9/11 Anniversary Town Hall: Detention & Incarceration
Live storytelling, performance & dialogue

8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 14

$10 Museum Members; $15 general public
Purchase tickets HERE

Over the past two decades, counter-terrorism projects in the United States have resulted in surveillance, unjust treatment and imprisonment of Muslims and Arab Americans. Individuals from other communities of color are also unjustly surveilled, held in detention centers and imprisoned regularly.
The 4th annual 9/11 Anniversary Town Hall examines how communities of color have been targeted through the frame of national security and profiled as violent threats. Expanding upon AANM’s popular Hikayat storytelling series, the Town Hall will shed light on real-life experiences of detention and incarceration through the art of storytelling, with personal stories by local community members Cozine Welch, Sara Jayyousi, Yusef Shakur and Rhonda Anderson (mother of Siwatu Salama-Ra). 

The evening includes a performance of Letters from Detention, a moving theatrical piece written and originally directed by Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen (authors of The Exonerated and Aftermath). This production is directed by Sherrine Azab of A Host of People and features actors from that troupe including Samer Ajluni and Costa Kazaleh Sirdenis with narrator Rasha Almulaiki

The performance is adapted from a series of letters exchanged between Center for Constitutional Rights clients Yasser Ebrahim and Hany Ibrahim, two brothers held on separate floors of Brooklyn’s Metropolitan Detention Center for months after 9/11. 

The event will also include a panel discussion including attorneys, activists and other professionals who work to combat the oppressive systems that allow unjust detention and incarceration to continue. Moderator: Ghassan Abou-Zeineddine, assistant professor of English, University of Michigan - Dearborn. 


Desiree M. Ferguson is the legal director and senior staff attorney of the Detroit Justice Center, a newly established non-profit which endeavors to remove barriers to employment for returning citizens, create economic opportunities, transform the justice system and otherwise engender a just and equitable City.  Before joining DJC, Desiree retired after serving for over 26 years as an assistant defender at the State Appellate Defender Office, where she specialized in handling criminal defense appeals on behalf of indigent persons convicted of felonies, in both State and Federal courts.

Rachel Meeropol is senior staff attorney and associate director of legal training and education at the Center for Constitutional Rights, where she works on prisoners’ rights, Muslim profiling, criminalization of dissent, and First Amendment issues, including defending environmental and animal rights activists targeted by the Green Scare. She is lead counsel on Turkmen v. Ashcroft, a class action suit on behalf of non-citizens suing high-level federal officials for illegal detention and abuse after 9/11, and is counsel in Ashker v. Brown, a class action lawsuit challenging long-term solitary confinement in California’s Pelican Bay prison.


Ghassan Abou-Zeineddine is an Assistant Professor of English in the Department of Literature, Philosophy, and the Arts at University of Michigan -Dearborn. He was born in Washington, D.C. and raised in the Middle East. He has previously taught at the American University of Beirut, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and Kenyon College. 



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Fall 2018 programs are made possible in part by
With media support from


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