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  10. '15

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Occurrences in the Congressional Record

Entry Title Date
Naacp On Its 106Th Anniversary February 13, 2015
Donna Edwards, D-MD
"Yet despite all that has been accomplished over the years there is still much to be done. Racial profiling is a pervasive policy in both the workplace and in many police departments all over the country, unequal law enforcement on young black men, and threats to voter access shows that the work championed by the NAACP is as important today as it was 106 years ago at its founding. So while it is right that we look back and recognize all the progress that has been made under their leadership, we also must look to the future to what remains to be accomplished under the continued leadership of the NAACP."
Honoring Lori Saroya February 12, 2015
Keith Ellison, D-MN
"Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize Lori Saroya for her contributions and tireless efforts in promoting justice, civil rights and mutual understanding among the Minnesota Islamic community and all peoples of faith. As Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Minnesota chapter of the Council on Islamic American Relations (CAIR) Mrs. Saroya has been at the forefront of building coalitions and improving Muslim relations across the state. Mrs. Saroya was raised in Bloomfield, Iowa. She received her undergraduate degree from St. Catherine University and her Juris Doctor from Hamline University. As a child of the only Muslims in a small town she and her family were subject to messages of hate and unfair treatment. She took these early life experiences and turned them into positive actions. While still in high school Mrs. Saroya organized the Iowa Conference on Islam at the University of Iowa. Recognizing a lack of Muslim civil rights advocacy groups in Minnesota she decided to fill the void. In 2007, she co-founded the Minnesota chapter of CAIR. The organization has quickly become a powerful voice for Muslim civil liberties and advocacy across the state. CAIR-MN successfully fought for and won the establishment of the Abu Huraira Islamic Center in St. Anthony, MN despite misguided local opposition. CAIR-MN asked the Justice Department to investigate, which led to a negotiated agreement with the city and the opening of a magnificent new center for gatherings and prayer. In 2014, Mrs. Saroya along with members of CAIR-MN led the first ever Jewish-Muslim Youth Day at the Minnesota Legislature. This ground breaking interfaith program trains students on successfully engaging in dialogue with legislators on the pressing issues of racial profiling, immigration, and safe schools. CAIR-MN has become the go-to legal source for those in the Muslim community. Since 2007 the organization has provided hundreds of Muslims with free legal aid and has become a driving force in fighting unlawful discrimination and bullying in work, schools, and the public sphere. CAIR-MN’s outstanding work has been recognized time and time again on the state and national level. Among some of the organization’s many awards include the “Nonprofit Mission and Excellence Anti-Racism Award” from the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits and the “Pro Bono Difference Maker Award” from the American Bar Association. It is through achievements such as these that Mrs. Saroya became the recipient of the prestigious Bush Foundation Fellowship for $100,000 in 2014. This fellowship stands as a testament and a capstone to the truly amazing work that Ms. Saroya did in her time as Executive Director. Through this grant she will be able to take even greater leaps in her advocacy work. Thanks to Ms. Saroya’s outstanding efforts and hard work, CAIR-MN has immensely benefited the Muslim community in Minnesota. I applaud Ms. Saroya’s extraordinary work in advancing the civil rights of the Muslim community and fostering a more vibrant and culturally understanding Minnesota. On behalf of the people of Minnesota’s Fifth Congressional District, I wish you continued success and impact in your future advocacy work. "
Honoring Mr. Robert “Bobby” Hickman February 11, 2015
Keith Ellison, D-MN
"Robert often came up with creative ways to protest the powers that be in his community. When the city of St. Paul razed houses for urban renewal he created community gardens out of the vacant plots. He advocated employment programs for young African-Americans, pushed for stronger schools, and protested profiling by police. After his work with Inner City Youth he teamed up with the advocacy and social services group The City Inc. in Minneapolis which opened one of the very first alternative schools in Minnesota."
Recognizing The Christian Appalachian Project September 17, 2014
Mitch McConnell, R-KY
"Kentucky Living published an article in their September 2014 issue profiling the Christian Appalachian Project. I ask unanimous consent that the full article be printed in the Record."
Proposing An Amendment To The Constitution Of The United States Relating To Contributions And Expenditures Intended To Affect Elections—Motion To Proceed September 10, 2014
Benjamin Cardin, D-MD
"In addition to the recent investigation announced by the Department of Justice, I urge Attorney General Holder to expedite the issuance of new guidelines that would, once and for all, prohibit racial profiling by law enforcement officers at all levels of government, including the federal, State, and local law enforcement officials. Congress should also examine the program that provides for the transfer of surplus military equipment to local law enforcement agencies to ensure local government is not inhibiting the First Amendment rights of people to peaceably assemble and petition their government for the redress of grievances."

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