Voting Rights Act

Posted on June 25, 2019

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Tess Waggoner

(202)429-9210

twaggoner@aaiusa.org

June 25, 2019

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today marks the six-year anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Shelby County v. Holder – a decision that eliminated a core element of the 1965 Voting Rights Act (VRA). The Arab American Institute joins other civil rights organizations and allies to mark June 24-30 as a Shelby Week of Action to push Congress to act to restore the VRA and pass the Voting Rights Advancement Act (VRAA).  

The VRA aimed to protect the rights of American voters, particularly minority voters, from institutional discrimination and disenfranchisement....

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AAI Statement on Hofeller memo, decennial census

Posted on May 30, 2019
This morning, news of the Hofeller memo brought to light what AAI and other civil rights groups feared from the moment Secretary Ross announced the addition of the citizenship question to the census: that it was politically motivated to suppress the count of various hard to count communities across the country.
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Defendant Convicted for Targeting of AAI President James Zogby and AAI Staff in Federal Hate Crime Trial

Posted on May 09, 2019

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Tess Waggoner

twaggoner@aaiusa.org 

202.429.9210

May 9, 2019

Defendant Convicted for Targeting of AAI President James Zogby and AAI Staff in Federal Hate Crime Trial 

From May 3 to May 7, 2019, current and former employees of the Arab American Institute (AAI) were called to testify in the federal hate crime trial, United States v. William Patrick Syring, at the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. The defendant, who was indicted in February 2018, was found guilty today on all fourteen counts, including seven federal hate crime charges. Four of these charges...

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Leadership, Poetry, Friendship, and the Pursuit of Justice Echo at Spirit of Humanity Awards

Posted on May 03, 2019

May 3, 2019 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Tess M. Waggoner

twaggoner@aaiusa.org

(202)429-9210 Leadership, Poetry, Friendship, and the Pursuit of Justice Echo at AAIF’s Kahlil Gibran Spirit of Humanity Awards  The Arab American Institute Foundation celebrated the Spirit of Humanity, offering the promise of hope in the face of darkness in recognizing Gus Newport, Lyse Doucet, RAICES, Emel Mathlouthi and the late Miriam Zayed at the 21st annual Kahlil Gibran Spirit of Humanity Awards on May 2, 2019. The gala brought together dignitaries, distinguished guests, community leaders, organizations and individuals to celebrate the enormous contributions of this year’s awardees to our common future,...

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21st Annual Kahlil Gibran Awards Gala Celebrates the 'Spirit of Humanity'

Posted on April 29, 2019

***MEDIA ADVISORY***

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 29, 2019

CONTACT: Tess Waggoner | twaggoner@aaiusa.org | (202)429-9210

 

21st ANNUAL KAHLIL GIBRAN AWARDS GALA CELEBRATES THE ‘SPIRIT OF HUMANITY’

Washington, D.C.- The Arab American community will honor individuals and organizations who carry on the humanistic legacy of author and poet Kahlil Gibran at the 21st Kahlil Gibran Spirit of Humanity Awards Gala on the evening of Thursday, May 2, 2019 at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C. This year’s recipients include former Berkeley, CA mayor Eugene "Gus" NewportRAICESthe largest immigration services provider in TexasLyse Doucet of the BBC, late Chicago-area community leader Miriam Zayed and Tunisian singer-songwriter Emel Mathlouthi.  

Individuals, organizations and communities whose work, commitment and support make a difference in promoting coexistence and inclusion in all walks of life are honored at the event, which is named for the famed Arab American artist and author of The Prophet. The awards further symbolize Gibran’s pride in his Arab heritage, respect for the freedom he found in the United States and the powerfully humane message of his life’s work. 

AAI Executive Director Maya Berry noted,

“Gibran’s example of cultural pride and civic engagement continue to inspire and inform our work today. Our Gibran Gala has always been about honoring the best of humanity. From community advocates who define public service, to journalists reminding us of our shared humanity, to an organization at the front lines fighting tirelessly to keep families together, this year’s awardees bring us hope despite deeply troubling times. We are pleased to honor the remarkable contributions of our awardees, who, through their profound accomplishments and service, remind us of our powerful commitments to one another, the human family.” 

Past gala participants and awardees include advocate and actress Salma Hayek Pinault, ALSAC – St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, the ACLU, former Sen. George Mitchell, Habitat for Humanity, former Secretary of State Colin Powell, Reporters Without Borders, the late Muhammad Ali, journalist Christiane Amanpour, Amnesty International, Refugees International and recording star Sting among many others.

 

WHAT: 21st annual Kahlil Gibran “Spirit of Humanity” Awards Gala

WHO: Honorees include Lyse Doucet of the BBC, RAICES, Eugene “Gus” Newport, Emel Mathlouthi and the late Miriam Zayed. Presenters include the Honorable Rashida Tlaib, and actor Danny Glover.

WHERE: Omni Shoreham Hotel, 2500 Calvert St NW, Washington, D.C. 

WHEN: Thursday, May 2, 2018 Reception 5:30 PM | Gala dinner 6:30 PM

RSVP REQUIRED TO:  twaggoner@aaiusa.org; 202-429-9210

NOTE: The Kahlil Gibran Spirit of Humanity Awards Gala is a private event. Press must RSVP, present credentials and ID on site to gain entrance to the event. Due to logistic limitations, we regret that onsite media registration for this event is not possible.

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AAI Responds to Fatal Shooting at Poway Synagogue

Posted on April 27, 2019

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 27, 2019

CONTACT: Tess Waggoner

twaggoner@aaiusa.org

(202) 429-9210 AAI Statement on Fatal Shooting at Chabad of Poway Synagogue

WASHINGTON, DC – Maya Berry, Executive Director of the Arab American Institute, made the following statement after receiving news of a fatal shooting at a synagogue in Poway, California:

"We are heartbroken to learn about today's shooting at the Chabad of Poway synagogue, which has left at least one person dead and multiple wounded. That today marks the end of Passover, one of the most important...

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AAI Statement on Supreme Court Oral Arguments on Census Citizenship Question

Posted on April 23, 2019

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 23, 2019

CONTACT: Tess Waggoner

twaggoner@aaiusa.org

(202) 429-9210 AAI Statement on Supreme Court Oral Arguments on Census Citizenship Question 

WASHINGTON, DC – Maya Berry, Executive Director of the Arab American Institute, made the following statement after the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Department of Commerce v. New York, which asks whether a question about citizenship can be added to the 2020 census questionnaire:

“The decennial census is supposed to be a matter of mandated constitutional procedure. It is not supposed to be politicized. Our...

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TRUMP ADMINISTRATION DENIES PROMINENT PALESTINIAN HUMAN RIGHTS ADVOCATE ENTRANCE

Posted on April 11, 2019

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Tess Waggoner, twaggoner@aaiusa.org, 202-429-9210 TRUMP ADMINISTRATION DENIES PROMINENT PALESTINIAN HUMAN RIGHTS ADVOCATE ENTRANCE On Eve of U.S. Speaking Tour, BDS Co-Founder Omar Barghouti Banned from Entry

WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 11, 2019) – On April 10, Omar Barghouti, a prominent Palestinian human rights activist, was denied entry into the United States at Ben Gurion Airport despite having valid travel documents. The Arab American Institute invited him to Washington to participate in a number of speaking engagements and educational programs.  

Barghouti, who is the co-founder of the Palestinian civil society led boycott, divestment and sanctions movement (BDS), was scheduled to...

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