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ADC Michigan continues to work closely with elected government officials in order to facilitate dialogue between them and community members, thus strengthening ties. ADC, on a regular basis, meets with these officials to update them on issues affecting the community and to relay concerns of the community. In addition, ADC, regularly hosts events between community members and government officials to address relevant issues of concern. To fulfill this initiative, ADC has established a strong relationship with the heads of all federal agencies in Michigan.
BRIDGES was founded in 2001 but was declared a formal entity of dialogue on May 16, 2003 by former US Attorney Jeffrey Collins and ADC Regional Director Imad Hamad. BRIDGES, an acronym for Building Respect In Diverse Groups to Enhance Sensitivity, is a formalized body that includes members of the Arab American community who have been meeting with the heads of all the federal agencies in Detroit since shortly after the September 11 tragedy. These regular meetings were initiated by the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) Michigan, in an effort to strengthen the relationship between the Arab American community and the federal government. Through these meetings, both federal agents and the community have been able to address mutual issues of concern and work together to enhance the concept of trust between the community and law enforcement, as this has always been a challenge that can only be overcome through dialogue. This forum has provided an opportunity for the community to voice concerns directly to the government.
Today, BRIDGES is co-chaired by ADC Senior National Advisor and Regional Director Imad Hamad and Civil Rights Officer for the Department of Homeland Security Margo Schlanger. In addition to its membership meetings, BRIDGES hosts regular community town hall meetings to address pertinent issues directly with the greater community.