CAIR-CHICAGO

Chicago, IL   |  www.cairchicago.org

Mission

To defend civil rights, fight bigotry, and promote tolerance.

Ruling year info

2003

Executive Director

Mr. Ahmed Rehab

Deputy Director & Counsel

Mr. Sufyan Sohel

Main address

17 N State St Ste 1500

Chicago, IL 60602 USA

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EIN

36-4469855

NTEE code info

Civil Liberties Advocacy (R60)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

In the great experiment that is the United States, both historically and contemporaneously, vulnerable minorities often grapple with the risk of harassment, discrimination, and denial of opportunities. We represent a community that is a faith minority, and often a racial and/or ethnic minority on top of that. And given recent political events and media coverage, among the most maligned of communities. We have worked to build a specialized civil rights defense and advocacy organization that protects and empowers the American Muslim community against unfair scrutiny and abuses.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Civil Rights Advocacy

CAIR-Chicago is the only specialized, full-time organization in the city of Chicago working to represent the Muslim community in the courthouse and the newsroom, that is in the legal arena in terms of its civil rights, and on the airwaves in terms of its public image.

Population(s) Served
Muslims
Ethnic and racial groups

Where we work

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Our goal is to help the American Muslim community take its rightful place as an equal partner on the social, political, and cultural tables of America, along with other faith communities and American sub-cultures. We aspire to normalize the image of Islam and Muslims in both American media and public consciousness. And we aim to help maximize the contribution of American Muslims to American civic society.

We seek to accomplish our goal through the following strategies:
1)Public Education:
-Know Your Rights: We work with Muslim community centers, mosques, and private groups to educate them on their civil rights in the United States as citizens and subjects of this nation
-Sensitivity Training; We work with employers, companies, universities, schools, law enforcement, etc., to educate them on the basics, complexities, and nuances of the Muslim community in America so they can increase their understanding and improve their working relationships.
-We run special projects like the Chicago School Project where we educate administrators on how to better increase inclusivity and understanding in schools, the Bystander Project where we train groups in methods of bystander intervention, the outreach project where we work with community partners to foster solidarity,

2)Legal Representation
-We work to represent Muslims in legal discrimination cases from arbitration to litigation

3)Policy Advocacy
-We advocate for just policies that affect religious minorities and immigrants

4)Government Outreach
-We work with government elected and appointed officials to ensure a healthy bridge between our government and our communities

5)Media Representation
-We are the main spokespersons for Muslims in the mainstream media, helping to bring a unique voice to media platforms that is often unheard or spoken on behalf of

6)Leadership Development
-Our strong Internship Program trains hundreds of college students on how to be better leaders for self, community and country; our Muslim Youth Leadership Symposium does the same with hundreds of Muslim high school students.

Our capabilities include:
- Budget: One million dollars a year raised entirely from our community. 100% local community funded.
- Work Force: 11 staff employees, 5 board members, 20 interns per quarter, and dozens of volunteers per year
- Office: 6500 square feet of prime space in the heart of downtown Chicago
- Facilities: In-house media production studio, and Azima Gallery (our in-house public functions center that can host 75 people per event)
- Websites: 4 websites that include a flagship online news and opinion website
- Access: CAIR-Chicago has unique access to all the mosques and Muslim schools and centers in the Chicagoland area, regardless of background and as such is among the most inclusive and included of Muslim representative organizations in the city and state.
- Coalitions and Partners: We are members of many important community coalitions and partnerships in the city and state, that collectively work to combat hate and encourage inclusiveness.

Over the past 15 years, CAIR-Chicago has emerged as the premiere Muslim representative community organization in the city of Chicago and the state of Illinois, particularly in the areas of legal defense and advocacy, community partnerships, government outreach, and public education. CAIR-Chicago receives over 75 annual letters of recognition for our work from the governor, mayor, senators, house representatives, law enforcement and other elected officials both local and federal. We have established one of the most active and successful nonprofit internship programs in the city. We have leveraged the potent power of the youth and volunteer base in our community. We have set up a powerful system to recruit and place interns and volunteers in the right place at the right time leading to maximum efficiency. We take into consideration each volunteer’s talents, set of skills, and interests and then place them accordingly in a project, so that it is simple plug-and-play. This also makes interning and volunteering with us enjoyable for them and not merely a chore. We regard them as community activists, and not simply interns or volunteers. We created clearly defined goals for each project, and set milestones so that progress is tangible and measurable. Graduates of our programs are now involved in every other major community organizations, along with the professional training they received with us. CAIR-Chicago is the primary media contact for all the major networks when it comes to community issues.

We have successfully bypassed conventional barriers that have plagued our community in the past. We have worked to dissolve the generational, class, and racial gaps by stressing the common aspirations and challenges that face us all thus creating a unique cross-generational and multi-racial support network for our work.
We have been vigilant in avoiding potential pitfalls that usually create tension and rifts in the Muslim community, such as dogmatic disagreements between religious currents or schools of thought. We are not a religious organization in that we don’t issue decrees, nor interpret religious text for the people. We are a community services organization and as such we wish to serve with integrity and professionalism any party that sees itself as Muslim. A clear and dominant theme in our work has been inclusion.

CAIR-Chicago is a different kind of organization. Its track record over its short years of operation since 2004 showcase fulfilled promises and speaks of a bright future.
Some of our numbers:
-5,000 Discrimination Cases Adjudicated
-919 Interns Graduated
-1400 Media Interviews Aired
-15 Years of consistent services
-5,000 unique donors
-15,000 annual banquet attendees

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

Financials

CAIR-CHICAGO
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

CAIR-CHICAGO

Board of directors
as of 10/20/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Dr Mohammed Kudaimi

Aisha El-Amin

University of IL at Chicago

Suzanne Sahloul

Syrian Community Network

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? No
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? No
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? No
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 11/09/2020

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Egyptian/Middle Eastern
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

The organization's co-leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Asian American/Pacific Islanders/Asian
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability

We do not display disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.

Equity strategies

Last updated: 11/09/2020

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.