Arab American Institute

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The Arab American Institute claims to be "the only national organization that promotes Arab American participation in the U.S. electoral system."

Background

The Arab American Institute "represents the policy and community interests of Arab Americans throughout the United States and strives to promote Arab American participation in the U.S. electoral system." Dr. James Zogby co-founded the Arab American Institute in 1985 and continues to serve as its president.[1]

History/Purpose

Established in 1985 and based in Washington, DC, the Arab American Institute (AAI) is a non-profit, nonpartisan national leadership organization. AAI was created to nurture and encourage the direct participation of Arab Americans in political and civic life in the United States.

AAI represents the policy and community interests of Arab Americans throughout the United States and strives to promote Arab American participation in the U.S. electoral system. The Institute focuses on two areas: campaigns and elections and policy formation and research. AAI strives to serve as a central resource to government officials, the media, political leaders and community groups on a variety of public policy issues that concern Arab Americans and U.S.–Arab relations.

As the only national organization that promotes Arab American participation in the U.S. electoral system, AAI has developed a host of services, from voter education to liaison with the national parties, to support the community’s activities. We are also the leading policy and research organization on domestic and policy concerns of Arab Americans. Through ongoing meetings with members of the Administration and Congress, a variety of publications and issue briefs, media and direct member mobilization, AAI maintains a strong presence among policy makers who impact our issues.[2]

2016 Democrat Party Platform

Arab American Institute founder and president Dr. James Zogby was one of five individuals selected by presidential candidate Bernie Sanders in May, 2016 to serve on the Democratic Party Platform Drafting Committee.[3]

Board

As of January 2018;[4]

Leadership Team and Staff

Capitol vigil

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March 10, 2017, South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT), a national South Asian civil rights organization, along with partner organizations, American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), Arab American Institute (AAI), Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Desis Rising Upand Moving (DRUM), Indiaspora, MPowerChange, National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA), National Network For Arab American Communities (NNAAC), Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund (SALDEF), and Sikh Coalition joining with and Members of Congress, held a vigil on the steps of the Capitol to honor the victims of hate violence in South Asian, Sikh, Muslim, Hindu, and Arab communities nationwide.

“At a time when South Asian, Sikh, Muslim, Hindu, and Arab community members are facing hate violence and harassment on nearly a daily basis, we need real leadership from Washington to stem the tide of injustice,” stated Suman Raghunathan, Executive Director of SAALT. “Waiting nearly a week before commenting on a deadly shooting in Kansas won’t do it. Issuing a second toxic Muslim Ban won’t do it. We need direct action from this administration to forge inclusion, justice, and hope in this quintessential nation of immigrants. SAALT will continue fighting for laws and policies that light a path toward a just and inclusive future for us all.”

Other speakers included Yolanda Rondon, Esq., Staff Attorney, American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, Amrita Bamrah, SALDEF, James Zogby, President, Arab American Institute, Robert S. McCaw, Director of Government Affairs Department, CAIR. [6]

Members of Congress who joined the vigil included Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), Congressman Ami Bera (D-CA), Congressman Joe Crowley (D-NY), and Congressman Ro Khanna (D-CA).

References