By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – On Monday, March 4, the Oklahoma chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations Oklahoma (CAIR-OK) will host its fifth Annual Muslim Day at the Capitol from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. More than 200 Oklahoma Muslims and their interfaith supporters are expected to take part in a day of education, engagement and advocacy.
The event will feature a breakfast at 9:30 a.m., which will feature opening remarks by keynote speaker U. S. 5th District Congresswoman Kendra Horn (D-Oklahoma City) in the 2nd floor rotunda.
At 10 a.m., a discussion panel themed “Connecting the Dots: How Divergent Issues Matter and What We Can Do About It” will take place in the 4th floor Senate Chamber Community leaders will speak on intersectionality and how many diverse issues our state faces are deeply connected, along with an afternoon advocacy training.
Also, at 10 a.m., a “Concurrent Session for Youth: The Future in Our Hands” discussion will be held in the 1st floor rotunda. A panel of young leaders will examine some of the state’s inequities, explore their historical roots, and work to design progressive changes that will help create a more equitable metro area.
At 11 a.m., attendees will hear from featured speakers Rep. Regina Goodwin (D-Tulsa) and Senator George E. Young Sr. (D-Oklahoma City) in the Senate Chamber.
A catered lunch will be served at 11:45 a.m. in the 2nd floor rotunda.
“It is important for all people to feel welcome in their places of governance,” said CAIR-OK Government Affairs Director Lani R. Habrock. “Our goal this year is to help our members think about what issues are important to them and to advocate for these issues with their elected officials.”
At 1 p.m., the Islamic Dhuhr Prayer will be held in the 2nd floor Supreme Court Hallway, followed by an advocacy training session and group photo.
Visits to legislative offices with advocacy leaders will begin at 1:30 p.m. A closing program will be held at 2:30 p.m. in the 2nd floor rotunda.
“Five years ago, when we held our first Oklahoma Muslim Day at the Capitol, our goal was to lay the foundation for civic engagement for the Oklahoma Muslim community,” said CAIR-OK Executive Director Adam Soltani.
According to organizers, in earlier years, CAIR-OK’s Muslim Day at the Capitol brought hundreds of attendees — as well as dozens of protestors — to its Capitol Day event. In response, the Interfaith Alliance of Oklahoma and the Oklahoma Conference of Churches have volunteered to escort participants to and from the Capitol building, providing a “human shield” against demonstrators and forming a corridor of love to welcome attendees.
“We now see Muslims walk the halls of the Capitol, advocate for issues important to them, and have confidence in their vote,” Soltani added. “It is our hope that in future years this annual event will inspire members of the Oklahoma Muslim community to run for public office.”
CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.
For the full event schedule click here:
Online registration is available for $40 per person and $30 for students. It includes a 2019 Muslim Day at the Capitol t-shirt, breakfast and lunch, and a 2019 CAIR Oklahoma Legislative Guide and Toolkit.
For more information, call Lani R. Habrock at 405-532-3944.