On Tuesday, July 15, the National Network for Arab American Communities (NNAAC), a project of ACCESS, announced the local launch of The Campaign to TAKE ON HATE in New York. Joined by NNAAC Director Nadia Tonova, the event brought together members of New York’s Arab American community at the Good Shepard’s Lutheran Church in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, for a community meeting and Iftar dinner.
This was the third local launch of TAKE ON HATE to occur after the national campaign was introduced at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., this past March. In June, NNAAC introduced TAKE ON HATE to Detroit, and San Francisco in April.
Watch the full video of the press conference from Washington, D.C. this past March.
This unprecedented media and policy campaign aims to challenge negative perceptions of Arab and Muslim Americans. Additionally, TAKE ON HATE creates a platform for Arab and Muslim Americans to work together in a collaborative effort to push for policy change that address issues such as hate crimes, racial profiling, acceptable bigotry, and any others impacting their communities.
“It’s time to confront the ‘acceptable bigotry’ toward Arab Americans,” Director Nadia Tonova spoke at June’s Detroit launch. “Judgment, profiling, slandering, making jokes, no matter how it’s delivered, it’s still hate. It’s still happening. It’s still wrong.”
See the video that premiered at Detroit's launch
“We have the power,” NNAAC’s National Advocacy Director Linda Sarsour said at the NY launch. “We have the capability and the opportunity here to change the way our society views our community to create a society that accepts our children and allows them to be proud of who they are as Arab-Americans and/or Muslim-Americans.”
See the video that premiered at New York's launch
One example of the kinds of events TAKE ON HATE will sponsor in each of the key cities was a film screening of the movie, The Citizen, with Arab American director Sam Kadi leading a Q&A discussion with the audience. Taking place during the month of Ramadan, the event featured a Iftar dinner for all those who attended whether they were observing or not. Held at the Arab American National Museum in Dearborn, the feedback to the evening was unanimously positive as Arabs and non-Arabs came together for a lively discussion and dinner.
View photos from the Ifar & Movie screening of The Citizen
This was just one example of what to expect as the Campaign to TAKE ON HATE continues to roll out efforts. The next local launch is expected to take place in Chicago this fall.
For links to media coverage of TAKE ON HATE, click here.