CAIR-WA as well as other civil rights groups and activists, such as The Center School Community, Karen Jackel, The Scofflaw Mitigation Project, Got Green, and Navos were recognized for their work. Many Seattle city council members and Seattle Mayor Michael McGinn joined the groups.
The anti-racism award was presented by City Council President Sally Clark in recognition of CAIR-WA’s "mission to enhance the understanding of Islam, encouraging dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding," according to the SHSC program.
CAIR-WA’s executive director, Arsalan Bukhari, accepted the award on CAIR-WA’s behalf. In his remarks Bukhari credited CAIR-WA’s 5-person civil rights department, developed and led by Civil Rights Coordinator Jennifer Gist, with earning the award.
Seattle City Council President Sally Clark, who introduced CAIR-WA and presented the award, recognized CAIR-WA’s diversity training programs, and the many pro-bono lawyers CAIR-WA provides clients with, as a few of the efforts that made CAIR-WA deserving of the award.
However, "we are not done with racism yet," he said. "We still have a lot of work to do." Bukhari referenced recently launched Metro bus ads as an example of racism that still exists on a large scale.
The ads, apparently paid for by the US State Dept. and promoted locally by the Seattle office of the FBI, can be found plastered on the sides of Metro buses in the Seattle Area. The ad calls for citizens of Seattle to keep an eye out, with large headline, "Faces of Global Terrorism", accompanied by photos and names of about 15 Muslims, and the phrase "Stop a terrorist", among other content.
Despite the continued efforts that need to be made, Bukhari said he is confident that the Seattle community will be able to ally together to continue to combat racism in all its forms.