In April, Nashville's RCC Chapter met at the American Center for Outreach Office to meet Paul Galloway and learn more about the center which was formed in 2011.
What does a religious community do when they are attacked on the
political stage? The answer: form a non-profit to address this. That is
exactly what happened in 2011 when the American Center for Outreach was
formed by Muslim leaders in Nashville, Tennessee.
Paul told Nashville RCC members about how he was recruited from
Houston, Texas to come to Nashville which was steeped in anti-Muslim
legislation and how the American Center for Outreach was formed as a
501(c)4 to address this.
Tennessee already had AMAC (American Muslim Advisory Council) which
operates as a 501(c)3 to address issues with law enforcement, but the
Muslim community didn't have a way to fight bigoted legislation at the
capital. ACO (American Center for Outreach) was the answer to this need.
Current legislation that ACO is working to address includes Senate
Bill 1040 / House Bill 1141 which deals with "no-go zones." It states
that there are areas in Tennessee that are "controlled" by extremist
gangs where average citizens aren't welcome. This is entirely untrue and
perpetuates myths surrounding faith communities.
Paul has written for a blog titled "Muslim Matters." Some of his writing can be found here under the name Paul "Iesa" Galloway.
For more information on the American Center for Outreach or current campaigns, visit www.acotn.org.