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CAIR-Chicago, MYLS Join MLK National Service Day 2009

CAIR-Chicago and the Muslim Youth Leadership Symposium (MYLS) will participate in coalition with several organizations in the Martin Luther King, Jr. (MLK) National Day of Service 2009. Many of the organizations feature youth programs and an interreligious engagement focus within their community outreach and advocacy. Both events will coincide with the national observance of the birthday of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Monday, January 19, 2009.

Through its Muslims Care program, CAIR-Chicago will join the local chapters of Service for Peace (SFP) and Project Downtown (PD) for a community service project. SFP is an international not-for-profit organization that brings diverse groups together in service in order to cross barriers of race, religion, class, creed, or national origin, and address urgent social needs. Project Downtown is an Muslim Students Association initiative under the Community Service Task Force that provides for the physical, intellectual, and emotional needs of the less fortunate by offering services that aim to improve their situation and help them become self-sufficient.

Five MYLS students will be selected to participate in the coalition known as Chicago Youth Exchange (CYE). This new yearlong endeavor brings together youth from across the Chicagoland area to share energy and ideas and forge them into plans of action. MLK Day of Service will commence this program, followed by group workshops and programs until a weeklong conference planned for August.

CYE is spearheaded by Hostelling International-Chicago (HI-Chicago) along with CAIR-Chicago, Alternatives, Inc., Christopher House, Claretian Associates, Community Foundation for Jewish Education (CFJE), Crib Collective, SFP and Southwest Youth Collaborative (SWYC).

The MLK national service day was initiated by the U.S. Congress in 1994. This honors the civil rights movement and its legacy by transforming the federal holiday honoring Dr. King into a national day of community service grounded in his teachings of nonviolence and social justice. Everyone who is interested in community service can participate.

If you would like more information on how to become a part of the MLK National Day of Service, please contact Gerald Hankerson, Outreach Coordinator - CAIR-Chicago, at or call 312-212-1520. You can also visit the official MLK day of Service website at

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