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Friday, April 24, 2015
CAIR-Chicago joined a hearing on racial discrimination in Chicago this May 23rd presided by the United Nation’s Special Rapporteur on racism and related intolerance, Mr. Doudou Diene of Senegal.
His visit to Chicago, which is part of his three-week mission to the United States, was highly unprecedented. It was a rare official visit arranged by the U.S Department of State for the U.N to monitor, advise, and publicly report on racism in the City of Chicago, as well as to recognize existing policies and good practices. Approximately 100 people attended the event.
At the hearing, various Chicago organizations presented evidence on racial discrimination-related human rights violations in the city of Chicago. CAIR-Chicago’s Civil Rights Director Christina Abraham was at the hearing to present cases of discrimination against Muslims in Chicago. “This was an opportunity to address the issue of Islamophobia, how it is manifested, and to voice the concerns of Muslims in Chicago.”
The public hearing took place in the International House at the University of Chicago. Other organizations in attendance included the Coalition to Protect Public Housing, Southside Organizing for Power, Pilsen Alliance, Heartland Alliance, Midwest Coalition for Human Rights, VOTE, Southwest Youth Collaborative, Blocks Together, Latino Union, and Peoples Law Office.
Mr. Diene also heard testimonies on human rights violations in relation to housing, poverty, police brutality, improper use of the Illinois’ death penalty, the Muslim/Jewish divide, juvenile justice, and education. Diene will be reporting his findings on racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and other related intolerance in the U.S to the U.N. Human Rights Council.