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Hon. Benjamin L. Cardin, Chairman
Hon. Alcee L. Hastings, Co-Chairman
For Immediate Release
September 13, 2010


Commission Events to Focus on Minority Politics, Minority Pressures

WASHINGTON—In the wake of the Manhattan mosque debate, U.S. Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD), Chairman of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (U.S. Helsinki Commission) and Co-Chairman Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL) announced today that they will hold two events focusing on challenges faced by ethnic and religious minorities in the United States and Europe in national politics and other aspects of life.


WHEN:          Wednesday, September 15, 2010


11:00 a.m.       Roundtable Discussion:

Minorities in France


1:30 p.m.         Briefing:

                        Minority Political Participation in the Obama Era


WHERE:        Capitol Visitor Center – South Congressional Meeting Room


1:30 p.m. - Briefing: Minority Political Participation in the Obama Era

President Obama’s historic election has increased attention to minority political leaders and others working in the public sector worldwide.  In the United States and Europe, this has raised questions about the current status of racial and ethnic minority political participation in comparison to the past.  Speakers will address successes and challenges to the inclusion and effective participation of racial and ethnic minorities in the political sphere.  The briefing will conclude with Q & A. 



  • Gay McDougall, United Nations Independent Expert on Minority Issues, Organizer of the  United Nations Forum on Effective Minority Political Participation



Special Guests:

  • Congresswoman Barbara Lee, Congressional Black Caucus Chair; United Nations Forum on Effective Minority Political Participation Chair
  • Congressman Mike Honda, Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus Chair


*Other speakers may be added


11:00 a.m. - Roundtable Discussion: Minorities in France

French minority leaders will discuss current issues impacting their communities, related public and private sector anti-discrimination and diversity initiatives, and similarities with the U.S. situation. 



  • Jackie Celestin-André, Director, Corporate Diversity, L’Oreal, France
  • Rokhaya Diallo, President, Les Indivisibles; Contributor, CanalPlus and RTL, France
  • Alain Dolium, 2010 Regional Candidate for the Democratic Movement, France
  • Khalid Hamdani, Director, Institute for Ethics and Diversity, France

Closing Remarks:

  • His Excellency Pierre Vimont, Ambassador of France to the United States  

Moderator: Rene Lake, LTL Strategies, US


Media Contact: Neil Simon
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