By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – The Council on American-Islamic Relations Oklahoma Chapter (CAIR-OK) will hold its 13th Annual Awards Banquet this Saturday, April 6, at 6 P.M. at the Hilton Garden Inn and Edmond Conference Center, 2833 Conference Drive, in Edmond.
The event themed, “Faith Led, Justice Driven,” will feature keynote speaker, Linda Sarsour, Women’s March co-chair.
A racial justice and civil rights activist, Sarsour is the former Executive Director of the Arab American Association of New York and the co-founder of the first Muslim online organizing platform, MPower Change.
She is a member of the Justice League NYC, a group of activists, artists, youth and formerly incarcerated individuals who work for criminal justice reform through direct action and policy advocacy. Most recently, she was one of the national co-chairs of the Women’s March on Washington.
Sansour was named a “Champion of Change” by the White House, was awarded the YWCA USA’s Women of Distinction Award for Advocacy and Civic Engagement and the Hala Maksoud Leadership Award from the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee.
Fortune Magazine designated her among the 50 Greatest Leaders, and she was featured as one of Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world in 2017.
Entertainment will be provided by Moses the Comic, a comedian who has performed domestic and internationally with entertainers such as Steve Harvey and Snoop Dogg.
Hassan Shibly, Executive Director of CAIR Florida, will provide a motivational address.
CAIR-OK will honor two individuals, nominated by his or her peers, who have made what the groups considers outstanding contributions to their community.
The recipients of the 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award will be longtime Ada residents Dr. Tawfik and Siham Ramadan. Receiving the Oklahoma Muslim of the Year Award will be Dr. Khalid Alzubi of Oklahoma City.
“This Awards Banquet is a time for us to come together as a community and honor the work of our past, while at the same time looking forward to the future of our organization,” said Executive Director Adam Soltani.
“In a time of unprecedented Islamophobia as well as several acts of hate crimes taking place all over the state, it is increasingly important for the Muslim community to have pride in its accomplishments and to share in celebrations together,” Soltani added.
CAIR-Oklahoma is a chapter of America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Organizers say its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialog, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.