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CAIR's mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
CAIR-Chicago is a chapter of CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations). CAIR is the nation's largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy group. CAIR-Chicago is a not-for-profit organization registered in Illinois. Though it leverages the resources, expertise, and knowledgebase of CAIR (based in Washington), it functions as an independent organization that sets its own strategy and goals.
Our work at CAIR-Chicago spans three different areas.
Firstly, we deal with civil rights issues, taking up complaints ranging from bigoted gestures to official discrimination against Muslims. We create logs for incidents and pursue the appropriate remedying measures which can range from cultural sensitivity training for the perpetrating party to all out legal measures. We also record every case and release reports to educate the public about the civil rights plight of Muslims.
Secondly, we are involved in political empowerment and outreach, helping community members understand and utilize the political system to work for them. Projects include voter registration drives, community workshops, "know your rights" educational campaigns, and training of mosques and Muslim centers on how to contact local and national politicians.
Lastly, we are involved in media monitoring and outreach. We monitor the local media closely and flag bias against Muslims. We respond accordingly to editors and producers with letters, phone calls, or meetings. We mobilize the community in letter writing campaigns to reinforce feedback sent to the media.
For more, please visit our website: http://www.cairchicago.org/aboutus.php
- Gerald Hankerson
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