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Mayor Virg Bernero and East Lansing Mayor Mark Meadows will co-host tomorrow night’s Mayors’ Ramadan Unity Dinner at the Lansing Center. Now in its 11th year, the Mayors’ Ramadan Unity Dinner celebrates the rich diversity of metro Lansing, increases understanding and appreciation of the Muslim faith and the traditions of Ramadan, and raises money to combat hunger in our community. This year’s theme is “United in Strength – Solidarity Against Hunger.” Proceeds from the event will be donated to the Greater Lansing Food Bank. The event begins at 6 p.m. and is sold out.
The keynote speaker for the dinner is noted community activist, educator and leader Dr. Dhabah “Debbie” Almontaser, whose storied career in New York City has earned her international praise and numerous honors and awards. Dr. Almontaser is the CEO and founder of Bridging Cultures Group, Inc., a consulting service that specializes in academic support and cultural proficiency that enables people and communities to see themselves as part of a diverse, interdependent world across racial, ethnic and religious lines. A 25-year veteran of the NYC public school system, she is also the founding and former principal of the Khalil Gibran International Academy in New York.
Dr. Almontaser is a prolific author who frequently lectures, serves on panels and facilitates workshops on cultural diversity, conflict resolution, Arab culture, Islam, Muslims in America, interfaith coalition building and youth leadership at universities, libraries, museums, churches and synagogues in New York and at local, national and international conferences. She is also a key adviser on cultural and religious diversity issues for the NYC Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, the New York Police Department and NYC city council members.