Constitutional rights group brings information on legal and social justice issues to American Muslim community leadership around the country.
DALLAS – March 6, 2017 – Representatives of Muslim Legal Fund of America, a constitutional rights legal fund, are launching a series of 15 regional conferences in major cities throughout the nation to bring valuable information on legal and social issues facing the Muslim community in America.
Organizers held their inaugural, three-day "Muslim Nonprofit Leadership Conference" in Dallas on October 7, 8 and 9, 2016. More than 150 imams and mosque leaders from nearly 30 states attended lectures on hate speech, domestic violence, clergy privilege, engaging with law enforcement, IRS compliance, religious land use, employment law for religious nonprofits and other issues.
The regional conferences will deliver practical information about laws impacting mosques and other Muslim nonprofit organizations as well as the imams, board members, staff and attorneys who serve them. Representatives from MLFA said the goal of the conference tour is to equip American Muslim community leaders with the knowledge and resources for successful navigating the increasingly complicated legal challenges facing Muslims in America.
"Community members have to deal with travel bans, religious-based immigration delays, extrajudicial watchlists and other issue that encroach upon our basic principle of justice in America," said Khalil Meek, executive director of MLFA. "Muslim community leaders need to know how to protect themselves and their organizations as the political client continues to grow increasingly hostile towards their religious community."
Speakers from Institute for Social Policy and Understanding will join the list of speakers to present its findings from research on how to make mosques more accessible as part of its "Reimaging Muslims Spaces" project. A representative will explain how to reduce barriers to engagement and increase mosque capacity based on research-backed recommendations from the ISPU study.
The first in the series of 15 law conferences is being held in Minneapolis on March 11, 2017, at Spring Lake Park High School. Organizers expect between one and two hundred attendees.
The full tour schedule is as follows:
- March 11 in Minneapolis
- April 8 in Boston
- April 22 in Los Angeles
- May 13 in Maryland
May 20in Cincinnati (Currently being rescheduled for after Ramadan)
- July 15 in Philadelphia
- July 22 in New York City
- August 5 in Atlanta
- August 19 in Houston
- September 8-10 in Dallas
- October 7 in Denver
- October 21 in Charlotte
- November 4 in Miami
- November 18 in San Francisco
- December 9 in Phoenix
The conference in Minneapolis is free, although registration prior to the event it required for admittance. Funding for this event was provided by the Minnesota Education Trust. All attendees must register before the event via the MLFA website.
Meek said his organization is currently working with other sponsors to fund the remaining 14 law conferences in hopes of eliminating any financial barriers to attendance.
"We need to get this information in the hands of as many Muslim community leaders as possible," said Meek. "When our communities are strong, our nation is strong."
Muslim Legal Fund of America is a national nonprofit charity that funds projects to protect and defend constitutional rights in America. Established in 2001, MLFA has defended freedom of speech, freedom of religion, right to a fair trial, due process of law and many other civil liberties.
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