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


Media Advisory:


Contact: Jennifer Salan / 202-429-9210 


Hill Briefing to Discuss Rise of Hate Groups, Hate Crimes & Formulating a Response

[Washington, DC] The Arab American Institute will hold a briefing for congressional staff on the increase in hate groups and hate crimes on Tuesday, June 27 at 10AM.

The Southern Poverty Law Center found 867 incidents of hate in the first 10 days following the November election, including more than 300 where the target was Muslim or immigrant. The SPLC also found an increase in the number of hate groups in 2016, with 917 considered active, up from 892 in 2015.

Experts will address the scope of the problem and suggest policy options for stemming the tide of hate.


Michael German: Fellow, Brennan Center for Justice

A fellow with the Brennan Center for Justice’s Liberty and National Security Program, German previously served as the policy counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union and was as a special agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation for sixteen years, where he specialized in domestic terrorism and covert operations.

Nadia Aziz: Director, Stop Hate Project & Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law

As Program Manager of the Stop Hate Project, Aziz works to ensure individuals and organizations targeted by hate have the resources they need to combat it in their communities. Prior to joining the Lawyers’ Committee in 2017, Aziz worked at the AAI as Director of Government Relations. She has previously served as a legal fellow with America Votes and Compliance Manager of the 2012 Democratic National Convention Committee. 

Johnathan Smith: Legal Director, Muslim Advocates

Prior to joining Muslim Advocates Smith served as senior counsel to the Assistant Attorney General in the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division, where he helped manage the department’s work on religious discrimination, LGBT rights, employment discrimination, housing discrimination, and appellate matters.  

Maya Berry: Executive Director, Arab American Institute

Currently steering the Institute's policy agenda as Executive Director, Berry also established AAI’s first Government Relations department in 1996. After building that department for five years, Berry joined House Minority Whip David Bonior as his Legislative Director where she developed policies on international relations, human rights, trade, and immigration. Berry is also the founder of MidAmr Group, a private consulting firm dedicated to enhancing US-Arab economic, political, and cultural cooperation.

WHAT: Hill briefing for congressional staff discussing the rise of hate groups, hate crimes and potential policy responses

WHEN: Tuesday, June 27, 10AM

WHERE: Longworth House Office Building (Room 1732)

RSVP: Please RSVP to as space is limited. 

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Founded in 1985, the Arab American Institute (AAI) is a nonprofit organization committed to the civic and political empowerment of Americans of Arab descent.  AAI provides policy, research and public affairs services to support a broad range of community activities. For more information please visit