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Student Track Announced For The IAAB Conference

Source: Iranian Alliances Across Borders (IAAB)

The 5th IAAB International Conference on the Iranian Diaspora will take place October 13-14, 2012 at the University of California, Los Angeles.

As a part of IAAB’s Fifth International Conference on the Iranian Diaspora, we are pleased to announce programming specifically dedicated to university students. While conference sessions and panels are open to all participants, the following sessions expand on issues highlighted in panels and workshops to include a particular focus on the needs of Iranian diaspora students. All Iranian diaspora students are welcome to participate in the following sessions. Please email to register in advance for these student sessions!


Lunch - 12pm

Assessing the Needs of Youth in the Iranian Diaspora Community

This interactive session will provide participants the opportunity to connect with other students while also sharing their respective needs as student leaders. Attendees will brainstorm and identify the current needs and objectives of Iranian diaspora youth. Participants will then examine how to translate the needs of youth into organizing opportunities as student leaders on campuses and in their local communities.

Facilitators: Ms. Mana Kharrazi, Mr. Shervin Etemad, Mr. Reza Rad

Participants: Current Students and Recent Graduates

Roundtable - 12:45pm

The Roles of Iranian Student Organizations: Advocacy vs. Cultural Programming?

This participatory roundtable will provide a forum for representatives from Iranian student groups to discuss the current and future roles they can and do play on their respective campuses and in their communities. What should these roles be? How can groups best work to balance social and advocacy roles while also responding to current events, adjusting to shifts in group leadership, and maintaining access to resources and group status on campus? Workshop participants will share and learn from each other's experiences while gaining useful tools for the future that will aid in balancing these important roles.

Facilitator: Ms. Pardis Bakheshi

Participants: Mr. Shervin Etemad (IAAB), Ms. Halleh Hashtpari (ISG at UCLA), additional participants TBA


Lunch - 12pm

Leading the Next Generation

Attendees will draw lessons from conference panels and discussions with a focus on how to move forward as a community. Questions for consideration will include: What do we need to do as young leaders in order to meet our community’s needs? How do we utilize our strengths as Iranian diaspora students to meet challenges facing our community?

Facilitator: Ms. Mana Kharrazi, Mr. Shervin Etemad, Mr. Reza Rad

Participants: Current Students and Recent Graduates

Workshop - 2:35pm

Immigration: Undocumented Experiences, Challenges, and Paths Forward

This workshop will focus on the experience of undocumented immigrants and the challenges they face, particularly as students. Speakers include DREAMERs and student activists, as well as immigration experts.

Facilitator: Ms. Pouneh Behin

Participants: Mr. Mohammad Abdollahi, Ms. Shirin Hakimzadeh, Mr. Diego Sepulveda

Panel - 3:30pm

Bringing Us Together: Innovative Diasporic Community Organizing

The speakers on this panel have each responded to perceived needs in their Iranian communities by addressing them in creative and innovative ways. Hear how each has approached community organizing, and utilized their own experiences and skill sets to create innovative programming for multiple sectors of the Iranian diaspora community.

Chair/Discussant: Ms. Narges Bajoghli (IAAB/NYU)

Ms. Golineh Atai (DIWAN, Germany) - “How a (socio-) cultural initiative, founded by 2nd- and 3rd- generation Iranians can bring together Iranians of all age and Germans”

Mr. Mehrdad Ariannejad (founder, Tirgan Festival) - “Tirgan, the Largest Iranian Cultural Festival in the World, Outside Iran”

Ms. Hoori Sadler (Persian American Cancer Institute)

Dr. Mammad Aidani (Univ. of Melbourne, Australia) - “What is Deposited in the Mother Tongue: Making Theatre in Diaspora”

Online pre-registration is now open and space is limited - register today to receive early bird discounts! We are also pleased to offer group rates at an additional discount for students! If you are interested in registering a group of 8+, email us at

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

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