MPAC Honors Hussain and Monteiro for Empowering American Muslims

October 7, 2013

Last Thursday, Oct. 3, more than 150 people gathered in Washington, DC, for the Muslim Public Affairs Council’s first “Empowering Voices” dinner honoring Rashad Hussain, the U.S. Special Envoy to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, and Paul Monteiro, Public Engagement Adviser for the White House Office of Public Engagement, for their dedicated work to public service and empowering the American Muslim community.

SEE: Flickr “Empowering Voices” dinner photo album (

ALSO SEE: Facebook “Empowering Voices” dinner photo album (

Government officials, community members and civil society leaders, including Rep. André Carson (D-IN), who presented the award to Monteiro, attended the event, which was a testament to Hussain and Monteiro's legacy and MPAC's commitment to civic engagement.

“MPAC celebrated and recognized empowering voices because without the leadership and relentless dedication of individuals such as Hussain and Monteiro, our work on behalf of the community could not have been realized,” said Salam Al-Marayati, MPAC President. “We thank all those who made this evening special and joined us to honor these exceptional individuals. The honorees have worked tirelessly to expand engagement between government and communities to ensure the U.S. remains an inclusive and pluralistic society."

Both Hussain and Monteiro spoke about their professional journeys and the path to working for the Obama administration. They both highlighted their drive to work for a better and more inclusive America.

“Remaining engaged with institutions like MPAC is absolutely important,” Monteiro said. “Whether or not we always agree, and in the face of others who do not want any engagement with Muslims, it must continue.”

Rep. Carson spoke about the need for more people like Hussain and Monteiro to continue the positive work that comes out of effective engagement.

The night concluded with Ambassador Ebrahim Rasool, who spoke about the power and importance of engagement to build bridges across all spectrums of society.

“We must go beyond simply acknowledging others as communities of faith, ethnicities and race. We must learn to understand and get to know one another so that we can love and work more effectively for humanity,” Rasool said.  



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