Under the headline "19 National Organizations Awarded September 11th Anti-Bias Project Grant," the ChevronTexaco Foundation announced that it has awarded $1.5 million in grants (through the National Conference for Community and Justice) "to assist victims of discrimination." It turns out that all nineteen organizations focus on curbing discrimination against Arabs, Muslims and South Asians. Indeed, the "September 11th Anti-Bias Project" is designed to address "the bias, bigotry, and racism being faced by those individuals and groups who have experience heightened discrimination in the wake of the September 11th attacks." Given this sort of language, it is hardly surprising to learn that two of the project grantees are radical Arab and two are Islamist. Here are their identities, their grants, and their projects:
• American-Arab Anti Discrimination Committee, San Francisco, CA. $100,000 for "A United Response to Backlash Hate Violence and Discrimination in the San Francisco Bay Area," a collaboration of the ADC-SF, The Islamic Society of San Francisco, and The Intergroup Clearinghouse. The collaborative strives to document the backlash and assist victims of hate violence, bias, and discrimination, while developing and implementing educational and advocacy materials for prevention of any future bias, discrimination, intolerance, and hate motivated violence. Project will include, 1) developing public awareness of diverse communities within the Bay Area; 2) education and empowerment and: 3) creating resources for bias victims.
• Arab American Institute Foundation, Washington, DC, $100,000 for "National Public Education, Information and Community Outreach Campaign on Arab Americans," a three prong approach, 1) the education of teachers, students and civic groups on the culture heritage and contributions of Americans of Arab descent; 2) conduct and disseminate accurate and useful research on Arab American communities and current challenges to their civil liberties and civic integration to media outlets, government agencies, social service agencies and academic institutions; 3) provide resources, training and contacts to Arab American leaders in major U.S. communities to expand local level outreach on Arab American needs to public and private sector agencies.
• Graduate School of Islamic and Social Studies, Washington, DC. $99,792 for an unnamed project that aims at empowering ordinary members of the Muslim community through education by U.S.-based Islamic social scientists and scholars on Islam's fundamental messages of tolerance, inclusiveness, and peaceful coexistence for all people, and on personal skills to identify and address bigotry and discrimination. The participants will then develop those messages into lesson plans and deliver them in interactive workshops to groups of their non-Muslim peers. Finally, together with their non-Muslim peers, they will develop actions and formulate approaches to combat bigotry and discrimination in their communities.
• Muslim Student Association of the U.S. and Canada, Washington, DC. $36,884 for "Building Muslim –Friendly Campuses," a project that seeks to research and document the level in which University and Colleges are Muslim friendly and discover best practices that lead to the creation of Muslim friendly programs. The project will survey hundreds of students, 10 student focus groups, interview 15 key informants and document the level of Muslim friendliness at 300 hundred colleges and universities. The findings will be used for two publications; The State of Muslim Religious Accommodations Report and The Guide to Achieving Religious Accommodations on Campus.
One can only wonder what is going through the heads of the leadership at ChevronTexaco to be giving out their company's hard-earned money to encourage ethnic and religious chauvinism. (March 17, 2003)
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