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Saturday, October 24, 2020 


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 Dr. Yusef Salaam, Yusef Speaks 

 Edward Ahmed Mitchell, Deputy Director, Council on American-Islamic  Relations  

Session Description: 

The “Central Park Five” was the label given to five innocent Black youth whom  NYPD wrongfully charged for the rape of a White woman in Central Park in 1989.  The Exonerated Five spent between seven to 13 years behind bars for crimes they  did not commit, until their sentences were overturned in 2002. Dr.  Yusef Salaam of the Exonerated Five will discuss racially motivated policing, the  killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Rayshard Brooks, and how we arrived  at this defining moment. 


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 Mary Bauer, Legal Director, Muslim Advocates 

 Fareed Hayat, Professor, The City University of New York School of Law

 Edward Ahmed Mitchell, Deputy Director Council on American-Islamic Relations 

 Akil K. Secret, The Secret Firm

 Nisreen Younis, Supervisor, Juvenile Unit at the Santa Clara County Public  Defender 

Session Description: 

Experienced civil rights, criminal defense, and immigration attorneys share their  perspectives on the role that race plays in our legal system. The panel will highlight common manifestations of racial disparities in the law, particularly in  the criminal legal system, as well as existing and potential remedies to the problem. The speakers will also share novel legal arguments being made and how courts have responded.  

1:30-2:00 p.m. (ET) LUNCH AND PRAYER BREAK  

Reception Room Open  

Meet other conference attendees for lunch in our interactive reception room.

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2:00-3:15 p.m. (ET) RACE AND IMMIGRATION 

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 Azadeh Shahshahani, Legal and Advocacy Director, Project South 

 Jama Ibrahim, Attorney, Ibrahim & RAO 

 Sadia A. Ali, Al-Amin Law Group 

 Hudaidah Bhimdi, Partner, Murray Osorio PLLC 

Session Description: 

This panel, featuring immigration litigators and experts, will discuss the role of  race in selectively banning entry into the United States. Speakers will explore emerging issues and recent trends. Using case examples, speakers will discuss  handling real-world problems in representing clients. 


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 Khaled Beydoun, Associate Professor of Law, Wayne State University School of Law and Damon J. Keith Center for Social Justice | Co-Director 

 Justin Hansford, Professor of Law, Howard University School of Law 

 Aya Saed, Bertha Justice Fellow at the Center for Constitutional Rights 

 Amer Zahr, Adjunct Professor, University of Detroit Mercy School of Law; Comedian, Writer, Speaker 

Session Description: 

Protest movements are a common way the will of the people has been on display, and the First Amendment provides critical protections for protesters. Panelists will survey the frontlines of the key legal challenges confronting protest movements and inequalities that spark political and social activism. 


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Interact with conference attendees in your practice area in our virtual reception  rooms. 

 Public Interest and Civil Rights (Sponsored by Muslim Advocates) 

            Facilitator: Matt Callahan, Senior Staff Attorney, Muslim Advocates 

 Criminal Law: Prosecution and Defense 

            Facilitators:    Sajid Khan, Deputy Director, Santa Clara County Office  of the Public Defender 

                                          Awais Khaleel, Assistant District Attorney, Dane County  

 Solo and Small Firms  

            Facilitator: John Vandenberg, Founding Partner, Hogan &  Vandenberg & NAML Board Member 

 Big Law and In-House  

            Facilitators:    Saba Alvi, Counsel, FlowServ, Inc. & NAML Board  Member 

                                          Bilal Zaheer, Partner, Locke Lord LLP & NAML  Treasurer 


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 Lukman Azeez, Associate, Wiley Rein 

 Amir Ali, Deputy Director, Supreme Court and Appellate Program  MacArthur Justice Center; Director, Criminal Justice Appellate Clinic Harvard Law School 

 Baher Azmy, Legal Director, Center of Constitutional Rights 

 Dr. Intisar Rabb, Professor of Law, Professor of History, and faculty director of the Program in Islamic Law at Harvard Law School (invited)  

Session Description: 

The protests ignited by the killing of George Floyd have put the spotlight on the  legal doctrine of qualified immunity. Although qualified immunity is not at issue  in the prosecution of the Minneapolis police officer who killed Mr. Floyd, it is  one of the many structural factors that make it difficult to hold law enforcement  accountable for wrongdoing that violates a person’s constitutional and civil  rights. The panel will outline the historical underpinnings of the qualified  immunity doctrine; the current state of the doctrine; and potential ways to  eliminate or reform the doctrine which Justice Sotomayor notes “tells officers that  they can shoot first and think later.” Kisela v. Hughes, 138 S. Ct. 1148, 1162  (2018) (Sotomayor, J., dissenting).  


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 Khaled Beydoun, Associate Professor of Law Wayne State University School of Law and Damon J. Keith Center for Social Justice | Co-Director 

 Jamila Jefferson-Jones, Associate Professor of Law, University of Missouri Kansas City 

 Abed Awad, Founding Partner, Awad & Khoury, LLP 

 Ajmel Quereshi, Senior Counsel, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational  Fund  

Session Description: 

Property ownership is a prominent sign of American wealth. Yet, home ownership for black college graduates is lower than home ownership than white  high school dropouts. In the South, a third of all black-owned land is heirs’ property, leaving the property vulnerable to speculators. The session will examine heir property, estate planning, tax foreclosures, and other racially motivated legal standards that lead to property deprivation in Black communities. 

5:15-6:15 p.m. (ET) LET’S TALK ABOUT IT! 

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Join us for facilitated small-group discussions about intracommunity racism.  Participants will share their stories of how racism has affected them, and groups  will collectively discuss strategies toward addressing the problem.  


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Open Letter to End Racial Violence

The National Association of Muslim Lawyers (NAML) stands with other bar associations and advocates to demand an end to racialized policing against African Americans and other communities of color.

The murders of George Floyd,Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor have reawakened lawyers to the great racial divide in the criminal justice system and the deadly outcomes from discriminatory policing. Lives have been lost for decades. We continue to pray for the many grieving families and communities feeling betrayed by the rule of law.

As lawyers, we have a duty to uphold the integrity of the profession, including ensuring that our criminal justice system operates with fairness. Yet, African Americans are more likely to be stopped by the police than white Americans. Once stopped, police are twice as likely to use or threaten use of force against African Americans.

ABA Model Rule of Professional Conduct 8.4 promotes a legal community free of harassment and discrimination. This responsibility is a fervent reminder that bias, discrimination, and harassment must be unacceptable in both the practice of law and the justice system.

The Holy Quran also reminds us of the moral obligation “to stand firmly for justice,” and our Prophet Muhammad (may peace, prayers and blessings be upon him) repeatedly denounced racism, including anti-Blackness.

With these guideposts, NAML will work to leverage the collective voices, skills, and expertise of its members to address the ongoing disparities African Americans and other communities confront. NAML members have worked to end stop-and-frisk practices, NSEER, police surveillance, 9/11 roundups, and other egregious policing practices. We encourage continued advocacy in these areas.

We recognize that silence conveys consent or at a minimum conveys apathy. NAML endorses neither. Thus, we encourage members to intensify work to end disparities that lead to police violence. That work may be supporting pro bono projects, policy reform, bail out campaigns, release of incarcerated citizens during COVID-19, or other community initiatives.

Let us continue to act in our own way to end systemic racism, safeguard the Constitution, and the protect the lives of our fellow community members.

In pursuit of justice,

The NAML Board of Directors


NAML (National Association of Muslim Lawyers) is a professional organization dedicated to serving American Muslim legal professionals through the following objectives:

  1. Promote professional networking and mentorship among Muslim legal professionals and law students in the United States;
  2. Support the growth of local Muslim Bar Associations; and
  3. Serve the general public through volunteerism and community service efforts.

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