On April 20, 2013, at CAIR-NY’s “Upholding our Constitution Award Dinner,” The Interfaith Center of New York (ICNY) was presented with CAIR’s Partners in Justice Award, which honors organizations that display a commitment to peace & community building that improves the lives of all New Yorkers.
Presenting the award were CAIR-NY Board Member Zead Ramadan (pictured, left) and CAIR-NY Board Chair Ryan Mahoney (second from right).
The full transcript of Reverend Breyer’s acceptance of the award is reproduced below. A brief video clip of Rev. Breyer’s speech was taken by her daughter Clara:
Also on hand to receive the award (pictured left to right, below) were ICNY Director of Outreach and Program Administration, Annie Rawlings, Program Associate Dr. Sarah Sayeed, Development Director Ellen Greeley, and Volunteer Coordinator Pastor Arthur Barnes.
Rev. Chloe Breyer’s acceptance of CAIR-NY’s Partners in Justice Award:
April 20, 2013
On behalf of the staff of the Interfaith Center of New York, Sarah Sayeed, Annie Rawlings, Ellen Greeley, and Arthur Barnes as well as our founder the Very Rev. James Parks Morton, it is a great honor to receive the Partners in Justice Award tonight.
For almost two decades the Interfaith Center of New York has been bringing together hundreds of immigrant and grassroots religious leaders to take on shared challenges from domestic violence to police profiling. We’ve worked with judges, teachers, social workers and other civic officials to educate them about religious diversity as a gift to our city instead of how its too often seen: as a liability.
Now I have a confession to make. As much as I’d like Mr. Ramadan’s introduction of us to be true, the Interfaith Center does NOT run the Interchurch Center Office Building. It is the sad truth. No getting around it. One of the greatest things about being in that building, however, is that we are just two floors above CAIR-NY. Yes, we have the very good luck to share the same office building with CAIR-NY up at 475 Riverside Dr. And I will not forget the day when, after our first joint-press conference with CAIR in response to the set of anti-Muslim subway ads last fall—a press conference, I might ad, that prompted the MTA to require disclaimers on all future “opinion” ads—Muneer arrived in our offices with a delicious assortment of Baklava. Attached to it was a yellow sticky that had written in an-ALMOST passage from Scripture. I should emphasize that it was something LIKE a passage from the Holy Qur’an:
“We created you into many offices in one building so that you may know each other. . .”
We at the Interfaith Center have been blessed to know and work with CAIR-NY. Your response to the needs of your community in the areas of civil rights and religious profiling that is all too often part of the American Muslim reality, places you truly on the front lines. You are an organization not just for Muslims but for all Americans as what happens to one of us, affects all of us. We need greater vigilance and perseverance in the struggle against prejudice and I anticipate more press conferences, more letter writing campaigns, and more educational efforts together. Unless perhaps one day, we work ourselves out of a job. One can only hope.
Thank you CAIR-NY for your own leadership, thank you for your partnership, and thank you for this great award.