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 **** Press Release  ****

 - For Immediate Release  -


Congressman Keith Ellison Addresses Over 100 Students at Constructive Citizenship Initiative

(CHICAGO, IL, 4/08/08) - The Chicago office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Chicago) is proud to announce the success of its first official Muslim Youth Leadership Symposium (MYLS), a program designed to inspire Muslim youth to leverage their faith values towards constructive citizenship that benefits community and country. Over 100 Muslim students from five high schools across Chicago attended on April 5-6, 2008 at the Mosque Foundation Community Center in Bridgeview, Illinois.

Students spent the weekend drawing up plans for community service projects and attending workshops led by community activists from prominent groups across Chicago.

"The atmosphere was inspiring," said CAIR-Chicago Youth Coordinator Amir Siddiqui. "When you are in the MYLS program you see such a determination by the youth to bring about change in the world that you become confident in a bright future."

Congressman Keith Ellison (D-MN), the first Muslim elected to the U.S. Congress, delivered the keynote address encouraging the youth to face adversity with courage and patience and to draw from their faith values to serve community. "Let's use what we have, what our faith is all about, to help America get over the barrier of racial division and false barriers based on color," he said. "That's what it means to be Muslim, to want the best for everyone.”

The MYLS program provides American Muslim youth with a proactive agenda for positive activism and aims to foster a healthy American Muslim identity that fits comfortably within pluralistic American society while remaining true to its faith values.

Testimonials from the program, pictures, videos, the event program, and other resources are available on the official website:

SEE: Spring 2008 Event Photos

CAIR-Chicago, the Illinois chapter of the America's largest Islamic civil liberties group, is dedicated to providing young Muslim-Americans with leadership development. Its mission is to promote justice, enhance the understanding of Islam and empower American Muslims.
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