April 22, 2019
Council on American-Islamic Relations Banquet Raises $155K

November 9, 2018 — The Council on American-Islamic Relations–Massachusetts, a Boston nonprofit that works to enhance understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote social justice and mutual understanding, announced that it raised $155,000 at its recently held annual banquet, surpassing its goal.

Funds will support civil rights and youth programming offered by Council on American-Islamic Relations–Massachusetts (CAIR-MA) for the coming year.

CAIR-MA aimed to raise $150,000 and attract 350 attendees to this year's banquet, held Nov. 3 at Avenir in Walpole, and beat its fundraising goal by 3% while meeting its attendance goal.

Last year, the second time the banquet had been held, the event raised $133,000 and attracted 275 attendees.

Funds were raised via ticket sales and individual contributions during the event.

"During these times of unprecedented bigotry, it's heartening to see members of the Massachusetts community come out to support their Muslim neighbors. The success of this year's banquet is due to the vision of our supporters, who join us in fighting for justice for all people, regardless of their faith," said John Robbins, executive director of CAIR-MA.

Nearly half of monthly donors to CAIR-MA are not Muslim, but, according to the organization, "people of conscience from all backgrounds who believe strongly in defending the civil rights of their Muslim neighbors."

Founded in 2015, CAIR-MA, a chapter of America’s largest Muslim civil rights organization, provides programs, workshops, and speakers to organizations and community groups at no charge and, through an ambassadors program, trains Muslims to reach out to their larger communities and combat stereotypes about Islam

Unlike other legal-based non-profits such as the American Civil Liberties Union, CAIR does not specifically look for legal cases that can become case studies; rather, their mission is to serve people who are suffering from discrimination, according to The Pluralism Project at Harvard University.

CAIR-MA also works to educate Muslims and people of other faiths about Islamophobia.

“We want to do more to change the hearts and minds of the future, of five year-olds who right now have only heard about Islam in the context of terrorism, people who could commit a hate crime one day if their biases are left unchallenged,” Robbins told The Pluralism Project.

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