CAIR-WA 2016 Fundraising Banquet & Awards Celebration Award Recipients

'Community Service Award' recipient: Companion Athletics

Companion Athletics has built an innovative mentorship program that builds youth leaders rooted in Islamic inspiration and service to community. 

By doing this, they have inspired millions of American Muslim children and families and their allies to stand with our communities and our youth, and through their media engagement (click here, here and here to see press coverage), have showcased to millions of mainstream media audiences the lives, contributions, hopes and dreams of Muslim families and children.  They also illustrated that through strategic action and hard work, "verily with hardship comes ease."


'Standing Together Award' recipients: Welcome Home Refugees Kirkland (WHRK), Salaam Cultural Museum (SCM) and Muslim Community Resource Center (MCRC)

Families and children seeking refuge in the United States have faced not just escalating civil wars abroad but also a rise of anti-immigrant sentiment in our own nation, making them among the most vulnerable communities. 

The efforts of WHRK, SCM, and MCRC brought Americans of all faiths together in the joint mission of ensuring that families and children who arrive in our area find a warm welcome, are situated and are cared for, and can pursue the American Dream.


'Courage in Journalism Award' recipient: Seattle Globalist

Seattle Globalist's efforts to recruit and empower reporters from diverse communities and covering oft-missed news stories important to the public interest, furthers the core ideals of journalism: to provide information in an accurate, comprehensive, timely and comprehensive manner so that the American people are well-informed to make decisions regarding their lives, and their local and national communities, so that the concept of self-government outlined in the U.S. Constitution remains a reality into future centuries.

The impact of their work in recruiting diverse voices for their opinion section have provided a voice to many in our communities whose perspectives were often missed by mainstream audiences.
By doing this, they have showcased to millions of audiences the lives, contributions, hopes and dreams of American Muslim families and children and have inspired millions of allies to come to understand American Muslims.


'Justice for All Award' recipient: Puget Sound Sage

By including American Muslim workers and Islamic practices prominently in its 'Interfaith Economic Justice Coalition'  (IEJC) Puget Sound Sage educated numerous employers and co-workers in working effectively with their Muslim co-workers. By doing this, they also made the work environment better for thousands of local workers across the Puget Sound region.


'Ally for Justice Award' recipient: Faith Action Network (FAN)

The impact of FAN's work in mobilizing Christian leaders to publicly and vocally speak based on Biblical and Christ's teachings, in response to hate speech by elected and business leaders, and in response to hate crimes targeting a Seattle Muslim father of four children, a Spokane Muslim community center, the Bothell Hindu Temple, the Kent Hindu Temple, and a Muslim single mother in SeaTac threatened by a man with a gun, among numerous attacks on local fellow Americans over past months and years. 

By doing this, they showcased to millions of audiences the lives, contributions, hopes and dreams of American Muslim families and children and by exemplifying what it means to be a public, vocally ally, have inspired millions of Christian allies to also come forward and stand with our communities.


'Courage Award' recipients: Snoqualmie residents Afshan Ijaz, Ather Haleem, and Hina Shakil

The impact of their efforts to prepare and launch a sustained, compelling, public response to a state lawmaker's sustained anti-Muslim commentary serve as a case study on how every person has the power to take on powerful interests simply by training to tell their personal stories with compelling messages through mainstream media, then telling those stories consistently, finding allies in faith and children's schools, and after earning the admiration of new allies, directing those allies to send their words of support to media editors where those words can have a public impact. 

Their efforts in using their voices through mainstream media to educate millions of fellow Americans to bring them to understand the lives of American Muslim children and families, using strategic messages that resulted in front page headlines, showed the world and those in power that attacking our communities carries high risk and high social, political and reputational costs. By doing this, they inspired millions of American Muslim children and families and their allies to stand up strategically to anti-Muslim attacks to not only deliver consequences to those who attack our communities, but also use it as a grand public education opportunity to showcase to millions of mainstream media audiences the lives, contributions, hopes and dreams of American Muslim families and children.  They also illustrated that through strategic action and hard work, "verily with hardship comes ease."


‘Volunteer Award’ recipient: Jim Maher

James R. Maher joined the Civil Rights Department at CAIR-Washington as a volunteer in Spring of 2015.

After a career in finance and investments, Jim realized that helping people solve problems was much more appealing than working with numbers. As a student at Highline College he developed a deep appreciation of the United States Constitution and what it offers to all citizens of this company. He is extremely proud to be working with CAIR assisting people obtain the rights which the Constitution and other laws of our country guarantee.

Jim holds a Bachelor of Arts in Finance from Washington State University, and an MBA Washington State University. He has obtained a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Designation, and a Paralegal Certificate from Highline Community College.

He worked at the Boeing Company from 1988 to 1998 as a Cost Management Analyst supporting the 737 & 757 Programs Quality Assurance Department. He formed his own investment company in 1998.

He has served as Treasurer of St. James Episcopal Church from 1998 to present. He is also active in the Masonic Fraternity and serves in a number of roles at both the local and state level. He is also involved with the Kent Assembly of the International Order of Rainbow for Girls and is currently serving on its advisory board. He also serves on the Foundation for Washington Idaho Rainbow Girls and acts as the treasurer of the foundation.

He has served in a number of non-profit roles. He was a member of the Board of Directors of the Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestra for 6 years and volunteered as a Phone Line Legal Intake Assistant at the Eastside Legal Assistance Program (ELAP) in Bellevue for two years. He also served as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) with the King County Superior Court for 1 year.

Jim is an avid reader and photographer who enjoys traveling to new places and exploring. He is also involved in horse racing as the owner of partial interests in a number of different horses at Emerald Downs in Auburn.