Illinois Advisory Committee to Hold Meeting Examining

Hate Crime in the State

CHICAGO, IL – The Illinois Advisory Committee to the U. S. Commission on Civil Rights will conduct a meeting on August 21 investigating hate crimes in the state and the effectiveness of legislative and community-based efforts to prevent such incidents. Illinois has experienced a variety of hate crimes and discrimination against religious institutions in recent months and years.  The purpose of this proposed project is to examine the current state of the law with respect to hate crimes and discrimination against religious institutions in Illinois to determine if the levels of protection are currently adequate and if not, to identify possible legal and policy changes to improve those levels of protection.

CAIR Chicago’s Staff Attorney Rabya Khan will be speaking during Panel 2, entitled Data Deficit, Underreporting and Community Concerns from 10:15 am until 11:30 am. Khan is a seasoned veteran in social justice litigation and civil rights advocacy.

The meeting will be held at the Metcalfe Federal Building, 77 W. Jackson Blvd., Room 331 in Chicago, IL, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. CAIR-Chicago continues to work with a coalition of civil rights and advocacy organizations in improving reporting of hate crimes.

The U. S. Commission on Civil Rights is an independent, bipartisan federal agency that conducts research and advises the President and Congress on civil rights issues. Its members, appointed by the President and Congress, are Chairman Martin R. Castro and Commissioners Roberta Achtenberg, Gail Heriot, Peter N. Kirsanow, David Kladney, Karen Narasaki, Patricia Timmons-Goodson, and Michael Yaki.

Congress has directed the Commission to establish state advisory committees (SACs) in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, and their members serve without compensation. The members of the Illinois Advisory Committee are Chair Barbara Abrajano and members Nancy Andrade, Jonathan Bean, Lisa Bernstein, James Botana, Trevor Copeland, Rick Garcia, William Howard, Bishop Demetrios of Mokissos, B. Herbert Martin, Malik Nevels, Darlene Oliver, Gordon Quinn, Ennedy Rivera, Cynthia Shawamreh, Betsy Shuman-Moore, Anthony Sisneros, and Farhan Younus. The SAC reports to the Commission are wholly independent, and are not subject to Commission approval, fact-checking or policy changes.

The meeting is open to the public, and we encourage the public to attend and to provide statements to the Committee at one of the two open sessions on the agenda.

An agenda is attached.

Director, Regional Programs Unit




Hate Crimes and Discrimination Against Religious Institutions

Ralph H. Metcalfe Federal Building, Room 331

77 West Jackson Blvd., Chicago Illinois 60604

August 21, 2014


8:30 – 8:40                  Welcome

Barbara Abrajano, Chair, Illinois Advisory Committee, USCCR

Marty Castro, Chairman, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights


8:40 – 8:45                  Overview

Paul Goldenberg, President, Cardinal Point Strategies

8:45 – 10:00                Panel 1 – Data Discrepancy and Law Enforcement

Brian Citro, Lecturer in Law, University of Chicago Law School, International Human Rights Law Clinic

Terri Hickman, Illinois Uniform Crime Reporting Program Manager, Illinois State Police

Sgt. Lori Cooper, City of Chicago Police Department

10:00 – 10:15              Break

10:15 – 11:30              Panel 2 – Data Deficit, Underreporting and Community Concerns

Rabya Khan, Staff Attorney, CAIR

Mona Noriega, City of Chicago Commission on Human Relations

Kalia Abiade, Advocacy Director, Center for New Community

Dr. Muhammad Hamadeh, Board President, Muslim Educational and Cultural Center of America (MECCA)

11:30 – 11:45               Break

11:45 – 12:50              Panel 3 – Trend Analysis and Policy Overview

Illinois State Representative Kelly Cassidy, 14th District

Alan Spellberg, Supervisor, Criminal Appeals Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office

Betsy Shuman-Moore, Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law

Jeannine Bell, Professor of Law, Indiana University Mauer School of Law (via teleconference)

12:50 – 1:10                Open Session

1:10 – 2:00                  Lunch Break

2:00 – 3:30                  Panel 4 – Special concerns presented by religiously-motivated hate crimes and discrimination against religious institutions, including violence, vandalism and zoning discrimination.

Reverend Stan Davis, Co-Executive Director, Council of Religious Leaders of Metropolitan Chicago

Rabbi Michael Balinsky, Executive Vice President, Chicago Board of Rabbis

Dr. Balwant Singh Hansra, Co-Founder, Sikh Religious Society

Faiyaz Hussain, Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago

John Mauck, Mauck & Baker, LLC

Peter M. Friedman, Village Attorney for Lake Bluff, Oak Brook, and Winnetka, IL

3:30                             Open Session

4:00                             Adjournment

– END –

CONTACT: CAIR Staff Attorney Rabya Khan, 312-212-1520,; CAIR Chicago Senior Communications Coordinator 312-212-1520,