Director’s Desk: Many Juneteenths

Every June 19th was a special day for my family. In the first decades of the 20th century, fleeing the anti-Jewish violence in Eastern Europe, my grandparents and parents emigrated to America seeking a new life in a land where “all men are created equal.”

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Director’s Desk: “The Yellow Peril”

In the midst of our current pandemic, today’s New York Times carried a frontpage article about the outbreak in the U.S. of another type of deadly virus, Sinophobia, the irrational fear and hatred of all things Chinese. Anti-Chinese bigotry in the U.S. was common throughout the latter half of the 19th century…

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Civil Rights Update by Timothy Welbeck, Esq.

Information about Employment Discrimination

Employment discrimination is one of the persistent ways bigotry and xenophobia impacts everyday people. Roughly 40% of the people seeking legal assistant from our office call to complain of some form of harassment or discrimination in the workplace. To that end, I am presently representing three different people in various stages of legal action against their current or former employer based on their allegations of religious discrimination and/or harassment. US law defines employment discrimination as a form of discrimination based on race, gender, religion, national origin, physical or mental disability, age, sexual orientation, and/or gender identity by employers. When it occurs, employment discrimination is a clear violation of US law.

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Just Mercy Faith Summit

On Tuesday December 10, 2019, Jacob and I attended a film screening and faith summit entitled Just Mercy Faith Summit. The summit, hosted by Eastern University, convened faith leaders, civil servants, and elected officials who desire to address inequities in the nation’s criminal justice system. It was inspired by the film Just Mercy (a film adaptation of the best-selling book by Bryan Stevenson of the same name)…

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Sabell Bender, 1927-2019

Director’s Desk: My Mother

My mother, Sabell Bender, died two days ago at the age of 92 after many years of painfully declining health. Even in her final years, when her assembly of medical conditions had left her immobile and robbed her of her booming and unforgettable voice, she clung to life with all the dedication and exuberance and yes, stubbornness, with which she had lived her nine decades on the Earth. Sabell was a born director and a force of nature, who, while acknowledging that she was a product of her times, also believed with all her heart that her abundance of talent and creativity made it possible for her to influence the times in which she lived.

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Director’s Desk: Remembering 9/11

Looking back at the human carnage and geopolitical disaster wrought by the American invasion of Iraq, you might conclude that there were no heroes to be found in this quagmire. You would be wrong, however.

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Victory Image

CAIR’s Victory Against Islamophobia

Earlier this week, a federal judge ruled that the FBI’s watchlist of “known and suspected terrorists” violates the constitutional rights of US citizens placed in the database. Judge Anthony Trenga, a United States District Judge of the Eastern District of Virginia, ruled the federal government has failed to honor constitutional rights and liberties for individuals placed on a “watchlist” without notice and opportunity for the individuals to challenge that status in his decision for the case Elhady v. Kable.

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From Civil Conflict to Civil Rights: My Year on the Legal Battlefront

As we have remarked before, the United States continues to witness a spike in Islamophobia, which has become exacerbated by the brazen bigotry and xenophobia of the present presidential administration. While various outlets like Newsweek and The Washington Post each have reported on this heinous rise in hate targeting Muslims, I can personally attest to this increase firsthand based on the numerous complaints I routinely field as the Muslim community suffers from the anguish and anxiety caused by the implications of increased harassment and discrimination.

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After Pittsburgh, Part II

We write today with deep sadness as an American Jew and an African American, respectively, the Executive Director and Civil Rights Attorney of the Philadelphia chapter of the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights organization. Both of us are quite familiar with the tragic history of our people and the protracted legacy of traumatic oppression exacted upon our respective communities.

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