Empowered. Engaged: Arab Americans in Office

6-8:30 p.m. ET Thursday, April 25, 2024
Empowered. Engaged: Arab Americans in Office

In-person at AANM
FREE with RSVP; Register

Join AANM an evening in conversation with Arabs in American politics.

This event includes a moderated panel featuring Arab Americans in a variety of governmental and public office positions, both in the spotlight and behind the scenes. Join us to hear their personal stories and journeys as they work towards a present and future that includes the full participation of all Arab Americans. Panelists include Rashida Tlaib, Fadwa Hammoud and Rima Mohammad with moderator Machhadie (Micho) Assi.

Following the panel, join roundtable conversations with additional Arab Americans in governmental positions to learn how you can run for office, how you can support Arabs in office, and how your concerns and interests can be represented and advocated in office. Featured speakers include Abbas Alawieh, America Yahya, Isra Daraiseh and Yasmeen Kadouh.

For questions, e-mail Fatima Al-Rasool at [email protected]

Meet the Panelists + Moderator

Fadwa Hammoud is a Managing Member of the Miller Johnson Law Firm’s Detroit Office. In her capacity, she helps lead key lines of service for the firm, including crisis management, dispute resolution, intellectual property, health care, corporate, mergers and acquisitions, real estate and education law. In 2022, Mrs. Hammoud was appointed Chief Deputy Attorney General at the Michigan Department of Attorney General, the state’s largest public interest law firm. In five years with the Department, she has achieved historic wins for the people of Michigan. In the course of leading in the Department, she was Michigan’s youngest Solicitor General, the first Arab and Muslim American to hold the office in the nation, the highest ranking Arab or Muslim state official in Michigan’s history, and the first Muslim woman to argue a case before the U.S. Supreme Court. Prior to that, Mrs. Hammoud served eight years at the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office, where she launched the Business Protection Unit, a first-of-its-kind organized retail crime unit that became central to the County’s strategy for attracting and retaining key investments and development opportunities. Mrs. Hammoud also served as a Trustee and Treasurer of the Dearborn Public Schools Board of Education and the Henry Ford College Board, championing public education in her hometown. She’s also been named Michigan Lawyers Weekly’s 2023 Influential Woman of the Year.

Rashida Tlaib is a mother fighting for justice for all. She is a Detroit native of Palestinian heritage, a progressive leader, mother, daughter, friend and community advocate. Born to immigrant parents, she built a career as a public interest attorney, challenging corporate abuses and protecting our civil rights. Rashida made history in 2008 by becoming the first Muslim woman to ever serve in the Michigan Legislature, and then again in 2019, becoming one of the two first Muslim women in Congress. As a Congresswoman, Rashida has fought relentlessly for the 12th District and vulnerable communities around the country, fighting against corporate greed, advocating for clean air and water, social justice, ending poverty, strengthening public education and more. In 2022, she founded the Get the Lead Out Caucus to fight to ensure that every lead pipe in America is replaced, so that everyone has safe, clean drinking water. She also founded the Mamas’ Caucus to advocate for mothers of color and working families, and make sure that all mothers have a seat at the table where policy decisions are made. Rashida will not give up the fight until every person has an equitable opportunity to thrive.

Rima Mohammad is currently a Trustee for the Ann Arbor Public Schools Board of Education and has served as President and Vice President of the board. She is the first Arab American to be elected to the Ann Arbor Public School Board and she believes her lived experiences bring a unique perspective to the Ann Arbor School community. In addition to her dedication as a Trustee, she is a Clinical Professor at the University of Michigan College of Pharmacy and a Clinical Pharmacist Specialist at Michigan Medicine. She is also a very active member of the Ann Arbor community, and Arab and Muslim community especially surrounding schools and learning, healthcare and equity work, and community engagement. She is currently running for Michigan State Representative District 33 because she wants to ensure that we make all decisions regarding the state budget and policies by fostering community involvement through open communication, transparency and inclusiveness

Machhadie (Micho) Assi‘s activism and political involvement are rooted in her belief that those who endure hardship firsthand should have a voice in decision-making. As a single mother and proud Arab American immigrant, she embodies this principle. With over a decade of experience in governmental and nonprofit leadership, Micho has excelled in project management and advocacy. Beginning as a student teaching assistant in the criminal justice program at the University of Michigan Dearborn, she advanced to roles as paralegal at the Washtenaw County Public Defender’s Office and as special victim advocate in the Michigan Attorney General’s Office, Flint water case criminal prosecution team. Currently, Micho serves as the office manager of the Michigan House Democratic Communication under the leadership of Speaker Tate in the legislative house majority in Lansing. She remains dedicated to promoting diversity, inclusion and voter engagement. She excels in political campaigns, operational management and outreach, particularly within Arab and Muslim American and immigrant communities.

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  • April 25, 2024 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm
  • 6:00 pm

The Annex

The Annex @ AANM, a symbol of the Museum’s growing engagement with the community, opened in 2015. This space can accommodate large community groups, gatherings, events, performances and art displays.

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