On November 7 Iranian Alliances Across Borders (IAAB) concluded a successful weekend at the 2010 Student Summit. This year's college and graduate student leadership summit was held at the George Washington University in Washington, DC.
With a repertoire of speakers of diverse backgrounds and expertise, students were provided with well-rounded discussions and new ideas to support their role as leaders. Summit speakers included: Thenjiwe McHarris of Amnesty International, Dr. Niaz Kasravi of the NAACP, Dr. Sousan Abadian, a fellow at MIT, Laura Pena, Special Advisor to the Under Secretary for Democracy andGlobal Affairs, and Nobar Elmi of NIAC -as well as IAAB's own co-founder Narges Bajoghli and Executive Director Mana Kharrazi.
Students traveled from around the country to join IAAB's Summit, including student leaders from California, Iowa, Illinois, Georgia, Connecticut, New York, and the DC metropolitan area. Bringing with them an array of leadership styles and experiences, this group of leaders truly created a diverse community through which students were able to exchange their ideas while creating friendships and new ideas for collaboration.
"In the past few years, I've attended a number of leadership workshops and trainings, but none of them have ever had the impact that Student Summit had on me," shares Beeta Baghoolizadeh, a graduate student atthe University of Texas at Austin, "The workshops Summit Team had put together really gave us the opportunity to bond and build ties by the first afternoon. I left the Student Summit in complete awe of everyone I had met--never have I interacted with such inspirational people in one setting."
IAAB's Summit provided student participants with an opportunity for networking, collaboration and open discussion by means of an in-depth understanding of the greater identity and background of the Iranian diaspora community; a comprehensive repertoire of particular tools and techniques necessary for effective leadership; and, a network of emerging leaders from diverse fields who continue to collaborate and partner of various projects. An overarching goal of the Student Summit is to provide students with tools and support systems that they can carry with them beyond the weekend conference, as they return to their communities and organizations.
"The Student Summit was an idea put forth two years ago by one of IAAB's promising student leaders who hoped to create a space for discussion among students- including the college students that make up IAAB's staff," shared Taraneh Aminian, a member of IAAB's Student Summit planning committee.
After the successful weekend in Washington, DC, students were suggesting semester installments of the Summit to provide more opportunities for collaboration and discussion, and they look forward with great anticipation for the next installment of IAAB's Student Summit.
Shared Jayhon Reza, a freshman at the University of Connecticut, "The IAAB Summit was an incredibly valuable experience that allowed me to explore and see my heritage in a whole new light. I will be forever thankful for what IAAB had accomplished at the summit and look forward to participating in the future!"
About Iranian Alliances Across Borders (IAAB) - IAAB is a 501(c)(3) non-partisan, non-profit volunteer organization with a young, dedicated staff spread across the United States, Europe and Iran. The mission of the organization is to address issues of the Iranian diaspora community while raising awareness of the Iranian community, promoting leadership, and connecting Iranians across borders. For more information about IAAB, please visit www.iranianalliances.org.
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