FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, June 7, 2016
CONTACT: Stephanie Franklin, Policy & Communications Officer – 202.727.1145; [email protected]
(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – The District of Columbia Office of Human Rights (OHR) and KARAMAH: Muslim Women Lawyers for Human Rights encourage non-Muslim District residents to join Muslims in a day of fasting on June 29. This fast is part of an effort to increase understanding and awareness of the Muslim community in DC. The one-day campaign titled “Fast with DC Muslims: A Day of Understanding and Solidarity,” will occur during the month of Ramadan. During Ramadan, Muslims abstain from food and drink during daylight hours to rededicate themselves to faith and self-reflection. Participants who register by June 19 will receive a #FastWithDCMuslims pin to wear on June 29, and an information packet to help them further understand the DC Muslim community and the significance of Ramadan.
“The vast majority of District residents support their Muslim neighbors and appreciate their contributions to the District, however media and political rhetoric often create misperceptions that can lead to discrimination,” said OHR Director Mónica Palacio. “That is why on June 29, we are asking allies and those wanting to become allies to join Muslims in fasting, and to spend the day sharing information with colleagues, family and friends about the vibrant and diverse Muslim community in DC.”
Participants can register for free online, and will pledge not to eat or drink from sunrise to sunset. They will be encouraged to use the provided information packet to raise awareness about the DC Muslim community through personal interactions and social media, and to share their motivation for participating. Additionally, the #FastWithDCMuslims pin will provide space for participants to write-in one of their own traits or identities – to say “Latina and Fasting,” for example – to demonstrate the wide support for DC Muslims from many communities. Individuals unable to fast for medical or personal reasons are still encouraged to register and participate, by wearing the pin and raising awareness throughout the day.
Individuals can register to participate for free at fastwithdcmuslims.eventbrite.com. Participants must register by June 19 to receive the #FastWithDCMuslims pin and information packet by mail. Additional information and an image of the #FastWithDCMuslims pin are available at ohr.dc.gov/page/FastWithDCMuslims.
About the District of Columbia Office of Human Rights
The District of Columbia Office of Human Rights (OHR) was established to eradicate discrimination, increase equal opportunity and protect human rights for persons who live in or visit the District of Columbia. The agency enforces local and federal human rights laws, including the DC Human Rights Act, by providing a legal process to those who believe they have been discriminated against. OHR also proactively enforces human rights in the District through Director’s Inquiries, which allow it to identify and investigate practices and policies that may be discriminatory.
About KARAMAH: Muslim Women Lawyers for Human Rights
KARAMAH: Muslim Women Lawyers for Human Rights is a nonprofit organization committed to promoting human rights globally, especially gender equity, religious freedom and civil rights in the United States. It pursues its mission through education, legal outreach and advocacy.