With over 75 speakers in attendance from as far as Australia, Germany, the UK, Canada, Israel, Holland, Italy, Norway, and all across the US, an art show, a film series, workshops and roundtables, and 10 panels, The 5th IAAB Conference was a huge success. The conference was held October 13-14at the University of California, Los Angeles.
As one participant stated: "I wish that there was an Iranian American community like this locally that I could tap into, and while there surely is a community, the truth is you've brought together the cream of the crop again: people as notable for their accomplishments, intelligence, agency as they are their passion, commitment, and kindness."
We learned about the variety and breadth of scholarship and research being conducted in and about our communities. We learned about local organizations and community leaders working to ensure the needs (health, social services, cultural, and educational) of Iranian diaspora communities are not only met, but supported for long term community growth. We discussed issues and ideas that are overlooked, underrepresented, and often left unaddressed in other venues. And we watched, read, and listened to cultural producers and their productions that are challenging audiences, both Iranian and non-, and both artistically and socially.
We also heard about the challenges many face in the Iranian diaspora - as refugees, as undocumented/irregular migrants, as leaders of cultural/educational/health/rights/student organizations, as educators, advocates, activists, cultural producers, journalists, and scholars. We learned about the amazing work that so many of our colleagues are doing around the world to address those challenges, and their recommendations for what is needed going forward.
Please see our blog for full coverage of all of the panels and talks and stay tuned for our videos from the Conference in the days to come!
All the participants and speakers at The IAAB Conference have inspired us to continue working hard for our community, and we're excited for all the new partnerships that were forged this weekend. Onward!
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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