All events will take place at the InterContinental Saint Paul Riverfront unless otherwise noted. The address is 11 E Kellogg Blvd, St Paul, MN 55101.
Friday and Saturday night events with ASL interpretation.
Friends of Sabeel North America will be hosting their Prophetic Action: Christians Convening for Palestine gathering September 27-28 in St. Paul, MN as well. You can find out more information and register here.
Friday, September 28
Minnesota Event Office
7:00pm-9:30pm (free and open to the public, ASL interpretation provided)
Opening Ceremony | Dennis Gill (Ziic’iya or Zi) is a member of the Wahpekute band of the seven camp fires.
Opening Plenary | Together We Rise: Resilience Across Movements
Minnesota Grand Ballroom
2018 is a year of many remembrances. It marks 70 years of Nakba, 50 years since the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and 15 years since the US invasion and occupation of Iraq. It also marks 50 years since the massive swell of resistance of 1968: the American Indian Movement was founded here in Minneapolis, MN; the Memphis Sanitation Workers’ Strike and the Poor People’s Campaign brought the plight of workers and poor people into the national spotlight; and massive protests against the Vietnam War following the My Lai massacre rocked the national consciousness. During our opening plenary, organizers with roots in Black, Indigenous, and Palestinian liberation movements will reflect on the historical legacies of these movements, highlighting lessons learned as well as challenges for activists today. They will honor the continuing resistance across struggles for freedom, justice, and equality and celebrate the resilience of peoples rising up against oppression.
- Marc Lamont Hill is the host of BET News and a political contributor for CNN. An award-winning journalist, Marc has received numerous prestigious awards from the National Association of Black Journalists, GLAAD, and the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences. He serves as the Steve Charles Professor of Media, Cities, and Solutions at Temple University. Prior to that, he held positions at Columbia University and Morehouse College. He is a founding board member of My5th, a non-profit organization devoted to educating youth about their legal rights and responsibilities, and also works with the ACLU Drug Reform Project, focusing on drug informant policy. Ebony Magazine has named him one of America’s 100 most influential Black leaders. He is the author or co-author of four books: Beats, Rhymes, and Classroom Life: Hip-Hop Pedagogy and the Politics of Identity; The Classroom and the Cell: Conversations on Black life in America; Nobody: Casualties of America’s War on The Vulnerable from Ferguson to Flint and Beyond; and Gentrifier. You can follow him on Twitter @marclamonthill.
- Noura Erakat is a human rights attorney and an Assistant Professor at George Mason University. Her research interests include humanitarian law, refugee law, national security law, and critical race theory. She is a co-founding editor of Jadaliyya e-zine, an editorial committee member of the Journal of Palestine Studies, a founding board member of the DC Palestinian Film and Arts Festival, and a board member of the Institute for Policy Studies. Prior to joining GMU’s faculty, she served as Legal Counsel for a Congressional Subcommittee in the House of Representatives, as a Legal Advocate for the Badil Resource Center for Palestinian Refugee and Residency Rights, and as the national grassroots organizer and legal advocate at the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation. Noura is the coeditor of Aborted State? The UN Initiative and New Palestinian Junctures, an anthology related to the 2011 and 2012 Palestine bids for statehood at the UN. More recently, Noura released a pedagogical project on the Gaza Strip and Palestine, which includes a short multimedia documentary, Gaza In Context, that rehabilitates Israel’s wars on Gaza within a settler-colonial framework. She is also the producer of the short video, Black Palestinian Solidarity. Noura’s media appearances include CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, PBS NewsHour, BBC World Service, NPR, Democracy Now!, and Al Jazeera. She has published in the Nation, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Review of Books, Huffington Post, Jezebel, IntlLawGrrls, The Hill, and Foreign Policy, among others. Noura is the author of Justice for Some: Law As Politics in the Question of Palestine (forthcoming Stanford University Press, 2019). You can follow her on Twitter @4noura.
- Waziyatawin is a Dakota writer and teacher from the Pezihutazizi Otunwe (Yellow Medicine Village) in southwestern Minnesota. She earned her PhD in American History from Cornell University and has held tenured positions at Arizona State University and the University of Victoria where she also served as the Indigenous Peoples Research Chair in the Indigenous Governance Program. Her work seeks to build a culture of resistance within Indigenous communities, to recover Indigenous ways of being, and to challenge colonial institutions. Waziyatawin recently served as the Upper Sioux Tribal Historic Preservation Officer and just completed a history of her community. In addition, she serves as the Executive Director of the Dakota nonprofit Makoce Ikikcupi, a reparative justice project supporting Dakota reclamation of homeland. Committed to sustainability and simplicity, with Ziic’iya she is in the process of building a traditional earth lodge at Enemy Swim in South Dakota. Waziyatawin is the author or co/editor of six volumes, including What Does Justice Look Like? The Struggle for Liberation in Dakota Homeland (Living Justice Press, 2008) and For Indigenous Minds Only: A Decolonization Handbook (SAR Press, 2012), edited with Michael Yellow Bird.
The plenary will be followed by a keynote address by Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II, national co-chair of the 2018 Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call For Moral Revival. Rev. Barber is the architect of the Forward Together Moral Monday Movement and pastor of the Greenleaf Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Goldsboro, NC. He headed the state NAACP from 2006 to 2017, serves on the NAACP National Board of Directors, and is also president of Repairers of the Breach. The Washington Post called Rev. Barber’s speech at the 2016 Democratic National Convention “the most engaging” of many strong ones. He was recognized as one of the International Black Achievers by the International Slavery Museum in Liverpool England and his portrait now hangs on the Black Achievers Wall in the Legacy gallery. Rev. Dr. Barber graduated from North Carolina Central University, earned a Master of Divinity degree from Duke University, and a doctorate from Drew University. He is Visiting Professor of Public Theology and Activism at Union Theological Seminary and the author of Forward Together: A Moral Vision for the Nation and The Third Reconstruction: Moral Mondays, Fusion Politics and the Rise of a New Justice Movement. You can follow him on Twitter @RevDrBarber.
Saturday, September 29
Breakfast Provided and Network Gatherings- Descriptions here.
- Deadly Exchange Campaign Teach-In (Governors 1)
Plenary | Updates from Palestine
Minnesota Grand Ballroom
Solidarity with the Palestinian people requires understanding how the Great Return March that highlighted the plight of Palestinian refugees is part of the same struggle to stop Israel from destroying the villages of Khan al Ahmar and Umm al Hiran to make way for even more Jewish-only settlements. In this plenary, we will hear about the most pressing issues being faced, and the methods of resistance being enacted against them, across historic Palestine. The panel will highlight the common struggle of Palestinians for freedom, justice, and equality, as well as the specific challenges they face under different manifestations of Israeli apartheid whether under the state itself, under siege in Gaza, under occupation in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, or in exile. The discussion will also include how Palestinian groups are working on bringing together the different strands of their people’s struggle to build on a vision of what liberation and return means.
- Hassan Jabareen is the founder and General Director of Adalah: The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel. He has 25 years of experience in litigating scores of landmark constitutional law cases before the Israeli Supreme Court on issues of discrimination, political rights, land rights, and economic and social rights on behalf of Palestinian citizens of Israel as well as humanitarian cases involving the protection of Palestinian civilians living under occupation in the OPT. He has received several awards for outstanding public interest lawyering and top human rights law prizes.
- Jehad Abusalim is the Palestine Israel program associate at the American Friends Service Committee in Chicago. Abusalim is from Gaza, Palestine where he lived for most of his life. He earned his undergraduate degree in business administration from Al-Azhar University and received a diploma in Hebrew language from the Islamic University, both located in Gaza City. Jehad volunteered and worked with a number of youth groups, initiatives, and civil society organizations in fields related to youth and women empowerment, popular education, Palestinian national reconciliation, and advocacy against the blockade on Gaza. He has been published in +972 Magazine, Al-Jazeera English, Palestine Square, and Vox.com. Jehad recently contributed to a book on Gaza titled Gaza As Metaphor. He is currently a PhD student at the Hebrew and Judaic Studies and History joint program at New York University, where he studies Arab and Palestinian intellectual writings on Zionism from the first half of the twentieth century. You can follow him on Twitter @JehadibnSaleem.
- Mariam Barghouti is a Palestinian writer based in Ramallah. She has written political commentary on the Palestinian struggle, Syria, and solidarity and has been featured in The New York Times, Al-Jazeera English, Huffington Post, Newsweek, and more. She also produces stories from the West Bank on anti-colonial struggle and narrative. You can follow her on Twitter @MariamBarghouti.
- Zaha Hassan is a human rights lawyer and former coordinator and senior legal advisor to the Palestinian negotiating team during Palestine’s bid for UN membership from 2010-2012. She is ME Fellow at New America as well as Director of the Palestinian Business Committee for Peace and Reform. She received her J.D. from the University of California at Berkeley, an LLM in Transnational & International Law from Willamette University, and a B.A. in political science and Near East languages and civilizations from the University of Washington in Seattle. You can follow her on Twitter @zahahassan.
Workshops- Descriptions here.
- Palestine 101: Not That Complicated (Governors 1)
- Freedom Cities: Shifting Power & Policy with Cross-Movement Municipal Campaigns (State 1)
- Media & Messaging 101 (Governors 4)
- “From Palestine to Mexico, All the Walls Have Got to Go:” BDS and Border Militarization (Governors 2)
- BDS in the Labor World: “Wokewashing” and What to Do (Governors 3)
- Fighting State Suppression of Palestine & Native American Organizing: Know Your Rights (State 2)
Lunch Provided and Network Gatherings- Descriptions here.
- Palestinian (Kellogg 1)
- Jewish Voice for Peace Strategy Session (State 2)
- Trans Identity (State 3)
- Amnesty International (Governors 2)
Workshops- Descriptions here.
- Grounding Solidarity: Accountability to Palestinians in the Face of Fragmentation (Governors 1)
- Speak Truth to Power: Grassroots Advocacy Skills to Make Congress Listen (State 2)
- BDS Beyond Palestine: The Vision and Practice of Cross-Issue Divestment (Governors 3)
- Anti-Oppressive Facilitation: Whose Voices Are We Amplifying? (Governors 4)
- Storytelling: Using Our Story to Move Others to Action (Governors 2)
- Confronting Zionism: Campaigns that Target and Expose Zionist Institutions (State 1)
Plenary | Intersectional Feminism & Gender Justice
The #MeToo movement has dominated headlines across the globe this past year, highlighting the widespread prevalence of sexual assault and harassment. #MeToo expanded conversations about what gender justice actually means and highlighted the need for intersectional feminisms. During this plenary, organizers will explore how Palestine is a feminist issue, what intersectional feminism means in both theory and practice, and how gender justice is an inherent part of all struggles for freedom, justice, and equality. They will highlight how issues of patriarchy impact day-to-day organizing and speak frankly about tensions and challenges within the Palestine solidarity movement and beyond. This session will also be an opportunity to discuss how we build across movements without conflating struggles or erasing how struggles actually overlap, and envision the path forward towards true equality for all.
- Camille Odeh is currently a full time lecturer at the Chicago State University School of Social Work Masters Degree Program and an adjunct Professor at Saint Xavier University. She was the Executive Director of the Southwest Youth Collaborative (SWYC) for nearly 20 years, a cross-cultural, inter generational community based organization that sought to transform systems to be responsive to the needs of children, youth and families. Prior to SWYC, Camille worked in Mayor Harold Washington’s administration in Strategic Community Services. She worked with the National Assembly of Religious Women (NARW) and was a co-founder of the Union of Palestinian Women’s Associations (UPWA), a national organization developing women’s leadership capacities, and working for social change.
- Coya White Hat-Artichoker is a writer, poet, and speaker on issues regarding race, equity, Two-Spirit identity and sovereignty. She is a member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, an advisory committee member for the GLBT Host Home Program, which provides safe homes for homeless queer youth. She is also a board member for SisterSong, a reproductive justice organization based in Atlanta. You can follow her on Twitter @coyahope.
- Rev. Erica Williams is a recent graduate of the Howard University School of Divinity where she obtained a Master of Divinity degree. The context of her ministry lies in the intersectionality of religion, arts, and activism. She is the National Social Justice Organizer for Repairers of the Breach, and this year, she is serving as a lead organizer for the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival. Rev. Erica is the Founder/President of Set It Off Outreach Ministry, a ministry that works to educate, empower, and encourage those on the margins of society. You can follow her on Twitter @AExquisitePearl.
- Nada Elia is a political commentator focusing on BDS, gender, and intersectional struggle, currently at work on a book on solidarity politics and alliance work. She is a member of the Organizing Collective of the US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel, and teaches in the American Studies program at Western Washington University. You can follow her on Twitter @nadaelia48.
Saturday evening celebration and awards ceremony featuring Rep. Betty McCollum and Noura Erakat and performances by Dua Saleh and Zena Agha. Awardees include Brian Hauss of the ACLU, the Arab Resource and Organizing Center, Palestinian Youth Movement, and Eyewitness Palestine.
- Dua is a multidisciplinary artist based in Minneapolis. Dua centers afrodiasporic resistance through a sociopolitically black, queer, and muslim lens. Dua has been featured by Button Poetry, MPR’s The Current, So-Far-Sounds, PEOPLE, First-Avenue Mainroom, Crystal Sound, and many more organizations. Dua has also been announced a featured artist at festivals such as Eaux Claire’s, The Global Roots Festival, Rondo Days, The MNKino Film Festival, and more. Dua hopes to reach audiences with a unique and introspective sound. You can follow Dua on Twitter @doitlikedua.
- Zena Agha is a Palestinian-Iraqi writer, poet, and organiser from London. Her work explores immigration, war, and life in the diaspora. Zena’s poems have been translated and published internationally and she has performed at universities and festivals around the US, UK, and France. Zena founded Warwick University’s largest poetry collective, Shoot from the Lip and her media credits include the BBC World Service, BBC Arabic, NPR, El País, The Independent, The Nation, and The Economist. She has delivered two TEDx talks, both under the banner of identity. Zena is currently the US Policy Fellow for Al-Shabaka: The Palestinian Policy Network and a Margins Fellow at the Asian American Writers Workshop in New York City. You can follow her on Twitter @Zena_Agha.
Sunday, September 30
Breakfast Provided and Regional Network Gatherings
- East Coast (Governors 1)
- South (Governors 2)
- West (Governors 3)
- Midwest (Governors 4)
Plenary | Palestine in US Politics
Minnesota Grand Ballroom
The partisan divide on Israeli-Palestinian issues continues to widen as the Trump administration stakes out a hard-line agenda to take Jerusalem and Palestine refugees “off the table,” while dozens of Democratic Representatives are sponsoring the first-ever Palestinian human rights bill in Congress. This panel will examine opportunities for grassroots activists to engage the political system to further advance Palestinian rights.
- Emad Salem is a member of the Executive Committee of the Texas Democratic Party and a board member of the Muslim Democratic Caucus of Texas. He serves as an election judge in Tarrant County, TX and has a Bachelor of Arts in government and Politics from the University of Texas at Dallas. You can follow him on Twitter @paltex.
- Estee Chandler is the Jewish American daughter of an Israeli father and an American mother. She grew up in Southern California where her work in the film industry, on both sides of the camera, spans more than thirty years. In 2010 she launched a Los Angeles chapter of Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) and continues to serve on the chapter’s leadership team while also working on JVP’s National Legislative Leadership team. In 2014, along with Nagwa Ibrahim, Estee became producer and host of the long running KPFK radio show Middle East in Focus, and in 2017 as Executive Producer, along with Alan Minsky, she launched the Middle East Minute+ a daily nationally broadcast short news report focusing on the Middle East. You can follow her on Twitter @caliactivist.
- Maya Berry is Executive Director of the Arab American Institute, a nonprofit, nonpartisan, national civil rights organization that nurtures and encourages the direct participation of Arab Americans in political and civic life in the United States. Prior to that, she served as the Legislative Director for House Minority Whip David Bonior, managing the Congressman’s legislative strategy and developing policies on international relations, human rights, immigration, civil liberties, and trade. As a long-time Democratic Party activist, Maya served as a member of the 2016 Democratic National Convention’s Platform Standing Committee and has attended all but one Democratic National Convention as a Delegate, Alternate or Standing Committee Member since 1992.
- Rasha Mubarak is a Palestinian-American Muslim community activist and leader. She is the Communication Director of the Florida Statewide Alignment Group, a collaboration of seven Florida-based power building organizations who are working together to shift economic and governing power toward racial justice and a truly democratic state. She served as the Central Florida Regional Director for the Council on American Islamic Relations of Florida and worked at the Arab American Community Center before that. She is also the Director of Public Relations for the Muslim Women’s Organization of Orlando, the President of the Young Democrats of Orange County, and president for the Orlando chapter of the Palestine Children’s Relief Fund. In 2015 she co-founded Floridians Responding to Refugees, spearheading efforts to welcome and transition refugees to Central Florida. You can follow her on Twitter @RashaMK.
Workshops- Descriptions here.
- BDS 101: Until Freedom, Justice, and Equality (Governors 1)
- FILM SCREENING: Imprisoning a Generation is No Way to Treat a Child (State 2)
- Taking to the Streets: What You Need to Know for Your Direct Action (Governors 2)
- Indigenous-Palestinian Solidarity: Connecting Native Struggles (Governors 4)
- Performing Solidarity: Resistance on the Stage (Governors 3)
- Resisting Global Policing: Disrupting US-Israel Exchanges (State 1)
Lunch Provided and Network Gatherings- Descriptions here.
- Queer Palestinian Empowerment Network: Building the Movement (Kellogg 1)
- Campus Organizing (State 2)
- Reproductive Justice and Anti-Imperialism: Building Connections for Bodily Autonomy (Governors 1)
- Multiracial Identity (Governors 2)
Workshops- Descriptions here.
- Connections: Bringing Palestine into Classrooms and Community Organizing (Governors 1)
- Protecting Your Right to Boycott: Victories and Pitfalls of Confronting Anti-BDS Legislation in State Legislatures (State 2)
- Palestine, White Supremacy, and Collective Liberation (Governors 3)
- Art for Palestine: Harnessing Creativity for Change (Governors 2)
- Indigenous Sovereignty and the Fight Against Enbridge’s Line 3 Pipeline (Governors 4)
- Jerusalem in Practice: Tourism As a Tool of the Occupation (State 1)
Closing Plenary | Global Struggles for Collective Liberation
Minnesota Grand Ballroom
Chants like “from Ferguson to Palestine, end racism now” and “from Palestine to Mexico, all the walls have got to go” are not just slogans—they emerge from the shared realities of people living under white supremacist, settler colonial regimes in the United States and Israel. These shared experiences are part of the global systems of oppression bearing down on indigenous, Black, brown, queer, and other marginalized communities worldwide. The global systems of oppression manifest daily through police brutality and mass incarceration; gentrification and forced displacement; surveillance and repression; denial of access to basic needs; militarized borders and refugee bans; airstrikes and military incursions; and the ability of corporations to profit off of all of this suffering. This plenary will highlight lessons learned across movements to understand how systems of oppression are interconnected and impact our communities, as well as touch on histories of joint struggle and the need to continue cross-movement building.
- Huwaida Arraf a Palestinian-American attorney and human rights activist. In 2001 she co-founded the International Solidarity Movement and from 2007-2008, she helped build the first accredited clinical legal education program in the Arab world, based at Al-Quds University. She was one of the initiators and organizers of the first delegation of lawyers to enter Gaza following Operation Cast Lead (2008-2009), and co-authored the report on their findings, “Onslaught: Israel’s Attack on Gaza and the Rule of Law.” Huwaida is the former Chairperson of the Free Gaza Movement, and from August to December 2008, led five successful sea voyages to the Gaza Strip to confront and challenge Israel’s illegal blockade. In 2011 she was one of the six Palestinian Freedom Riders, who, inspired by the U.S. Civil Rights Movement’s Freedom Rides of the 1960s, attempted to ride segregated Israeli settler public transport, for which they were harassed then violently arrested. Huwaida is co-editor of the book Peace Under Fire: Israel, Palestine, and the International Solidarity Movement and her writings have been published in books, magazines, and journals around the world. She currently practices civil rights law in Detroit. You can follow her on Twitter @huwaidaarraf.
- Jennifer Ubiera hails from Miami, FLa and is an attorney, actress, activist who believes in bringing your whole self to the work that you love. After the murder of Trayvon Martin, she became activated around using the law as a tool to further social progress through popular education, advocacy, mentoring and raising awareness around youth and racial justice. In Opa-Locka, FL, she organized with Dream Defenders and is currently supporting the mission of Law 4 Black Lives DC(L4BL-DC) as a Law 4 Black Lives Legal Innovators fellow. A L4BL-DC Board member, she serves as the organization’s Partnership chair who she organizes with the Movement 4 Black Lives DC coalition and local Black-led movement organizations. She also serves on the Board of GWAC (Greater Washington Area Chapter of the National Bar Association), the local Black women lawyers bar association. Most recently, she led the popular education programming for #BlackMamasBailoutDMV while coordinating legal and fundraising support for the Bailout alongside Gildapapoose Collective, Jewish Voices for Peace and DonkeySaddle Productions. You can follow her on Twitter @JenniferUbiera.
- Maytha Alhassen is a journalist, poet, and scholar. For the last four years, she has worked with refugee populations from Turkey to Greece as a translator and healer. In Spring 2017, Maytha completed a TED residency that culminated in a performance of a poem she wrote for her ancestral homeland of Syria. She is the co-editor of Demanding Dignity: Young Voices from the Front Lines of the Arab Revolutions. Maytha has a Ph.D. in American Studies and Ethnicity from University of Southern California. As part of her dissertation work (To Tell What the Eye Beholds: A Post-1945 Transnational History of Afro-Arab ‘Solidarity Politics’), she co-organized the Dream Defenders’s first delegation to Palestine with leaders from the Movement for Black Lives and the Women’s March called #DDPalestine. You can follow her on Twitter @mayalhassen.
- Nellie Jo David organizes for indigenous human rights and autonomy on the imposed U.S./Mexico borderlands intersecting the Tohono O’odham Nation. Nellie is from Ajo, Arizona, traditionally Hia-Ced O’odham territory, just West of the Tohono O’odham reservation, just North of Mexico. Nellie was inspired to raise awareness on border issues upon witnessing the increased militarization of her community. She dedicates her work to migrant justice issues and protecting the rights of indigenous peoples and wildlife along the border. Nellie obtained her J.D. with a certificate in indigenous law and policy from Michigan State University in 2014. In 2017 she traveled to Palestine as part of the World Without Walls delegation.