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CAIR Launches ‘Upon Their Shoulders’ Campaign for Black History Month, Encourages Muslim Youth to Participate

(WASHINGTON, DC – 2/2/2021) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today encouraged American Muslims to participate in its educational “Upon Their Shoulders” campaign in honor of Black History Month. 

As part of the campaign, CAIR is encouraging American Muslims — especially young students — to submit an inspiring quote about the impact of an African-American activist, past or present, of their choosing. CAIR plans to highlight the chosen activists and the quotes from community members on a running basis throughout Black History Month. 

As the culminating event of the Upon Their Shoulders campaign, CAIR plans to host a special program honoring El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz (Malcolm X) at 3 pm on Feb. 21st, the 56th anniversary of his martyrdom. The event is scheduled to feature recollections and lessons from African-Americans of various faiths who knew Malcolm X, as well as modern activists who carry on his legacy in their work.

SEE: Submit Your “Upon Their Shoulders” Choices Here 

In a statement, CAIR National Deputy Director Edward Ahmed Mitchell said: 

“All of the civil rights work that American Muslims do today — and so many of the privileges that all Americans enjoy in our nation today — resulted from the struggles, sacrifices and successes of generations of African-Americans of various faiths. We stand upon their shoulders. 

“As we confront racism and other injustices, our community must continue to learn from the those who came before us. With that in mind, we encourage American Muslims — especially young people — to participate in our Upon Their Shoulders campaign.” 

Every week, CAIR’s Upon Their Shoulders campaign will offer members of the American Muslim community – an opportunity to recognize African-American activists whose work has advanced justice in our nation. 

Here’s how you can participate: 

  1. Choose an inspirational African-American activist from the past or present, and send us a sentence of your own explaining why this person was important to our society’s progress.  
  2. If CAIR chooses your quote, we will share it publicly as part of our Upon Their Shoulders campaign. We will also welcome you on to our weekly program, CAIR on Air, to discuss your choice. We especially encourage families and students to participate in this educational campaign. 

Washington-based CAIR and the American Muslim community are standing in solidarity with all those challenging anti-Black racism, Islamophobia, xenophobia, anti-Semitism, and white supremacy.        

Video: CAIR Director Nihad Awad Speaks at Unveiling of Black Lives Matter Banner        

CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to protect civil rights, enhance understanding of Islam, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.         

La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.         


CONTACT: CAIR National Communications Coordinator Ayan Ajeen, 202-774-0770,; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726,  

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