DAVID SHEEN is an independent journalist born and raised in Toronto, Canada who has been reporting from the ground in Israel-Palestine for the past decade. His feature documentary on ecological architecture, First Earth, was translated into a dozen languages and published by PM Press in 2010. Sheen gave a TEDx talk on the topic of the film in Johannesburg, South Africa later that year. In 2010 and 2011, Sheen worked as a reporter and content editor for the Israeli daily newspaper Haaretz. In 2012, he authored a report on racism in Israel for the United Nations. Ever since, Sheen has written both reportage and opinion pieces for a variety of local, regional and international publications, including The Electronic Intifada, The New Arab, Al Jazeera, and Middle East Eye. Thousands of these articles carry the byline of the journals that published them, but hundreds of them are identified as authored by Sheen. He is often sought out by foreign media as a commentator on Israeli affairs. Since 2014, he has delivered lectures on these topics at universities around the world and multiple European parliaments. In 2017, Sheen was recognized for his reporting and named a Human Rights Defender by the the Ireland-based Front Line Defenders.


SMADAR LAVIE is a Mizrahi US-Israeli anthropologist, specializing in the anthropology of Egypt, Israel and Palestine focusing on race, gender and religion. Affiliated with the Ethnic Studies Department of U.C. Berkeley, Lavie recently was the Spatz Visiting Chair in Jewish Studies at Dalhousie University, Canada. Since Lavie’s outspoken activism resulted in an 8-year-long stop-exit order inside of Israel, she has focused on establishing feminist, anti-racist movements, including Israel’s first Feminist of Color NGO, Ahoti. She authored The Poetics of Military Occupation (UC Press 1990), receiving the honorable mention of the Victor Turner Award for Ethnographic Writing, and received an honorable mention from the Association of Middle East Women’s Studies for Wrapped in the Flag of Israel: Mizrahi Single Mothers and Bureaucratic Torture (Berghahn 2014, Nebraska UP 2018). Lavie won the American Studies Association 2009 Gloria Anzaldua Prize, and in 2013 won the Heart at East Honor Plaque for lifetime service to Mizrahi communities in Palestine-Israel.


SARAH HASSAINE is a long time advocate and community builder in the Arab-American community. After obtaining her Bachelors degree, Sarah moved to Beirut, Lebanon to do advocacy work for Palestinian and non-Palestinian refugees. She then moved to Washington, DC to work for the political branch of the Algerian Embassy and to pursue a Masters in Public Policy. In 2005, Sarah joined the board of the DC chapter of the Network of Arab-American Professionals and never looked back. She was on the board for seven years, ultimately serving as VP and then President. While in DC, she was also an active volunteer with ADC, AAI, CAIR, and Creative Associates. Sarah also spent a year on the Board of the Smithsonian African Art museum, representing the perspective of North Africans. To date, Sarah has launched NAAP chapters in Seattle and San Diego and has continued to volunteer with ADC San Diego and the annual Arab film festival. Professionally, Sarah's interests lie in the intersection of technology and social impact. Sarah is a Diversity and Inclusion practitioner for the telecommunications company Qualcomm. She is currently pursing her Executive MBA at Wharton's Business School.


More speakers to be announced!

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