Thursday, June 18, 2009

ACLU of WI Reaches Out to Muslims in Milwaukee, Youth Organizers in Stevens Point

ACLU of Wisconsin Youth and Program Director Emilio De Torre reports from some of our recent educational efforts across the state...

Saturday June 13: Milwaukee Islamic Da'wa Center
The Da'wa center hosted the ACLU of Wisconsin along with Assistant US Attorney Richard Frohling and FBI Agent Margaret Thill for an information session on racial profiling, religious liberty and stereotyping.

"The lively open discussion challenged both community and guests to address the many issues that affect the diversity of Muslims, immigrants and black people in our post-911 communities and airports," said De Torre. "One of the many questions that came up regarded the consequences of government actions on American Muslims' exercise of their beliefs."

The ACLU has been working on educational efforts to raise the American public's greater awareness of anti-Arab and anti-Muslim discrimination. Three days after De Torre spoke at the Islamic Da'wa in Milwaukee, the ACLU issued a report, "Blocking Faith, Freezing Charity" on the impact of restrictions of Muslims' exercise of their right to practice their faith through charitable giving. The ACLU created this video on the subject:

"By the end of our discussion at the Da'wa, I think most of the participants realized that more education and outreach was needed to dispel lies and stereotypes about Muslims in particular," said De Torre. "Hopefully, this will be the first of many open community events at the Da'wa Center to educate the public on their civil liberties."

In 2006, the ACLU compiled a summary of all of the post-9/11 problems with discrimination, racial profiling and detention they were taking to the courts.

Tuesday, June 9th: Stevens Point 2009 Wisconsin State Prevention Conference
Sassy and sexy Stevens Point was the home for the 2009 Wisconsin State Prevention Conference, and ACLU of Wisconsin staff Emilio De Torre and Jason Hargis, along with interns Maggie Piery and Jeanette Martin facilitated an exciting three-hour workshop on Youth Organizing and Outreach.

“We were invited to present this workshop because of our many successes in messaging and using theatre, technology and social media to effectively organize young people around civil liberties and civil rights,” said De Torre.

“There were many people in attendance who shared their enthusiasm and desire to experiment with new methods of organizing in addition to continuing the tried and true ‘face to face' relationship-building organizing philosophy," he said.

Want us to facilitate a workshop at your conference? Give us a tweet. Or find our more about our youth programs on our website.