Some Concerned Over Lack of Muslims on Racial Equity and Social Justice Committee

In November 2019, the Montgomery County Council passed a racial equity and social justice bill in hopes of helping combat institutional inequity. 

The bill established the 15-member Racial Equity and Social Justice Advisory Committee. The committee was established to advise County Executive Marc Elrich, the council and county agencies about equity issues and make recommendations as to how to fix them.

Now, some are saying the committee lacks representation. In a letter Wednesday to Elrich and the council, advocacy organization Takoma Park Mobilization said the committee has no Muslim members. 

We decry your failure to include a Muslim voice on the county’s Racial Equity and Social Justice Commission,” the letter reads. 

They reference an online petition that is calling for a Muslim member on the committee.

“We stand in solidarity with the Muslim Voice in MoCo effort and urge you to immediately remediate your misstep by appointing a qualified Muslim community representative to the commission.” 

On Twitter, Councilmembers Nancy Navarro, WIll Jawando and Craig Rice responded to TP Mobilization and said they would speak to Elrich about the issue. 

“[H]e is the one that appoints people to the commission,” Rice tweeted. 

On Thursday Navarro sent her own letter to Elrich asking him to address and rectify the lack of Muslim representation on the committee. She said it lacks an important community voice. 

“Our Muslim community has always made positive contributions to our County and they are among the many groups of residents who have come together to help neighbors in dire need during this pandemic by hosting food distributions, providing healthcare, and raising money to create an African American Equity Fund, among other efforts,” Navarro said. 

The Racial Equity and Social Justice Advisory Committee members are below:

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Maryam Shahzad

About Maryam Shahzad

Maryam is a reporter with Montgomery Community Media. She graduated from the University of Maryland in December with a bachelor's degree in broadcast journalism. Previously, she was an intern with MCM. Maryam loves visual media and always says the movie is better than the book. She can be reached at mshahzad@mymcmedia.org or on Twitter @maryam_mcm.

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