2019 Banquet Speakers
Our 15th Annual Banquet “Our Rights. Our Voices. Our Values.” is set to take place on Saturday, February 9th, 2019, at 5:00 p.m., at Drury Lane.
Keynote: Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib
Rashida Tlaib is a well-known progressive warrior and, in her own words, “a mother working for justice for all.” Her two young sons are at the root of her unwavering passion to help change lives for the better. She is the oldest of 14 children, born and raised in Detroit, the proud daughter of Palestinian immigrant parents.
Rashida made history in 2008 by becoming the first woman to ever serve in the Michigan Legislature. She is beloved by residents for the transformative constituent services she provided, and for successfully fighting the billionaires and corporations that tried to pollute her district.
She is currently the Congresswoman for Michigan’s 13th Congressional District, which includes the city of Detroit and many surrounding communities.
Guest Speaker: Congressman Chuy Garcia
In 2010, Chuy Garcia was elected to the Cook County Board of Commissioners. He was named floor leader by Board President Toni Preckwinkle and helped enact the reform agenda. Chuy stood up to an army of real estate lobbyists and pushed through a ban on the practice of some suburban landlords refusing to rent homes to low income families, veterans, the disabled and others who rely on housing choice vouchers.
Chuy also passed a measure to put an end to Cook County’s cooperation with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency. The ordinance prevented County officials from detaining a person based on the suspicion of being undocumented. The measure became the first of its kind in the nation and more than 250 localities followed Chuy’s lead nationwide. Chuy was re-elected to a second term on the County Board in 2014.
Chuy launched his campaign for Mayor of Chicago on October 27, 2015. He put together an impressive coalition of support across the city and forced the first ever run-off election in the city’s history. Chuy fell short of winning the mayor’s seat, but inspired and reawakened the progressive movement in Chicago.
Fundraiser: Sheikh Hassan Aly
Sheikh Hassan Mostafa Aly is the Imam and Director of Religious affairs at The Mecca Center in Willowbrook, Illinois since December 2011. He is a graduate of prestigious Al-Azhar University of Cairo, Egypt in Islamic Studies and Sharia.
He has the “sanad / ijazah” linked to Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) in Quran and Hadith. He has held the position of Imam and served as the director of religious affairs in many Islamic centers and has taught at Islamic schools in Egypt and the USA.
He is also the author of many articles published in newspapers and websites. Sheikh Aly is the recipient of the Best Religious Speech award from Al-Azhar University Cairo in 2002. He has hosted many Islamic radio shows in US. Currently, he is a Ph.D candidate in Theology.
Emcee: Hassan Shibly
Hassan Shibly, the son of Syrian immigrants, was raised in Buffalo New York. His father, an oral surgeon, and mother, an orthodontist, instilled in Hassan an immigrant’s wonder and determination.
Hassan lectures regularly on issues relating to Islam, American Muslims and Civil Rights. Hassan has taught courses on Islamic belief, law, history, spirituality and culture. He actively works with various inter-faith and social service organizations to assist those in need and promote cooperation and understanding between diverse faiths and cultures. Hassan often serves as a consultant on Islam for NGO’s, non-profit organizations, government agencies, media organizations, youth groups, and law enforcement.
He has appeared numerous times in both local and national media outlets including CNN, NPR, Voice of America, the New York Times, the Toronto Star and the Buffalo News for his work protecting civil liberties and promoting understanding of the Muslim faith. He runs a successful academic publishing company focusing on the traditional Islamic sciences, and is the founder of the Center for American Muslim Understanding. Hassan’s work has earned him the attention of various Islamophobic publications, which criticize Hassan for “deceiving the American People” by “promoting a peaceful and tolerant image of Islam.”