Celebrating 10 Years: Take a Tour through NNAAC’s History

Ten years. It has been that long since the National Network for Arab American Communities (NNAAC) began as only a concept and has now developed into a full-fledged Network, comprised of 24 member organizations, spread across 11 states.

In celebration of its 10th anniversary, NNAAC has created an interactive timeline, documenting its development and accomplishments over the past decade. Click on the image below to view the timeline showcasing NNAAC's history.


NNAAC’s inception would not have been possible without the first-ever Arab American community conference held in 2002, a tradition that NNAAC continues today. Mark your calendars for the next conference from Nov. 7 to 8 in Dearborn.

Two years later in November 2004NNAAC was founded. The Network was initially comprised of 11 member organizations. New membership has been added almost every year since. In the video below, members share the impact NNAAC has had on their organizations over the years:

The next major milestone was in September 2005, when NNAAC organized the first-ever National Arab American Service Day. Since then, the annual Service Day has brought together over 9,000 volunteers who have completed over 36,000 community service hours. Find a project near you for Service Day on May 16.

NNAAC serves its members through various capacities. Perhaps the most significant is connecting member organizations with funding. NNAAC launched a capacity building grant program in November 2006 for members to request technical assistance. Since then, NNAAC has re-granted $300,000 to member organizations.

Another key function of NNAAC is to amplify the voice of the grassroots Arab American community through its advocacy and civic engagement program. NNAAC’s advocacy program began by training members on the important and unique role community organizations play in advocacy and civic engagement. Since then, NNAAC has played a leading role advocating for immigrant rights, civil liberties and human rights issues, in addition to ensuring the Arab American community makes its voice heard at the polls. In May 2008, NNAAC launched a national nonpartisan voter registration and educational campaign to mobilize the Arab American community through voter registration and Get Out The Vote activities with bilingual resources. Since then, NNAAC has registered over 10,000 new voters and reached out to nearly 150,000 voters through phone banks, door-to-door canvassing and targeted mailers reminding people to vote.

NNAAC continued with the first-ever Arab American Advocacy Week in April 2009, when members from the community across the country converged in Washington, D.C. to discuss issues with members of Congress and other elected officials. Save the date for the 7th annual Advocacy Week from March 22 to 24. 

NNAAC also provides its members with opportunities to attend training and learn from one another.  The Network held the first bi-annual Leadership Institute in Philadelphia in November 2012 and recently completed its second this past November in Atlanta. The Leadership Institute brings together NNAAC's member organizations for a weekend of training, networking and collaboration.

NNAAC’s most recent milestone was the launch of its Campaign to TAKE ON HATE in 2014. This multi-year, grassroots campaign challenges the growing prejudice and persistent misconception of Arab and Muslim Americans, including refugees of Arab and Muslim descent, in the U.S. The Campaign launched in four cities: Washington, D.C., Detroit, New York and San Francisco and has captured national attention through its message of dialogue and engagement.


“NNAAC has grown tremendously over the past 10 years," said Nadia Tonova, NNAAC Director. "With the support of our members, funders, donors and the community at large, we have been able to make a significant impact on our members and Arab Americans across the nation. We look forward to continuing to grow, innovate and make positive change over the next 10 years!"

NNAAC expresses its gratitude to its membership and supporters, and looks forward to moving together toward another successful decade of progress.

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