American Civic Life

Nuns & Nones Brought Gratitude to Polling Sites

November 18, 2020

“I went into the day expecting some dramatic encounters honestly, given the hateful speech and rhetoric that had been a huge part of this election season,” says Elizabeth Garlow, acting director at New America, and a seeker at Nuns & Nones’ D.C. chapter. “What we witnessed instead was a celebration of citizenship and voters.”

She recalls the moment they arrived at the St. Alphonsus-St. Clement Parish polling site at Dearborn, Michigan, the eighth-largest city in the state, and home to one of the largest populations of Arab Americans. They were astonished to learn that there were no Arabic signs for the voters. Witnessing people’s confusion with parking, voting lines, and directions, Salena Ibrahim, a 22-year Jesuit volunteer at the University of Detroit Mercy, stepped up to help.

Salena Ibrahim, a 22-year-old Jesuit volunteer, writes Arabic signs at the St.Alphonsus-St.Clement Parish polling site in Dearborn, Michigan.

Salena Ibrahim, a 22-year-old Jesuit volunteer, writes Arabic signs at the St.Alphonsus-St.Clement Parish polling site in Dearborn, Michigan.

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