MPAC to Honor Justice Dept. Civil Rights Division & LAPD Deputy Chief at Convention Banquet

December 14, 2010

The Muslim Public Affairs Council announced today it will present its annual Community Leadership Awards to the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division and LAPD Deputy Chief Michael Downing at the MPAC banquet for the 10th Annual Convention on Saturday, Dec. 18 in honor of their continued support and work with the Muslim American community.

Established in 1957, the Civil Rights Division has been committed to upholding the civil and constitutional rights of all individuals, and the divisions Initiative to Combat Post-9/11 Discriminatory Backlash has investigated more than 800 incidents since 9/11 involving violence, threats, vandalism and arson. This was most recently evidenced by its work on land-use discrimination against a mosque in Tennessee. Mazen Basrawi, Counsel to the Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights at the Department of Justice, will accept the award on behalf of the division.

LAPD Deputy Chief Michael Downing's strong commitment to engagement during times of disagreement has distinguished him as a committed leader and man of integrity. The qualities he brings to police work in the city of Los Angeles have helped shape a dynamic and constructive environment that makes our great city the beacon that it is.

"This year's recipients of the Community Leadership Award are especially distinguished in their leadership and service," said Aziza Hasan, Southern California Government Relations Director. "The DOJ's Civil Rights Division has demonstrated dedication to upholding and defending the civil rights of all Americans. Deputy Chief Mike Downing has been a tireless advocate of building strong partnerships with Muslim American communities to uphold security and respect civil rights. He has done so even while facing anti-Muslim extremists like Steven Emerson. He has shown true commitment to engaging Muslims Americans as an active part of the solution. Their courage and work is a model to emulate."

The conventions banquet dinner will also feature keynote speaker Dr. Ahmed Zewail, a Nobel Laureate and Appointee to the President's Council of Advisers on Science and Technology who serves as President Obama's Science Envoy to the Middle East.

WHAT:   MPACs 10th Annual Convention

WHEN:   Saturday, December 18, 2010
              Registration: 11:30 a.m.
              Convention: 12:30 - 5:30 p.m.
              Banquet: 6:30 - 9:30 p.m.

WHERE: Westin Bonaventure Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles
              404 South Figueroa Street, Los Angeles, CA 90071
              (Mention the MPAC Convention to get a discounted rate of $99 for thoel rooms)

TICKETS: Click here to purchase your tickets for the convention and banquet online now
               or visit

One-on-one interviews with any of the speakers can be arranged by calling Communications Coordinator Marium Mohiuddin at (213) 383-3443 or (512) 657-7819.



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