April is a time to recognize the history, culture, and achievements of Arab Americans. Since the first push for national recognition in 2017, more and more states are officially celebrating Arab American Heritage Month. With nearly 4 million Americans who can trace their heritage to an Arab country, there is no singular Arab American experience or story. Stretching from the North African region to the Middle East, the 22 countries which make up the Arabian world are home to people with a wide variety of languages, religions, and traditions. With so many traditions, there are many ways to celebrate. We’re sharing some information about how you can support Arab Americans, as well as some key organizations which serve the Arab American community.
Getting Counted in the Census
Accurate, detailed data on our nation’s racial and ethnic composition — and information about how those data intersect with education, employment, housing, health care, political representation, and other important social institutions — are essential for realizing our nation’s goals of equity, diversity, and inclusion. A broad effort is underway to include a new, discrete ethnic category for people from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. Learn more about the importance of including a MENA category in the 2030 census and other federal forms, and submit a public comment in support of the addition.
Resources and Organizations
Arab America Foundation
The Arab America Foundation (AAF) promotes the Arab heritage and empower Arab Americans. This mission is accomplished through the coordination of National Arab American Heritage Month (NAAHM) in April. Additionally, AAF empowers Arab Americans through initiatives that spotlight professionals in all fields such as education, law, public service/politics, nonprofit, business leaders, entrepreneurs, students, engineers, medical professionals, artists, entertainers, writers, and media representatives. Learn more.
Arab American National Museum
Located in Dearborn, Michigan, the Arab American National Museum is the first and only museum of its kind in the United States devoted to recording the Arab American experience. The museum presents original exhibitions, cutting-edge art, film screenings and performances in Michigan and in major cities across the U.S., and continually documents the history and experiences of Arab Americans. Learn more.
Arab American Institute
The Arab American Institute Foundation focuses primarily on three buckets of work: strengthening democracy, protecting civil rights and civil liberties for all, and standing for international peace and human rights. As a civil rights advocacy organization, it provides strategic analysis to policy makers and community members to strengthen democracy, protect civil rights and liberties, and defend international human rights. Learn more.
Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services (ACCESS)
The Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services (ACCESS) strives to enable and empower individuals, families and communities to lead informed, productive and culturally sensitive lives. As a nonprofit model of excellence, we honor our Arab American heritage through community-building and service to all those in need, of every heritage. ACCESS is a strong advocate for cultural and social entrepreneurship imbued with the values of community service, healthy lifestyles, education and philanthropy. Learn more.
Center for Arab American Philanthropy
The Center for Arab American Philanthropy (CAAP) is a national community foundation. An institution of ACCESS, CAAP’s objective is to unite and empower the Arab American community by demonstrating the impact of giving together. Founded in 2010, CAAP’s aim is to improve communities by making grants to nonprofit organizations; serve donors by providing them with smart tools and resources to carry out their philanthropic giving; build leaders by educating and inspiring Arab Americans, including youth, to realize their potential for change. Learn more.
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