Issue Collaborative

Rights and Inclusion

We are stronger when we stand together as Americans and weaker when we let fear and lack of understanding divide us. Our Rights and Inclusion team works with Muslim, Arab, Sikh, and South Asian American communities and leaders across the country, with allies opposing hate-crimes and anti-Muslim prejudice,and with U.S.-based Muslim and non-Muslim allies promoting cultural equity and inclusion in the arts.

In 2017, with the support of our partners, ReThink Media launched a Speakers Bureau, a multi-year effort to address the lack of representation of Muslim, Arab, and South Asian American spokespeople in the media. To-date we have trained hundreds of community members and leaders across the country with expertise on a broad range of issues beyond just Islam, Muslims, or nations of origin in subjects as varied as the arts, national security, healthcare, domestic violence, and pop culture. And we have provided hands-on media outreach support to connect this growing network of spokespeople to journalists, producers, and bookers across the country.

Success Story

A partner organization asked us to help with media coverage of a client whose aging Iran-based mother needed cancer treatment only available in the US. The Muslim Ban was keeping her out of the country and her requests for a visa were going nowhere. Our team helped draft and pitch an op-ed in the local paper where the hospital that provides the treatment is located, but the paper instead opted to cover the story in a feature piece. Once it was published, we facilitated an aggressive campaign of pushing the story to the US Department of State’s social media accounts, particularly targeting public affairs, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and the Near East Affairs department.

This targeted campaign attracted D.C. and national reporters, who picked up the story and started calling their State Department contacts, asking for comment. Days later, the State Department relented in the face of growing media scrutiny and the client’s mother got her visa. Now, she has beat her lethal brain disease.

Corey Saylor
Deputy Director of Campaigns; Program Director, Rights and Inclusion
Case Study

A Hashtag to Speak Up

Media Analysis
Message Testing
Public Opinion

In the lead-up to the 2016 election, anti-Muslim rhetoric was at an all-time high, driven by then-candidate Trump. To counter this anti-Muslim prejudice, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton invited Gold Star parents Khizr and Ghazala Khan to the Democratic National Convention to speak about their son, Humayun, an Army officer who was killed in Iraq.