Here is a list of presenters you can invite to your local community based on topics they can cover. But first, consider lifting up the voices from the Palestinian and activist local community rather than bringing someone in from outside, to help strengthen local leadership and follow-up. Friends of Sabeel-North America (FOSNA) writes: “No one can tell the story of Palestine better than a Palestinian.” We agree. Check out FOSNA’s great list of Palestinian speakers. The Institute for Middle East Understanding also has a list of expert sources on topics including settlements, Palestinian citizens of Israel, and Jerusalem.

Dr. Osama Abuirshaid

Location: Washington, DC

Areas of Expertise: U.S. policy; Islamist movements; US-Middle East policy; Arab Spring

Ahmad Abuznaid

Ahmad Abuznaid

Ahmad Abuznaid is the Executive Director of the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights. Prior to joining USCPR, Ahmad co-founded the Florida-based Dream Defenders after the killing of Trayvon Martin, serving as Legal & Policy Director and COO during his time there. Ahmad went on to lead the National Network for Arab American Communities as the Executive Director from 2017 to 2019.

Location: Detroit, MI

Areas of Expertise: Palestine and Black Lives Matter; Palestine and Black solidarity; cross-movement building; Palestine delegations; movement lawyering

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Sophia Armen

Sophia Armen is an organizer, artist, and writer working on decolonization, coalition-building, and centering the voices of women and queer SWANA people in liberation. In the shadow of the attacks on South West Asian and North African communities with the Muslim Ban, she co-founded SWANA Alliance, an anti-racist organization dedicated to fighting for the power and dignity of South West Asian and North African (SWANA) peoples. She currently is also a PhD student in Ethnic Studies at UC San Diego. She was the first Middle Eastern woman to be elected as student body president of a University of California campus in the system’s history and was the first student body president to officially co-sponsor a resolution to Divest from the Israeli Occupation, in the nation. She was the national campaign manager of the Boycott RE/MAX campaign with CODEPINK. She has been active in Students for Justice in Palestine for years and Armenian community organizations, building Armenian-Palestinian joint struggle.

Location: Los Angeles and San Diego, CA

Areas of Expertise: Student organizing; Middle Eastern-American feminist struggle; history of race and SWANA-Americans;  Armenian-Palestinian solidarity

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Sumaya Awad

Location: New York City, NY

Areas of Expertise: Zionism; immigrant and refugee justice; campus activism

Nadia Ben-Youssef

Nadia Ben-Youssef is a lawyer who works at the intersection of advocacy and art to advance human rights and a global justice movement. Since 2010, she has worked closely with Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, first the international advocacy officer in its Naqab (Negev) office, and then as the organization’s first USA Representative. In 2017 Nadia co-founded the Adalah Justice Project (AJP) to shift American discourse and policy on Palestine/Israel through public education, legal partnerships and community-based advocacy. AJP is committed to building a transnational movement against supremacy and state-sanctioned violence together with cause lawyers, community organizers, and artists across social justice movements.

Location: Boston, MA

Areas of Expertise: 48 Palestinians; joint struggle; international law/human rights law; movement lawyering; art and advocacy

Wael Elasady

Location: Portland, OR

Areas of Expertise: BDS; history of the PLO and the Palestinian Left; U.S.-Israel relationship; the revolution and counter-revolution in Syria; Islamophobia and U.S. imperialism; Palestine, Israel, and the far-right.

Raneen Jeries

Location: Pittsburgh, PA

Areas of Expertise: Nakba; right of return; oral history; history of Palestine; IDPs and refugees

Ayesha Khan, Ph.D.

Ayesha Khan, Ph.D., is a Clinical Microbiologist, Infectious Diseases scientist, grassroots organizer, writer, artist and abolitionist educator bridging science and medicine with social justice and geopolitics. Dr. Khan served on the steering committees of the U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights (2020-2022) and National Students for Justice in Palestine (2015-2020). She also served as a lead organizer with BDS Houston, founder of March for Science Houston, Project Director of the Incarcerated Youth Tutorial Project and as External Affairs Director on the board of SJP at UCLA, co-organizing a 4-year campaign to successfully pass a divestment resolution and has since worked with and trained Palestine solidarity campus organizers worldwide. As a grassroots trainer, Ayesha focuses on connecting the dots between the movement for Palestine and global anti-capitalist, anti-colonial movements.

Dr. Khan is building the foundations of a novel field of study- Abolitionist Science, which aims to, i) decode the science of collectivism, neurodiversity and trauma, ii) use evidence-based science to drive anti-capitalist, anti-colonial global movement strategy and, iii) shape daily praxis for community building (i.e. the apply political theory in our daily life and relationships). Her activism focuses on Palestinian liberation, prison & police abolition, dismantling internalized capitalism, decolonizing medicine, neurodiversity, South Asian minority rights, immigrant or migrant worker rights. A glimpse of her art activism and education is on instagram @wokescientist, the Cosmic Anarchy newsletter on substack, her podcast Disorderland and on her website.

Ayesha is a Siddi (Afro-Indian), Queer, immigrant born in Bangalore, India, and grew up in the diaspora without a stable home in several countries from Russia to Saudi Arabia, spending most of her childhood in the Middle East. She received her Bachelor’s in Microbiology, Immunology and Molecular Genetics, and Global Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2015 and her Ph.D. in Infectious Diseases from the University of Texas Health Science Center and MD Anderson Cancer Center in 2020. Dr. Khan is currently a visiting faculty in infectious diseases at the Universidad del Desarrollo in Santiago, Chile. Her medical research focuses on the development of infectious diseases diagnostics and novel treatment strategies to combat antibiotic resistant superbugs in low-resource settings.

 

Ramah Kudaimi

Ramah Kudaimi is the former Director of Grassroots Organizing at the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights, a member of the National Committee of the War Resisters League, and also organizes with the Syrian Solidarity Collective.

Location: Washington, DC

Areas of Expertise: BDS; Islamophobia; Syria; antiwar organizing

Lubna Morrar

Location: Bay Area, CA

Areas of Expertise: Youth work; Palestine; transnational building; movement organizing; student organizing; poetry

Dina Omar

Location: New Haven, CT

Areas of Expertise: First Amendment issues/freedom of speech/academic freedom; BDS; Middle Eastern politics; student organizing

Yousef Munayyer

Yousef Munayyer is the former Executive Director of the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights. He is a scholar-activist focused on Palestine and U.S. policy in the region as well as civil rights and liberties of minority communities in the United States. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Maryland in Government and Politics and has written widely in mainstream forums on these issues.

Location: Washington, DC

Areas of Expertise: U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East, Israel/Palestine; Palestinian history; Palestinian citizens of Israel and Israeli politics; intersection of civil liberties, national security, and political repression

Randa Wahbe

Location: Cambridge, MA

Areas of Expertise: Palestinian political prisoners; youth movements; bridging political organizing in Palestine and the U.S.

Ahmad Abuznaid

Ahmad Abuznaid

Ahmad Abuznaid is the Executive Director of the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights. Prior to joining USCPR, Ahmad co-founded the Florida-based Dream Defenders after the killing of Trayvon Martin, serving as Legal & Policy Director and COO during his time there. Ahmad went on to lead the National Network for Arab American Communities as the Executive Director from 2017 to 2019.

Location: Detroit, MI

Areas of Expertise: Palestine and Black Lives Matter; Palestine and Black solidarity; cross-movement building; Palestine delegations; movement lawyering

Christiane Assefa

Christiane Assefa is an organizer, researcher, writer, and student based in San Diego, CA. As an organizer, Assefa’s work centralizes on power research trainings and the intersections of police brutality, gender, and bodily autonomy. Assefa is a PhD student of Ethnic Studies at UCSD where she writes about the way Western Militarism and foreign policy has destabilized East Africa, creating the predicament of refugeehood.

Location: San Diego, CA

Areas of Expertise: Joint struggle; Black/Palestinian solidarities; imperial third world democracies, Zionism in Africa, East African migrations to 48

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Ilise Benshushan Cohen

Ilise Benshushan Cohen is a Sephardic Jewish Atlantan, with family roots from the Ottoman Empire and from Cuba and identifies as Sephardi/Mizrahi. Ilise is a scholar-activist on Israel/Palestine and has her Ph.D. in Social/Cultural [Postcolonial] Anthropology focused on Israeli Mizrahi Jewish experiences of state violence and resilience in 2006/2007 their intersections with Palestinian experiences. Ilise is a member and co-coordinator for the Jews of Color, Sephardi and Mizrahi Caucus (JOCSM) in solidarity with Palestine. She is co-founder and chapter leader for JVP-Atlanta, steering committee member of Sedq: a Global Jewish Network for justice working for a free Palestine and for global racial justice. She is a board member and delegation leader for Interfaith Peace Builders, former co-vice chair of the FOR National Council, and was the director of AFSC’s Middle East Peace Education Program in the Southeast between 1995-2002. Locally she is part of Create Community 4 Decatur: Black Lives Matter and Georgia Not 1 More. She teaches Jewish studies classes at Agnes Scott College, and has taught postgraduate courses on international policy and human rights, identity and diversity at Smith College, the School for Social Work. She is also a mom!

Location: Atlanta, GA

Areas of Expertise: Sephardi/Mizrahi Jews; joint struggles; addressing anti-racism within Palestine solidarity movement; Orientalism, antisemitism and Islamophobia

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Basma Eid

Basma Eid is a first generation Arab-American born to Egyptian immigrants based in Queens, NY.  She currently is the Campaigns and Membership Coordinator at the International Network for Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (ESCR-Net). She previously served as the National Program Manager at Freedom to Thrive where she supported intersectional abolitionist organizing. She has spent time organizing alongside NY’s diverse street vendor community where she worked on the decriminalization of street vending. She helped to launch the Delfino Leadership Institute, a year long worker training program focused around organizing and solidarity building across immigrant communities and communities of color. Basma has been involved with The Leap Program since 2012 and previously served on its Board of Directors. In 2017 she joined the  SWANA Connect diaspora delegation to Athens, Greece. She received her MSc 2014 in Labor, Social Movements, and Development from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.

Areas : Crimigration, Workers rights and labor; refugee rights/Palestinian refugees in Lebanon

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Bill Fletcher, Jr.

Bill Fletcher, Jr. is the former president of TransAfrica Forum. He is a long-time activist around labor, racial justice and international affairs. He is a syndicated writer and author of two books.

Location: Washington, DC

Areas of expertise: Historical background; race; labor

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Rev. Graylan Hagler

Rev. Graylan Hagler is a minister of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the United Church of Christ who has been engaged in a politically directed progressive ministry for over forty years. He helped to lead the Free South Africa Movement in Boston, MA; has been a leader in the affordable housing arena; and has led efforts to advance freedom causes in Latin America, Africa, and in Palestine. He led a group of predominantly Black Clergy to the occupied territories of Palestine so that ministers can understand the deep levels of oppression perpetrated by Israel. For more than 25 years Rev. Hagler has served at Plymouth Congregational United Church of Christ in Washington, DC.

Location: Washington, DC

Areas of Expertise: Comparing political oppression of Palestinian and U.S. Black community; usage of segregation or apartheid in crippling the resistance by those oppressed

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Robin D. G. Kelley

Robin D. G. Kelley is the Gary B. Nash Endowed Chair in U.S. History at UCLA. In addition to seven books on U.S. social movements, social policy, race, and African American politics, culture and art, Kelley has written broadly on Black/Palestinian solidarity, apartheid in Israel, BDS and cultural boycott, and the long history of Black movements and Zionism. His essays on Palestine/Israel have appeared in publications such as Mondoweiss, Counterpunch, Social Text, Boston Review, Journal of Palestine Studies, as well as anthologies, notably Apartheid Israel: The Politics of an Analogy (2015), Letters to Palestine: Writers Respond to War and Occupation (2015), and With Stones in Our Hands: Reflections on Racism, Muslims, and U.S. Empire (2018).

Location: Los Angeles, CA

Areas of Expertise: History of Black/Palestinian solidarity; African Americans, Israel, and the question of Palestine

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Ayesha Khan

Ayesha Khan, Ph.D., is a Clinical Microbiologist, Infectious Diseases scientist, grassroots organizer, writer, artist and abolitionist educator bridging science and medicine with social justice and geopolitics. Dr. Khan served on the steering committees of the U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights (2020-2022) and National Students for Justice in Palestine (2015-2020). She also served as a lead organizer with BDS Houston, founder of March for Science Houston, Project Director of the Incarcerated Youth Tutorial Project and as External Affairs Director on the board of SJP at UCLA, co-organizing a 4-year campaign to successfully pass a divestment resolution and has since worked with and trained Palestine solidarity campus organizers worldwide. As a grassroots trainer, Ayesha focuses on connecting the dots between the movement for Palestine and global anti-capitalist, anti-colonial movements.

Dr. Khan is building the foundations of a novel field of study- Abolitionist Science, which aims to, i) decode the science of collectivism, neurodiversity and trauma, ii) use evidence-based science to drive anti-capitalist, anti-colonial global movement strategy and, iii) shape daily praxis for community building (i.e. the apply political theory in our daily life and relationships). Her activism focuses on Palestinian liberation, prison & police abolition, dismantling internalized capitalism, decolonizing medicine, neurodiversity, South Asian minority rights, immigrant or migrant worker rights. A glimpse of her art activism and education is on instagram @wokescientist, the Cosmic Anarchy newsletter on substack, her podcast Disorderland and on her website.

 

Ayesha is a Siddi (Afro-Indian), Queer, immigrant born in Bangalore, India, and grew up in the diaspora without a stable home in several countries from Russia to Saudi Arabia, spending most of her childhood in the Middle East. She received her Bachelor’s in Microbiology, Immunology and Molecular Genetics, and Global Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2015 and her Ph.D. in Infectious Diseases from the University of Texas Health Science Center and MD Anderson Cancer Center in 2020. Dr. Khan is currently a visiting faculty in infectious diseases at the Universidad del Desarrollo in Santiago, Chile. Her medical research focuses on the development of infectious diseases diagnostics and novel treatment strategies to combat antibiotic resistant superbugs in low-resource settings.

 

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Gabi Kirk

Gabi Kirk is a PhD student in geography at the University of California Davis. Using critical and feminist methods, her research asks questions about how nature and power interact in settler-colonial contexts, particularly Palestine-Israel and California. She looks at Israel’s military effects on the environment, historically and today. She is particularly interested in the transnational indigenous liberation movement connection Palestine and Turtle Island (what is now the U.S.) and the backlash from Zionist organizing in the U.S. and Israel against indigenous solidarity. She is also interested in Palestinian native plants and agriculture. She is a former campus staffer for Jewish Voice for Peace and can speak to the history of U.S. Palestine solidarity student organizing, particularly Zionist backlash and false accusations of antisemitism and the racial politics of US campus organizing around Palestine. She can also speak to the racial dimensions of antisemitism in the US and false charges of antisemitism.

Location: Bay Area, CA

Areas of Expertise: History of U.S. BDS student organizing; Palestine and environmental justice; antisemitism and false charges

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Rebecca Pierce

Rebecca Pierce is a Black and Jewish documentary filmmaker, journalist, and organizer based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her work focuses on issues of racial justice in the United States, Palestine and Israeli society, highlighting the impact of state violence on marginalized communities. She is a core member of the Jews of Color and Sephardi/Mizrahi Caucus organized in partnership with Jewish Voice for Peace, where she is Editor-in-Chief of the racial justice blog Unruly. Her journalism has been featured in The Nation, The Jewish Daily Forward, Electronic Intifada, and Mondoweiss.

Location: Bay Area, CA

Areas of Expertise: Migrants/refugees/Jews of color inside Israel

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Gabriel M. Schivone

Gabriel M. Schivone is a writer and dramatist from Tucson, AZ, currently based in New York City where he founded People’s Theatre Productions. The subjects of his published fiction, nonfiction, and stage plays have spanned US foreign policy, Palestine, and radical labor issues. Schivone’s essays, news and analysis have appeared in Mother Jones, The Nation, London Guardian, McClatchy Newspapers, Paris Le Monde Diplomatique, Electronic Intifada, and many others. He is a founder of National Students for Justice in Palestine has been a writer-participant-organizer in justice movements for Palestine, indigeneity, migration, labor, and ethnic studies.

Location: New York City, NY

Areas of Expertise: Israel as U.S. proxy and arms trader in Central America; climate justice and Palestine; environmental justice from Palestine to Mexico-U.S.; U.S.-Mexico-Israel homeland security complex; migrant justice movements in S. Arizona; dramatic spectacle of direct action: connections between dramatic theory and popular resistance

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Sandra Tamari

Sandra Tamari is an organizer with the St. Louis Palestine Solidarity Committee and co-chair of the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights Steering Committee. Since the murder of Mike Brown in Ferguson, she has focused on joint liberation among Palestinians, black Americans, and other communities of color. Tamari has a master’s in Arab studies from Georgetown University and has worked with Palestinian communities in the West Bank, Gaza, Jordan, and Lebanon.

Location: St. Louis, MO

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Taurean J. Webb

Taurean J. Webb‘s scholar-activism is at the intersection of Black/Palestinian solidarity. As a Black Christian abolitionist theologian and critical race theorist, his focal areas are inter-racial and interfaith coalition. For the past several years, Webb’s movement-building work has consisted in faith-based organizing and facilitating trainings for groups/persons seeking to grow deeper in their critical coalition pursuits, when/where appropriate.

Location: Chicago, IL

Areas of Expertise: Interfaith; Islamophobia and Afrophobia; inter-racial coalition training; faith-based organizing and coalition training; political Zionism and Christian Zionism; critical race theory; critical whiteness studies/training; Black/Palestine

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Aber Kawas

Aber Kawas is a Palestinian American community organizer from Brooklyn New York. She has been working with the Arab and Muslim communities in New York City around policy issues such as immigration reform, unlawful policing, and surveillance, as well as advocating against Islamophobia. Aber served as the NYC Advocacy Specialist with the Campaign to Take on Hate under the National Network of Arab American communities, transitioning from her position as Advocacy Director at the Arab American Association of NY. Currently, she has relocated to Johannesburg South Africa to complete an MA focused on Islamic Liberation Theology.

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Omar Baddar

Location: Washington, DC

Areas of Expertise: U.S. policy; U.S. media coverage; communications trainings on how to debate the conflict and respond to propaganda

Phyllis Bennis​

Phyllis Bennis is a Fellow of the Institute for Policy​ Studies and a member of the national board of Jewish Voice for Peace. She helped co-found the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights, and co-chaired the UN-based International Coordinating Network on Palestine. Her books include Understanding the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict: A Primer. She has worked closely with United Nations officials on Palestine, and was twice short-listed to become the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

Location: Washington, DC

Areas of Expertise: US Middle East policy, including Palestine/Israel and broader region; role of Israel in U.S. policy; U.S. wars and in region; Palestine in international law and the United Nations; history of Zionism; BDS and other strategies for changing U.S. policy; role of Palestinian rights movement within broader peace and justice movements

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Cindy and Craig Corrie

Cindy and Craig Corrie are parents of human rights activist Rachel Corrie who in 2003 was killed by an Israeli military operated Caterpillar D9R bulldozer in the Gaza Strip, as she tried to prevent the demolition of a Palestinian family’s home. Motivated by their daughter’s example, the Corries have dedicated themselves to the pursuit of peace with justice in the Middle East and have made many visits to the region, including five to the Gaza Strip. In pursuit of accountability in Rachel Corrie’s case and rights for Palestinians, the Corrie family has for years advocated in the U.S. at both state and national levels of government, and has sought justice through court systems in this country and in Israel. The Corries reside in Olympia, Washington, where they founded and support the work of the Rachel Corrie Foundation for Peace and Justice.

Location: Olympia, WA

Areas of Expertise: The Rachel Corrie story and legacy; Gaza Strip; stories from Palestine; legislative advocacy; BDS and challenging anti-BDS measures.

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Eran Efrati

Eran Efrati is the executive director of RAIA (Researching the American-Israeli Alliance), an investigative researcher into the Israeli military, and a board member of Jewish Voice for Peace. He formerly served as the director of ICAHD-USA, and as the chief researcher of Breaking the Silence, where he collected testimonies from hundreds of IDF soldiers about their activities. He has worked with the International Criminal Court and participated in both independent and UN investigations into Israeli military operations. His investigative reports have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post,and The Guardian, among others. Today his research is focused on international military and police partnerships between the United States and Israel.

Location: New York

Areas of Expertise: U.S.-Israeli security and military alliance and police exchanges; Israeli and U.S. military industries; research

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Brad Parker

Brad Parker is a staff attorney and international advocacy officer at Defense for Children International – Palestine. He specializes in issues of juvenile justice and grave violations against children during armed conflict, and leads DCIP’s legal advocacy efforts on Palestinian children’s rights. He leads DCIP’s US Program and is a co-leader of the No Way to Treat a Child campaign. He is a graduate of the University of Vermont and received his J.D. from the City University of New York School of Law.

Location: New York City, NY

Areas of Expertise: No Way to Treat a Child campaign; child prisoners; policy work; international humanitarian law; international human rights law

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Rae Abileah

Rae Abileah is a social change strategist, writer, educator, and advocate for collective liberation and economic justice. As the co-director and national organizer of CODEPINK Women for Peace for nearly a decade, she ignited campaigns to counter wars and militarism, and amplify peace-building alternatives. She has led delegations to Palestine, coordinated BDS campaigns, and published articles and poetry toward disrupting structures of inequality and making freedom contagious. She’s a contributing author to Beautiful Trouble: A Toolbox for Revolution, Beyond Tribal Loyalties, 10 Excellent Reasons Not to Join the Military, and Corporate Complicity in Israeli Occupation. She received a dual degree in Environmental Science and Human Rights from Barnard College at Columbia University. She is an American Jew of Israeli descent and is an ordained Kohenet Hebrew Priestess.

Location: Denver, CO and Bay Area, CA

Areas of Expertise: Grassroots organizing; creative actions; campaign strategy; BDS (consumer boycotts, institutional divestment): Jewish narrative and activism; environmental injustice and climate change; media and digital tools; intersectional work

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Anna Baltzer

Anna Baltzer is an award-winning author and organizer for Palestinian rights. She is the former Director of Organizing and Advocacy at the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights with a focus on boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) and has given hundreds of presentations, trainings, and interviews across the US and on five continents. She is author of Witness in Palestine: A Jewish American Woman in the Occupied Territories and produced the film “Life in Occupied Palestine: Eyewitness Stories & Photos.”

Location: St. Louis, MO

Areas of Expertise: BDS; Anti-Zionist Jewish organizing; white antiracism training; coalition-building; occupation on the ground; messaging and presenting

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Dalit Baum

Dalit Baum is the director of Economic Activism for the American Friends Service Committee. She is a feminist BDS teacher and activist, and the co-founder of the Coalition of Women for Peace in Israel and of Who Profits from the Occupation. She has accompanied dozens of campaigns for Palestinian liberation around the world and created the Investigate resource about corporate complicity in state violence.

Location: Bay Area, CA

Areas of Expertise: Economic activism and boycotts; theory of nonviolence; history and practice of divestment; BDS; companies involved in the occupation, in prisons and the US-Mexico border; Corporate Social Responsibility and SRI; feminism and war; strategic campaign planning.

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Andrew Kadi

Andrew Kadi is an organizer who formerly sat on the Steering Committee of the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights. His writing has been published in The Guardian, Left Turn Magazine, Mondoweiss, and The Electronic Intifada.

Location: Washington, DC

Areas of Expertise: BDS; Palestine/Israel 101; Palestinian citizens of Israel; skills workshops (campaigning, organizing, social media, press release writing, etc.)

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Ayesha Khan, Ph.D.

Ayesha Khan, Ph.D., is a Clinical Microbiologist, Infectious Diseases scientist, grassroots organizer, writer, artist and abolitionist educator bridging science and medicine with social justice and geopolitics. Dr. Khan served on the steering committees of the U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights (2020-2022) and National Students for Justice in Palestine (2015-2020). She also served as a lead organizer with BDS Houston, founder of March for Science Houston, Project Director of the Incarcerated Youth Tutorial Project and as External Affairs Director on the board of SJP at UCLA, co-organizing a 4-year campaign to successfully pass a divestment resolution and has since worked with and trained Palestine solidarity campus organizers worldwide. As a grassroots trainer, Ayesha focuses on connecting the dots between the movement for Palestine and global anti-capitalist, anti-colonial movements.

Dr. Khan is building the foundations of a novel field of study- Abolitionist Science, which aims to, i) decode the science of collectivism, neurodiversity and trauma, ii) use evidence-based science to drive anti-capitalist, anti-colonial global movement strategy and, iii) shape daily praxis for community building (i.e. the apply political theory in our daily life and relationships). Her activism focuses on Palestinian liberation, prison & police abolition, dismantling internalized capitalism, decolonizing medicine, neurodiversity, South Asian minority rights, immigrant or migrant worker rights. A glimpse of her art activism and education is on instagram @wokescientist, the Cosmic Anarchy newsletter on substack, her podcast Disorderland and on her website.

Ayesha is a Siddi (Afro-Indian), Queer, immigrant born in Bangalore, India, and grew up in the diaspora without a stable home in several countries from Russia to Saudi Arabia, spending most of her childhood in the Middle East. She received her Bachelor’s in Microbiology, Immunology and Molecular Genetics, and Global Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2015 and her Ph.D. in Infectious Diseases from the University of Texas Health Science Center and MD Anderson Cancer Center in 2020. Dr. Khan is currently a visiting faculty in infectious diseases at the Universidad del Desarrollo in Santiago, Chile. Her medical research focuses on the development of infectious diseases diagnostics and novel treatment strategies to combat antibiotic resistant superbugs in low-resource settings.

Noam Perry

Noam Perry is the associate of the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) Economic Activism Program, which produces Investigate, an online investment screening tool and database of companies involved in human rights violations, including the Israeli occupation. Before that he taught in the Human Rights Program at San José State University, where he was faculty advisor of Students for Justice in Palestine.

Location: Bay Area, CA

Areas of Expertise: Divestment; corporate targets; economic activism; Socially Responsible Investment; BDS; campus organizing

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Garik Ruiz

Garik Ruiz is the former North America Liaison for the Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC), the largest coalition in Palestinian civil society. Garik has worked with local and national partners throughout North America to support BDS campaigns and be a direct link for local organizers back to the BNC leadership in Palestine. Garik spent six months in Palestine at the height of the second intifada in 2002 and 2003 working with Palestinians resisting the occupation non-violently through the International Solidarity Movement (ISM). Garik is based in Los Angeles and in addition to Palestine solidarity work has been deeply involved in local struggles for racial justice and immigrant rights.

Location: Los Angeles, CA

Areas of Expertise: BDS; nonviolent direct action; campaign strategy

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Rochelle Watson

Rochelle Watson is National Organizer for Friends of Sabeel – North America. She has 15 years of experience as a community organizer for grassroots organizations including the Rachel Corrie Foundation, Art Forces and Garden Raised Bounty. She co-founded the Olympia Rafah Sister City Project after her friend, Rachel Corrie, was killed by the Israeli military in 2003 while protecting a Palestinian home facing demolition. In 2010 she co-founded Olympia BDS, which led to Olympia Food Co-op becoming the first US grocery store to boycott Israeli goods. She’s experienced the power of grassroots organizing, strategic campaigns and direct action in Seattle during the WTO protest, in Oaxaca during the teacher led popular uprising and in Palestine through volunteering with the International Solidarity Movement.

Location: Bay Area, CA

Areas of Expertise: BDS 101; organizing 101; current U.S.-based BDS campaigns (municipal, consumer, and church related)

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Ayesha Khan, Ph.D.

Ayesha Khan, Ph.D., is a Clinical Microbiologist, Infectious Diseases scientist, grassroots organizer, writer, artist and abolitionist educator bridging science and medicine with social justice and geopolitics. Dr. Khan served on the steering committees of the U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights (2020-2022) and National Students for Justice in Palestine (2015-2020). She also served as a lead organizer with BDS Houston, founder of March for Science Houston, Project Director of the Incarcerated Youth Tutorial Project and as External Affairs Director on the board of SJP at UCLA, co-organizing a 4-year campaign to successfully pass a divestment resolution and has since worked with and trained Palestine solidarity campus organizers worldwide. As a grassroots trainer, Ayesha focuses on connecting the dots between the movement for Palestine and global anti-capitalist, anti-colonial movements.

Dr. Khan is building the foundations of a novel field of study- Abolitionist Science, which aims to, i) decode the science of collectivism, neurodiversity and trauma, ii) use evidence-based science to drive anti-capitalist, anti-colonial global movement strategy and, iii) shape daily praxis for community building (i.e. the apply political theory in our daily life and relationships). Her activism focuses on Palestinian liberation, prison & police abolition, dismantling internalized capitalism, decolonizing medicine, neurodiversity, South Asian minority rights, immigrant or migrant worker rights. A glimpse of her art activism and education is on instagram @wokescientist, the Cosmic Anarchy newsletter on substack, her podcast Disorderland and on her website.

Ayesha is a Siddi (Afro-Indian), Queer, immigrant born in Bangalore, India, and grew up in the diaspora without a stable home in several countries from Russia to Saudi Arabia, spending most of her childhood in the Middle East. She received her Bachelor’s in Microbiology, Immunology and Molecular Genetics, and Global Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2015 and her Ph.D. in Infectious Diseases from the University of Texas Health Science Center and MD Anderson Cancer Center in 2020. Dr. Khan is currently a visiting faculty in infectious diseases at the Universidad del Desarrollo in Santiago, Chile. Her medical research focuses on the development of infectious diseases diagnostics and novel treatment strategies to combat antibiotic resistant superbugs in low-resource settings.

 

Jeff Ordower

Jeff Ordower has 25 years of organizing experience and has worked in community, labor, climate justice, and racial justice organizing. Ordower’s organizing roots are both in queer work and in many roles with ACORN. Ordower has been a longtime participant with both social movements and organizations, and was part of the core of Occupy Homes, provided support to the Ferguson Uprising, and has been part of many different organizing and direct action campaigns.

Location: Bay Area, CA

Areas of Expertise: Nonviolent direct action; organizing skills; campaign skills; group structure

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Garik Ruiz

Garik Ruiz is the former North America Liaison for the Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC), the largest coalition in Palestinian civil society. Garik has worked with local and national partners throughout North America to support BDS campaigns and be a direct link for local organizers back to the BNC leadership in Palestine. Garik spent six months in Palestine at the height of the second intifada in 2002 and 2003 working with Palestinians resisting the occupation non-violently through the International Solidarity Movement (ISM). Garik is based in Los Angeles and in addition to Palestine solidarity work has been deeply involved in local struggles for racial justice and immigrant rights.

Location: Los Angeles, CA

Areas of Expertise: BDS; nonviolent direct action; campaign strategy

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Rabbi Alissa Wise

Rabbi Alissa Wise is a community organizer, ritual leader, and organizational steward with over two decades of movement-building experience. She has served as a chaplain at Planned Parenthood, the Education Director at Jews for Racial & Economic Justice (JFREJ), and co-authored the “Facing the Nakba” curriculum, among other educational resources. She was a staff leader at Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) from 2011-2021, serving as Co-Director of Organizing, interim Executive Director, and Deputy Director. She is in demand as a public speaker and opinion writer, with work in outlets including The Guardian and Newsweek.  Rabbi Wise lives in West Philadelphia, where she facilitates and coaches human rights and movement-building NGOs toward deeper strategy, organizing, and leadership.

Location: Philadelphia, PA

Areas of Expertise: Grassroots organizing practices; antisemitism; Jewish community dynamics; faith-based organizing

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Rev. Alex Awad

Location: Eugene, OR

Areas of Expertise: Christian Zionism; theology, on-the-ground situation

Jennifer Bing

Jennifer Bing works with the Palestine-Israel program for the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), an international Quaker organization with nearly 70 years of engagement in Palestine and Israel. Following three years living and working in the West Bank, Jennifer started working at AFSC in 1989 and since then has organized dozens of speaking tours, conferences, educational workshops, protests, delegations, and public events. She currently co-leads the “No Way to Treat a Child Campaign” and “Gaza Unlocked” at AFSC and works with numerous faith-based, community, and human rights organizations.

Location: Chicago, IL

Areas of Expertise: Palestinian children in detention/No Way to Treat a Child campaign; Gaza; event planning and creative messaging/advocacy on Palestine

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Taher Herzallah

Location: Washington, DC

Areas of Expertise: Campus activism; faithwashing

Taurean J. Webb

Taurean J. Webb‘s scholar-activism is at the intersection of Black/Palestinian solidarity. As a Black Christian abolitionist theologian and critical race theorist, his focal areas are inter-racial and interfaith coalition. For the past several years, Webb’s movement-building work has consisted in faith-based organizing and facilitating trainings for groups/persons seeking to grow deeper in their critical coalition pursuits, when/where appropriate.

Location: Chicago, IL

Areas of Expertise: Interfaith; Islamophobia and Afrophobia; inter-racial coalition training; faith-based organizing and coalition training; political Zionism and Christian Zionism; critical race theory; critical whiteness studies/training; Black/Palestine

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Rabbi Alissa Wise

Rabbi Alissa Wise is a community organizer, ritual leader, and organizational steward with over two decades of movement-building experience. She has served as a chaplain at Planned Parenthood, the Education Director at Jews for Racial & Economic Justice (JFREJ), and co-authored the “Facing the Nakba” curriculum, among other educational resources. She was a staff leader at Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) from 2011-2021, serving as Co-Director of Organizing, interim Executive Director, and Deputy Director. She is in demand as a public speaker and opinion writer, with work in outlets including The Guardian and Newsweek.  Rabbi Wise lives in West Philadelphia, where she facilitates and coaches human rights and movement-building NGOs toward deeper strategy, organizing, and leadership.

Location: Philadelphia, PA

Areas of Expertise: Grassroots organizing practices; antisemitism; Jewish community dynamics; faith-based organizing

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Aber Kawas

Aber Kawas is a Palestinian American community organizer from Brooklyn New York. She has been working with the Arab and Muslim communities in New York City around policy issues such as immigration reform, unlawful policing, and surveillance, as well as advocating against Islamophobia. Aber served as the NYC Advocacy Specialist with the Campaign to Take on Hate under the National Network of Arab American communities, transitioning from her position as Advocacy Director at the Arab American Association of NY. Currently, she has relocated to Johannesburg South Africa to complete an MA focused on Islamic Liberation Theology.

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Find more speakers and workshop facilitators through the Jews Against Anti-Muslim Racism Speakers Bureau.

Taher Herzallah

Location: Washington, DC

Areas of Expertise: Campus activism; faithwashing

For biography & contact info, visit FOSNA Palestinian Speakers List.

Aber Kawas

Aber Kawas is a Palestinian American community organizer from Brooklyn New York. She has been working with the Arab and Muslim communities in New York City around policy issues such as immigration reform, unlawful policing, and surveillance, as well as advocating against Islamophobia. Aber served as the NYC Advocacy Specialist with the Campaign to Take on Hate under the National Network of Arab American communities, transitioning from her position as Advocacy Director at the Arab American Association of NY. Currently, she has relocated to Johannesburg South Africa to complete an MA focused on Islamic Liberation Theology.

Ayesha Khan, Ph.D.

Ayesha Khan, Ph.D., is a Clinical Microbiologist, Infectious Diseases scientist, grassroots organizer, writer, artist and abolitionist educator bridging science and medicine with social justice and geopolitics. Dr. Khan served on the steering committees of the U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights (2020-2022) and National Students for Justice in Palestine (2015-2020). She also served as a lead organizer with BDS Houston, founder of March for Science Houston, Project Director of the Incarcerated Youth Tutorial Project and as External Affairs Director on the board of SJP at UCLA, co-organizing a 4-year campaign to successfully pass a divestment resolution and has since worked with and trained Palestine solidarity campus organizers worldwide. As a grassroots trainer, Ayesha focuses on connecting the dots between the movement for Palestine and global anti-capitalist, anti-colonial movements.

Dr. Khan is building the foundations of a novel field of study- Abolitionist Science, which aims to, i) decode the science of collectivism, neurodiversity and trauma, ii) use evidence-based science to drive anti-capitalist, anti-colonial global movement strategy and, iii) shape daily praxis for community building (i.e. the apply political theory in our daily life and relationships). Her activism focuses on Palestinian liberation, prison & police abolition, dismantling internalized capitalism, decolonizing medicine, neurodiversity, South Asian minority rights, immigrant or migrant worker rights. A glimpse of her art activism and education is on instagram @wokescientist, the Cosmic Anarchy newsletter on substack, her podcast Disorderland and on her website.

Ayesha is a Siddi (Afro-Indian), Queer, immigrant born in Bangalore, India, and grew up in the diaspora without a stable home in several countries from Russia to Saudi Arabia, spending most of her childhood in the Middle East. She received her Bachelor’s in Microbiology, Immunology and Molecular Genetics, and Global Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2015 and her Ph.D. in Infectious Diseases from the University of Texas Health Science Center and MD Anderson Cancer Center in 2020. Dr. Khan is currently a visiting faculty in infectious diseases at the Universidad del Desarrollo in Santiago, Chile. Her medical research focuses on the development of infectious diseases diagnostics and novel treatment strategies to combat antibiotic resistant superbugs in low-resource settings.

 

Cecilie Surasky

Cecilie Surasky is the founding communications director of Jewish Voice for Peace and longtime former deputy director, and now works with a range of Palestinian rights organizations. Cecilie works to both educate and inspire, and has given trainings and talks to numerous audiences on topics including white supremacy, settler colonialism and the special relationship with Israel; the fundamentals of effective political messaging; the power, art and science of storytelling; building power through communications strategy; grassroots fundraising and movement-building; media 101; building digital campaigns and social media; values-based communication about boycott, divestment and sanctions, and censorship in the Jewish community. Cecilie has spoken at numerous conferences including NTEN, Netroots, Rachel Corrie Foundation, GIFT fundraising conference, FOSNA and JVP.

Location: Bay Area, CA

Areas of Expertise: Palestine messaging and political persuasion fundamentals; communication campaigns and strategy;  grassroots fundraising and movement-building; social media and digital campaigning; public speaking; censorship

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Maria LaHood

Maria LaHood is Deputy Legal Director at the Center for Constitutional Rights, and is on the advisory board of Palestine Legal and the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights. She currently represents Palestinian rights advocates in the U.S. facing suppression of their advocacy, including in cases such as Davis v. Cox, defending former Olympia Food Co-op board members for boycotting Israeli goods, and Awad v. Fordham, seeking to compel Fordham University to recognize Students for Justice in Palestine as a student club.

Location: New York City, NY

Areas of Expertise: Suppression of advocacy for Palestinian rights

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Remi Kanazi

Location: New York City, NY

Areas of Expertise: Poetry; cultural boycott

Ayesha Khan, Ph.D.,

Ayesha Khan, Ph.D., is a Clinical Microbiologist, Infectious Diseases scientist, grassroots organizer, writer, artist and abolitionist educator bridging science and medicine with social justice and geopolitics. Dr. Khan served on the steering committees of the U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights (2020-2022) and National Students for Justice in Palestine (2015-2020). She also served as a lead organizer with BDS Houston, founder of March for Science Houston, Project Director of the Incarcerated Youth Tutorial Project and as External Affairs Director on the board of SJP at UCLA, co-organizing a 4-year campaign to successfully pass a divestment resolution and has since worked with and trained Palestine solidarity campus organizers worldwide. As a grassroots trainer, Ayesha focuses on connecting the dots between the movement for Palestine and global anti-capitalist, anti-colonial movements.

Dr. Khan is building the foundations of a novel field of study- Abolitionist Science, which aims to, i) decode the science of collectivism, neurodiversity and trauma, ii) use evidence-based science to drive anti-capitalist, anti-colonial global movement strategy and, iii) shape daily praxis for community building (i.e. the apply political theory in our daily life and relationships). Her activism focuses on Palestinian liberation, prison & police abolition, dismantling internalized capitalism, decolonizing medicine, neurodiversity, South Asian minority rights, immigrant or migrant worker rights. A glimpse of her art activism and education is on instagram @wokescientist, the Cosmic Anarchy newsletter on substack, her podcast Disorderland and on her website.

Ayesha is a Siddi (Afro-Indian), Queer, immigrant born in Bangalore, India, and grew up in the diaspora without a stable home in several countries from Russia to Saudi Arabia, spending most of her childhood in the Middle East. She received her Bachelor’s in Microbiology, Immunology and Molecular Genetics, and Global Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2015 and her Ph.D. in Infectious Diseases from the University of Texas Health Science Center and MD Anderson Cancer Center in 2020. Dr. Khan is currently a visiting faculty in infectious diseases at the Universidad del Desarrollo in Santiago, Chile. Her medical research focuses on the development of infectious diseases diagnostics and novel treatment strategies to combat antibiotic resistant superbugs in low-resource settings.

Naima Shalhoub

Naima Shalhoub is a vocalist, musician, composer and educator. With an MA in Postcolonial Anthropology and background as an organizer, Shalhoub performs and speaks in concert venues, conferences, teaches in schools and universities, facilitates music sessions in prisons, and is an experienced Restorative Justice practitioner and trainer with a transformative justice lens. She released her debut album “Live in San Francisco County Jail” in 2015 and recently released her first studio record “Siphr.” Naima has been featured in AJ+, Jadaliyya, Electronic Intifada, Al Quds al Arabi, Al Akhbar, San Francisco Chronicle and others.

Areas of Expertise: Music; singing; performing arts; restorative/transformative justice; centering Palestine in movements to end mass incarceration and abolition; solidarity and collective liberation; social movements and music/art; remembrance as a decolonial practice.

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Ayesha Khan

Ayesha Khan, Ph.D., is a Clinical Microbiologist, Infectious Diseases scientist, grassroots organizer, writer, artist and abolitionist educator bridging science and medicine with social justice and geopolitics. Dr. Khan served on the steering committees of the U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights (2020-2022) and National Students for Justice in Palestine (2015-2020). She also served as a lead organizer with BDS Houston, founder of March for Science Houston, Project Director of the Incarcerated Youth Tutorial Project and as External Affairs Director on the board of SJP at UCLA, co-organizing a 4-year campaign to successfully pass a divestment resolution and has since worked with and trained Palestine solidarity campus organizers worldwide. As a grassroots trainer, Ayesha focuses on connecting the dots between the movement for Palestine and global anti-capitalist, anti-colonial movements.

Dr. Khan is building the foundations of a novel field of study- Abolitionist Science, which aims to, i) decode the science of collectivism, neurodiversity and trauma, ii) use evidence-based science to drive anti-capitalist, anti-colonial global movement strategy and, iii) shape daily praxis for community building (i.e. the apply political theory in our daily life and relationships). Her activism focuses on Palestinian liberation, prison & police abolition, dismantling internalized capitalism, decolonizing medicine, neurodiversity, South Asian minority rights, immigrant or migrant worker rights. A glimpse of her art activism and education is on instagram @wokescientist, the Cosmic Anarchy newsletter on substack, her podcast Disorderland and on her website.

Ayesha is a Siddi (Afro-Indian), Queer, immigrant born in Bangalore, India, and grew up in the diaspora without a stable home in several countries from Russia to Saudi Arabia, spending most of her childhood in the Middle East. She received her Bachelor’s in Microbiology, Immunology and Molecular Genetics, and Global Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2015 and her Ph.D. in Infectious Diseases from the University of Texas Health Science Center and MD Anderson Cancer Center in 2020. Dr. Khan is currently a visiting faculty in infectious diseases at the Universidad del Desarrollo in Santiago, Chile. Her medical research focuses on the development of infectious diseases diagnostics and novel treatment strategies to combat antibiotic resistant superbugs in low-resource settings.

Rahim Kurwa

Rahim Kurwa is a PhD Candidate at UCLA and longtime member of Students for Justice in Palestine. He previously served on the steering committee of the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights from 2014-2017.

Location: Los Angeles, CA

Areas of Expertise: Student organizing

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