Advancing America Toward Justice


MPAC 18th
annual Convention


November 10, 2018 


Advancing America
Toward Justice

2018 Convention & Banquet

The annual MPAC Convention brings together Americans of all backgrounds to discuss the most pressing challenges facing our country and our communities, with the goal of finding common ground - which must include mutual respect, justice and dignity for all Americans regardless of ethnic origin, religious beliefs, or immigration status. Each year, our speakers examine the roots of challenging issues that lead to the marginalization of vulnerable communities, namely fear, mistrust, and misunderstanding of each other. Our convention is consistently thought-provoking and inspires both community dialogue and action to create the America we are capable of  - and the America we are meant to be.

Our 2018 convention, “Advancing America Toward Justice”, will inspire and activate attendees to unite in resisting and replacing the unjust policies disproportionately targeting vulnerable communities under this administration. From immigrant rights to family separation to the Muslim Travel Ban, our communities are facing enormous challenges. Yet we have prevailed and shown that we can overcome injustice when we come together. We will hear from recently detained fathers, community leaders, and dedicated activists as they share their experiences and strategies in working toward social justice - for ourselves and for others.



From Detention
to Freedom:

Lessons on Advocacy from
Two Detained Fathers

The Avelicas are a Mexican-American Catholic family from Los Angeles, and the Jamals are a Bangladeshi-American Muslim family from Lawrence, Kansas. Both fathers were detained by ICE while in the process of taking their daughters to school. Romulo Avelica was held in detention for six months and Syed Jamal for eight weeks, both cases rousing allies to advocate for their release.

These cases show that political and community pressure works, and works most expediently when both sides advocate together. These two courageous fathers will share their stories, and in guided conversation with immigration attorneys and activists, inform us how we can support and advocate for those currently detained or under threat of detention as we work toward a just American immigration policy.


Romulo Avelica

Mexican-American Catholic Taquero from Los Angeles

Learn more →


Syed Jamal

Bangladeshi-American Muslim Professor from Kansas

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Ricardo Mireles

Executive Director, Academia Avance, Los Angeles



What is the most effective path to justice?



Effective Advocacy:

Finding the Sweet Spot between Engagement and Resistance

After the last election, the need for justice is dire - but oftentimes the debates and disagreements about the strategies of "engagement" and "resistance" slow down the work. While some believe that engagement is the only path to equality and justice, others view resistance as being more effective.

In reality, creating lasting change requires the intermingling of both tactics and approaches to effectively replace policies and reform institutions that have marginalized American Muslims and other groups. Throughout our country’s history, tools from resistance to advocacy, engagement to boycott have been used in the struggle toward justice. This panel of local community leaders and young professionals will share their experiences and theories of change to help us see each others’ perspectives and model how we can come together to advance justice in America.

con-connie rice-site-home.png

Connie Rice

The Advancement Project


Mahmoud El-Farra

City Council Candidate


Dr. Larycia Hawkins

(Former) Wheaton College Professor


Umar Hakim

Director, ILM Foundation #Inkerij