April is National Arab American Heritage Month, and it’s finally here! This month is a time to celebrate Arab American culture while paying tribute to the contributions of Arab Americans and Arabic-speaking Americans. Last year, President Biden became the first U.S. president to announce April as National Arab American Heritage Month, and on March 31, the White House made a proclamation for the newfound celebration, stating, “The Arab American story is the American story — one of diverse backgrounds and faiths, vibrant tradition, bold innovation, hard work, commitment to community, and stalwart patriotism, all coming together to accomplish something greater than any one of us.”
There are so many ways to celebrate Arab American Heritage Month. Watching documentaries; engaging with Arab American history, art, and culture; and supporting Arab American-owned businesses are just a few ways to contribute to the celebration. Another important way is through donating to charities and organizations. Not only is donating great to show support, but it also helps these organizations to continue their mission of educating others about Arab American heritage and culture. With that being said, here are five organizations that you can donate to in celebration of Arab American Heritage Month.
- Arab America Foundation
The Arab America Foundation is a non-profit organization that was founded in 2018. Based in Washington D.C., their main mission is to promote Arab heritage, educate Americans, and empower Arab Americans to connect with each other as well as other organizations across the nation. Their grassroots network is composed of over 250 volunteers, and they meet on a weekly basis on social media and Zoom!
Afikra is a worldwide organization dedicated to promoting intellectualism and the diversity of Arab culture and history. Founded in 2014 in Brooklyn, this group is powered by the community! They’ve hosted hundreds of events, and have volunteers all over the world. They also offer free podcasts and videos, and develop courses for high school and college students. Check out their digital library, too, which explores Arab history and heritage!
- Arab American National Museum
The goal of the Arab American National Museum (AANM) is to highlight the contributions, culture, and history of the Arab community. Founded in 2005, their exhibitions give insight on the history of Arab Americans from the very beginning, and they provide an open and safe space for dialogue and gatherings. AANM also has one of the most varied archives of Arab American artifacts and historical documents. The museum hopes to uplift the community by sharing the works of both established and upcoming artists.
- American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee
The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) is a civil rights organization committed to defending Arab American people and advancing their culture. The ADC is the largest Arab American grassroots organization in the United States. They wish to advance the cause for transnational social justice, and they also serve as a voice for the Arab American community relating to domestic and foreign policy. They also host multiple events, including a national convention every year in Washington, D.C., which continues to be the largest national gathering of Arab Americans every year.
- Arab Film & Media Institute
The Arab Film & Media Institute (AFMI) is a non-profit organization founded by the team that is behind the largest and oldest Arab Film Festival in North America. Their work revolves around the annual Arab Film Festival, which has screenings, programs, and events. The AFMI also strives to connect Arab American filmmakers and provide them with opportunities. They also give schools a series of Arab films with a corresponding curriculum to help open dialogue and challenge regional stereotypes.
It’s so important to learn about other people’s culture, history, and heritage. These organizations are working hard to break down barriers, and help others gain a better understanding of the Arab American people. By donating or volunteering with these organizations and many like it, you are helping to make a change.