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May 11, 2023
In Gratitude for White House Initiatives Countering Bigotry and Promoting Inclusivity
Shortly after President Biden came to office, he signed an executive order in May 2021 to develop an inter-agency plan to advance equity, justice and opportunity for Asian American communities. This was followed in September 2022 by the national United We Stand Summit at the White House in order to mobilize diverse sectors of society against hate-fueled violence and put forward a shared, inclusive, bi-partisan vision for a more united America. And in December 2022, the President established another inter-agency group led by the Domestic Policy Council and National Security Council staff to increase and better coordinate government efforts to counter antisemitism, Islamophobia, and related forms of bias and discrimination in the United States.
We at ING are grateful to be partners in all of these initiatives by being invited to participate in them alongside other civil society organizations.
Federal Recognition of Muslim American Holidays
We at ING thank federal agencies for their recognition of Muslim American holidays this year. According to Ahmad Maaty, Senior Economist at the Department of Justice and Chairman of Muslim Americans in Public Service (MAPS), “several federal agencies including the US Department of Defense and US Department of Agriculture (USDA) co-sponsored Ramadan iftar events that brought segments of the Muslim American community together with department officials. Eid ul-Fitr events were held at the White House, hosted by President Biden, Vice President Harris and the Second Gentleman for Muslim American community and civil society leaders; the US Department of Transportation (DOT) with a heartfelt message by Secretary Buttigieg to Muslim DOT employees; and the US Department of State hosted by Secretary Blinken.”
ING representatives were honored to attend the Muslim holiday events at the White House and the US Department of State.
ING Recognized by the FBI for DEI Trainings for
Along with dozens of other recipients in 2022, Maha Elgenaidi was a recipient of the 2022 FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award for ING’s DEI trainings for law enforcement agencies since 1995, as well as for FBI civil rights squads in San Francisco and other cities across the country since 2022.
Nominated by Director Robert Tripp of the San Francisco Division, he writes that “Ms. Elgenaidi’s professional demeanor in partner meetings brings a sense of calm, while advocating for transparency and accountability in round table discussions about civil rights and hate crimes.”
Led by Director Christopher Wray, the award ceremony was held in Washington, D.C. on Friday May 5th. In his delivery of the awards he said, referring to the awardees, “You took the initiative to drive the change you wanted to see in this world. And while I’m sure many of you faced hurdles and criticism along the way, action is part of who you are. So you overcame those obstacles. You did what you knew was right and just. And you made a tremendous impact. One of my favorite books is ‘Good to Great‘ by Jim Collins. In the book, Jim talks about a study that revealed the best leaders aren’t ambitious for themselves, but rather ambitious for the organization they’re a part of. They put mission over ego. They put in the work. They’re not afraid to get their hands dirty and do less glamorous jobs… And that’s the type of leader you all have shown you are—you put others before yourselves. I applaud you for that, and I’m so grateful to be able to give you just some of the recognition you deserve here today.”
Teacher Appreciation Week
We honor and extend our gratitude to educators during Teacher Appreciation Week, which is May 8th-12th. We value teachers and school staff and administrators who tirelessly give of their time, resources, and knowledge to educate each generation of students. ING has been serving teachers for 30 years through offering classroom presentations with guest speakers about Muslims as well as interreligious and interethnic panels at no cost. Almost half of our work is for teachers and students in K-12 schools, colleges, and universities. ING exists as an organization because teachers see the value of our work, regularly invite us back, and discuss our face-to-face impact with their colleagues. Thank you so much!
We also offer diversity training seminars for teachers that schools and districts can schedule during their in-service days over the summer and throughout the year. For more information and to schedule a seminar for teachers and school staff and administrators on “Countering Islamophobia in Education,” “Accommodating Religious Diversity,” or “Supporting an Inclusive School Environment,” please visit our diversity training for educators webpage here.
Upcoming ING Events
ING has a number of upcoming events in the weeks and months ahead, including a presentation on “Muslim Women Beyond the Stereotypes,” an interreligious panel on “Living the Faith,” an interethnic panel on “Creating Inclusive and Equitable “Communities,” and diversity training seminars for educators, corporate staff, law enforcement, and dentists. ING is also presenting at the Parliament of the World’s Religions on August 14th-18th in Chicago, including an interreligious panel on “Religion and Human Rights,” a workshop on “How to Host an Interfaith Panel in Your Community,” and an interethnic panel on “Countering Bigotry and Racism through Calls to Action.” You can view all of ING’s upcoming presentations, panels, diversity training seminars, and workshops here.
Will You Join Us in Building a More Peaceful America Today?
In a nation and world increasingly threatened by racism, extremism, and violence, ING’s work of promoting mutual understanding and respect across lines of difference is needed more than ever. You can partner with us in this work by your donations. Make the world better, kinder, and brighter. Every dollar you give will create real change.