• The Education Outreach (EOP) played an active role in advising the state of Virginia on revising the Standards of Learning (SOLs): NAAWA’s own Dr. Ilham Nasser, alongside Dr. Ghassan Tarazi of the Virginia Coalition for Human Rights (VCHR) represented the Arab community on the Culturally Relevant and Inclusive Education Practices Advisory Committee of Virginia Department of Education, to review Virginia’s history and social studies SOLs. The engagement lasted for a year and mainly focused on changing hate language and stereotyping of Arabs, Muslims, and Palestinians in the standards. As part of this revision process several members of our community addressed the committee during the public open sessions to reiterate examples of bias and discriminatory language in the state’s standards of learning and curriculum. NAAWA held two community meetings to inform parents, educators, and the large community of the importance of this engagement and its outcomes.
• Raising the voices of Arab Americans against misleading messages by officials and others alike: 2021 proved to be an incredible year of action as NAAWA worked diligently to counter attacks by leaders in education systems. For example, NAAWA challenged the antagonistic actions through several advocacy letters and alternative messaging —one of which was a counter to the FCPS Superintendent’s partial statement regarding the Gaza bombardment in 2021. Taking a more direct advocacy approach, NAAWA held meetings with the Board of Education on behalf of the Arab American students and the community, while also providing various counties with resources that highlight Arab American contributions and unique status in this country.
• NAAWA continued to be a resource for Arab American members and the larger community, not just in the DMV area, but across the nation. With your support we have been able to perform actions, like counseling Liberty University students on Arab American history, culture, and status in the U.S.; while also reviewing educational textbooks for school districts to make sure studies related to the Arab world are fair and equitable.
See more on community service: Providing Resources & Building a Sense of Community (link it to http://naawa.org/educational-resources/
speaker Dr. Sahar Khamis.
speaker Rana El Kaliouby.
speaker Hala Lababidi.
The National Arab American Women’s Association’s (NAAWA) Education Outreach Program held an engaging discussion featuring social justice and education experts from across the country. The panelists highlighted their experiences in building grassroots movements and developing curricula to uplift marginalized communities that are often misrepresented or forgotten in our educational system. Guided by principles of solidarity, the webinar offered tools and resources on how to create effective and impactful engagement from local to national levels. The discussion was moderated by NAAWA-Education Outreach Program member, Janeen Rashmawi.
– Dr. Theresa Montano – Professor of Chicana/o Studies at California State University Northridge, union activist, and advocate for racial & educational justice.
– Lara Kiswani – Executive Director of the Arab Resource and Organizing Center (AROC) & faculty member at San Francisco State University in the College of Ethnic Studies.
– Dr. Tiffany Mitchell Patterson – Assistant Professor of secondary social studies at West Virginia University & diverse civic education and social justice activist.
Many thanks to our partners at AROC: Arab Resource and Organizing Center Bay Area for their endorsement of this event.
January 2021: speaker Yasmin Younis.