CAIR-LA's 20th Anniversary Gala Most Successful Fundraiser in CAIR-LA’s History!
Anaheim, CA: Over 2,000 people turned out for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, Greater Los Angeles Area's (CAIR-LA) 20th Anniversary Gala on Saturday, November 19th. The event helped raise about $794,000 in support of CAIR-LA's civil rights and advocacy work, making it the most successful fundraising event in the history of the CAIR-LA office.
Themed " Advancing Justice, Challenging Hate," the gala featured notable figures who have been dedicated to challenging injustice and protecting freedom for all communities.
Among them was US Congressman Alan Lowenthal (D-CA 47th District) who has consistently supported legislative efforts aimed at preserving civil rights and promoting tolerance. Additionally, there were a number of public officials present including Garden Grove Mayor BaoNguyen, Bell City Councilmember Ali Saleh, Board Trustee of Anaheim Union High School District Al Jabbar as well as interfaith leaders, and imams and representatives from almost all of the Southern California Islamic Centers and mosques.
The Chairwoman of CAIR-National's Board, RoulaAllouch highlighted some of CAIR's key accomplishments at the national level and congratulated the LA office for its 20 years of service.
American Muslim activist and Executive Director of the Arab American Association of NY, Linda Sarsour, served as the Master of Ceremony and also delivered an earnest call to action in which she underscored the value of CAIR's work in safeguarding civil liberties and the importance of the community's defense and support of the organization. "When it comes to organizations that are standing up for the rights of American Muslims, there really are none more effective and more steadfast than CAIR. There has never been a more critical time to defend them than now.”
The program paid a humble tribute to the legendary Muhammad Ali for being one of the most significant Muslim figures in American history to empower Muslims and earn them a place of respect and dignity in America. In honor of Muhammad Ali's great contributions, CAIR-LA presented the award, "Champions of Justice" to his daughter, Maryum "May May" Ali who received a standing ovation from the crowd.
CAIR-LA's Executive Director HussamAyloush expounded on the importance of CAIR's work in protecting civil liberties, challenging bigotry, and upholding equality for all communities. "Know that CAIR has your back and CAIR will continue to fight for your rights and freedoms enshrined in our constitution." said Ayloush. "The fervent support we have gotten from our community has strengthened our commitment to challenge bigotry, uphold justice and protect the freedom of American Muslims and the freedoms of everyone else in our country."
Ayloush received a standing ovation for all his years of service.
DrAltaf Husain, Vice President of ISNA, inspired attendees to continue to support CAIR-LA's civil rights and advocacy work.
World renowned Islamic scholar and activist, Shaykh OmarSuleiman, delivered the keynote address in which he discussed the Islamic virtues of practicing justice and excellence in all affairs - personal and public. He expounded on the fact that establishing a strong sense of justice is not only an Islamic duty of each person, but collectively makes us more resilient as a community - defending the rights of our own community and other marginalized communities. Suleiman ended his address leading the crowd in prayer asking God for strength and guidance for the challenges ahead.
Lastly, comedian Jeremy McLellan ended the night on a light note with his witty performance exploring hot-button topics like politics, race, religion, gender, tolerance and diversity in America.
The amazing night showed the commitment of the community and CAIR to continue to be a champion for justice.