Human Rights Commission announces speaker for annual dinner

The Columbus Human Rights Commission is holding its annual dinner meeting on May 19 at the Commons. The Director of the Human Rights Commission, Aida Ramirez, is inviting you to attend and hear from keynote speaker, Salam Al-Marayati. The event is scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m.

Ramirez explains that Al-Marayati is the president and co-founder of the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) in Los Angeles. The mission of MPAC, she says, is to improve public understanding and policies that impact American Muslims by engaging the government, media, and communities. In his role as president, Ramirez explains that Al-Marayati oversees MPAC’s civil engagement programs, public policy initiatives, and advocacy work. She says that Al-Marayati has spoken internationally on a variety of topics, including Islam in the West, American pluralism and democracy, human rights, inclusion, and religious freedom. Ramirez adds that Al-Marayati has represented the United States at international conferences pertaining to human rights and religious freedom.

The evening will also include the honoring of the 2016 William R. Laws Human Rights Award recipients and the winners of the 2016 Benjamin M. King Essay and the J. Irwin Miller Art Contests. The theme for this year’s art and essay contests is “A Welcoming Community.” The Human Rights Commission says that the following students will be recognized:

2016 J. Irwin Miller Arts Contest:
Elementary School Division: Allison Craig, Mt. Healthy Elementary School
Middle School Division: Karla Perez, Central Middle School
High School Division: Megan Henderson, North High School

2016 Benjamin M. King Essay Contest:
Elementary School Division: Reagan Kane, St. Bartholomew Catholic School
Middle School Division: Katie Kime, Central Middle School
High School Division: Mila Lipinski, East High School

The Human Rights Commission says that admission to the dinner is by advance ticket purchase. Tickets are $30 each and will begin on April 20th. Officials say that tickets can be purchased at the Human Rights Commission office inside of City Hall, or online at The deadline for purchasing tickets is Friday, May 13 at 5 p.m.

The Human Rights Commission is stressing that you purchase your tickets as soon as possible. Officials say that when tickets have sold out, they will create a waiting list to be used in the event of cancellations or returns. For more information, call the Human Rights Commission at (812) 376-2532 or e-mail [email protected].