In pursuit of its mission on community building and empowerment, the Arab American Civic Council conducts projects to help inform and educate stakeholders on topics concerning the Arab American community in Southern California and beyond. These projects include original research, white papers, and articles that deliver meaningful insights on essential subjects. In conducting these projects, the AACC aims to empower the community – both Arab and non-Arab – with knowledge and awareness of different issues they wish to address.
The AACC has presented information from these projects in various workshops, presentations, and lectures. The insight and data from this information have helped influence policy and alter the perception of the Arab American community.
If you wish for the Arab American Civic Council to present information from one of these projects or studies, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Community in Numbers: Southern California’s Arab American Clusters
In this article, the Arab American Civic Council created maps and provided original analyses of Arab American population centers spread across Southern California. Unlike other parts of the United States, such as Michigan, Arab Americans in Southern California are largely spread out and consolidated in regional clusters. The spread has largely been speculated to occur due to housing costs, job access, and proximity to good schooling. Still, Arab Americans have been able to “spread their love” and impact their clusters despite being far apart. This article seeks to provide context and argue for further needs of a MENA category to better improve the community’s impact to their respective areas in Southern California.
Identifying MENA Voters: Canvassing Responses in Anaheim and Irvine (November 2022)
Orange County, California, is home to one of the largest Middle Eastern and North African (MENA) communities in the United States. The MENA community has emerged as one of the most critical voting blocs in the country but also one of the most understudied. Current political data may need to be clarified for individuals’ identities based solely on their name, missing the complexity of the MENA category and further clumping the community among other groups.
During the 2022 Midterms Election, the Arab American Civic Council sent canvassers to encourage eligible low-propensity residents to vote in the upcoming elections and to correct data provided on the MiniVAN canvassing app. Canvassers requested voters to respond positively or negatively to a MENA option. Canvassers found that individuals in two Orange County cities, Anaheim and Irvine, will have an 85% chance to answer “Yes” or “No” when asked about their identity. Canvassers found that the MiniVAN app aggregated individuals with their names, as Muslim-sounding names tend to be the closest to Arabic-sounding names. Of these individuals, 55% positively identified as MENA, while 45% negatively identified as MENA. Most MENA residents reside in West Anaheim, the location of the Little Arabia District.
Little Arabia Community History and Needs Survey (May 2022)
The AACC surveyed business owners, residents, frequent visitors, and community leaders between December 2021 to April 2022. The survey consisted of seventeen (17) oral interviews and eighteen (18) online survey responses. The survey asked participants to define the meaning of Little Arabia in their terms. Insights confirms and clarifies that constituents see Little Arabia as a cultural and business hub that caters to a diverse market from the Middle East and North Africa region. When asked what Little Arabia means to them, participants overwhelmingly responded by saying “Home.” Read here.
Little Arabia Designation Poll Results (January 2021)
The Arab American Civic Council, in partnership with UCSD’s US Immigration Policy Center, conducted a poll of Anaheim voters to gauge the interest in a Little Arabia District.
According to the poll, conducted by AACC and the University of San Diego’s US Immigration Policy Center, more than 58% of registered voters in the City of Anaheim support a Little Arabia designation. Support increases further to more than 75% of those who have been to Little Arabia district.