Arab Americans Rising campaign launched. This is what it’s about.

The Arab American Civic Council launched its #ArabAmericansRising campaign at a kick-off event in partnership with the Campaign to Take On Hate on Thursday, October 3rd, to uplift the voices of Arab Americans and discuss current issues pertaining the Arab American community.

With the participation of elected officials and community members, we engaged in a productive discourse on the upcoming 2020 elections, the 2020 Census, and why it is key that we participate in both and come together as a community for our future and the significant decisions that impact us. The event took place at the Olive Tree Restaurant in Anaheim’s Little Arabia.

Arab Americans Rising is a campaign designed to empower the Arab American community in 2020 through encouraging them to vote, be counted in the 2020 Census, and make their voices heard by encouraging them engage with their elected officials.

The program began with remarks from State Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk -Silva, who highlighted the importance of the 2020 Census and how it impacts our state funding and representation. Fullerton Councilman Ahmad Zahra discussed the importance of being involved in the community as an Arab American. Councilman Zahra encouraged the audience to “not forget about your local city, don’t forget about your local municipality, your neighborhood charity. That is where a lot of the effective work happens.” The program then proceeded with Bell Councilman Ali Saleh who continued to discuss the importance of voting and being heard, the importance of being counted in the Census, and the importance of spreading the word through friends, family, and the community. 

Access Cal Services Executive Director Nahla Kayali, Bell Councilman Ali Saleh, and CA Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva [Photo: Gaston Castellanos]

Dine Duella, a partnership specialist with the U.S. Census Bureau followed by addressing the 2020 U.S. Census, and highlighting the importance of being counted. “We need your help to tell people that the Census is safe, it is easy, and it is confidential, and it is vital for our community and for our democracy” emphasized Duella. She explained that the only way to get a fair amount of funds to our different communities is if everyone is being counted. 

U.S. Census Bureau Partnership Specialist Dina Duella

The Arab Americans Rising campaign is meant to encourage voter participation within the Arab American community through registering new voters and conducting a Get Out The Vote campaign by canvassing Arab American households in Orange County.

It is also meant to increase Arab American engagement with their elected officials, which is why the Arab American Civic Council is organizing a series of Advocacy 101 workshops and webinars. The first workshop will be held at the UC Riverside campus on Wednesday, October 16 in partnership with the UCR chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine. An ‘Advocacy 101’ webinar will be held on October 22nd.

See more photos from the Arab Americans Rising kick-off event on our Facebook page here.