Afghan Leadership & Reconciliation Summit: Unpacking the Hazara Experience

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Event description
Through 3 sessions during the day, this virtual summit will address the important social inequities that are experienced by Hazara peoples.

About this event

In order to be true, effective and well-informed leaders within Afghan diasporic communities, we need to build strong understandings regarding the various social issues and inequities that are experienced by Afghan communities. Afghan diasporic identities are multi-dimensional, diverse, and continuously shifting. As a leader in the Afghan community, it is especially necessary to learn how to be an active ally and advocate for the most vulnerable and marginalized within the Afghan community. The Hazara community has continued to disproportionately experience systemic discrimination and violence, both within the nation-state of Afghanistan and beyond it, in diasporic communities around the world.

With the generous guidance of Hazara-identifying Advisory Experts, this one-day virtual leadership summit will bring increased awareness and mobilize aspiring leaders within Afghan diasporic communities to take collective action, as part of their allyship and advocacy for Hazaras. Through multiple sessions during the day, the summit will address the important social inequities that are experienced by the Hazara community, provide a necessary overview of the often undiscussed histories of Hazara peoples, the centuries of state violence and genocide they continue to endure, as well as the ongoing systemic discrimination that is experienced from their Hazara identities in the diaspora. This will be followed by community action-planning to reimagine much-needed community mobilization towards the struggle for equity.

The summit is open to all Afghans but we also encourage non-Afghans to attend, in the spirit of true collective liberation. Summit attendees will leave the conference with more nuanced knowledge of Hazara histories, various systemic issues, and structural inequities that continue to disproportionately marginalize and minoritize Hazaras. Attendees will also know more about the important distinctions of being active allies and advocates for Hazaras, rather than being leaders for them.

Thank you to AYEDI (Afghan Youth Engagement and Development Initiative), TakingITGlobal & its RisingYouth program, the Government of Canada, and Canada Service Corps for generously supporting this project!

This summit is virtual and will be hosted on Zoom. To join the livestream, check out our YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCXe2p6FPDHBAoesuPcsRbrA

AGENDA FOR THE DAY:

All times are in EASTERN STANDARD TIME (GMT-500) Toronto, Canada.

1:00 -1:30PM EST: Introductions, Instructions, and Protocols

1:30 - 2:30PM EST: First Session - The Hazara Story: A Brief History

2:30 - 2:45PM EST: Break

2:45 - 3:45PM EST: Second Session - On the Ground: Current Issues

3:45 - 4:00PM EST: Break

4:00 - 4:15PM EST: Small Talk - The Peace Talks with Rustam Seerat and Derakhshan Qurban-Ali

4:15 - 5:15PM EST: Third Session - Allyship & Action Planning

5:15 - 5:30PM EST: Closing Remarks

BY REGISTERING FOR THIS EVENT, YOU ARE REGISTERING TO ATTEND ALL THREE SESSIONS. It is not possible to register for individual sessions.

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Registration and attendance for this summit is FREE.

Due to the unprecedented amount of interest, enthusiasm, and direct messages to us, we have decided to open the event up to a wider audience through a number of different means (below).

This summit is now "first-come-first-serve" on the day of the event.

This means that, even if you register for the event, you are not guaranteed a seat. You are guaranteed a Zoom link to the event, however. Because our Zoom license has a limit on the number of participants, only those that join the Zoom on time will be able to get into the summit itself on the day of (Feb. 13, 2021 at 1PM EST).

IMPORTANT EVENT DETAILS:

  • We will be live-streaming most of the summit on a streaming platform (most likely YouTube).
  • We will be recording some of the sessions at the summit and posting them at a later date on our website (archcanada.org).

If you are not able to get into the summit through Zoom, you can either join the live-stream on YouTube (link will be sent via email and shared on our social media as well as our website on the day of) or you can watch the recordings afterwards.

The first 50 attendees will receive a $10 CAD Starbucks Gift Card after the event for attending the entire summit.

**YOU MUST ATTEND ALL THREE SESSIONS TO RECEIVE YOUR GIFT CARD*

After registering and closer to the date of the summit, you'll receive a summit package through the email you provide when registering that contains a detailed itinerary alongside information about facilitators/speakers, and more of what to expect from the event.

If you have any questions, please email us at info@archcanada.org.

SPEAKERS AND FACILITATORS:

Under the advice of our Advisory Team, in order to best center Hazara voices, each session is led by a Hazara-identifying speaker followed by a non-Hazara speaker. The non-Hazara speaker provides allyship by shouldering the burden of the work that needs to be done to address the injustices faced by the Hazara community.

AKRAM GIZABI

Mr Akram Gizabi has a long history of advocating for the human and civil rights of the Hazara people which led to him being elected as the new chairman of the World Hazara Council in 2017. This dates back to when he fought against the Russians who invaded Afghanistan. He remained a strong supporter of the Hazara leader, Abdul Ali Mazari, and held talks about the Hazara people with the late King Zahir Shah in Rome, Italy. Gizabi is a well-respected figure among the Hazara community in Pakistan too, for the years he resided in Quetta. He later moved to the USA and worked as a radio journalist for the VOA (Voice of America) in Washington, DC for 20 years, concentrating on human rights, women’s rights, and the rights of minorities in Afghanistan.

Akram is speaking in SESSION 1 - THE HAZARA STORY: A BRIEF HISTORY.

JAWAD ZAWULISTANI

Jawad Zawulistani currently works as Managing Director of Afghanistan Human Rights and Democracy Organization. This year most of AHRDO’s efforts focused on mobilizing, networking and capacity-building of civilian victims of war to make sure victims voices are heard and included in the Afghan peace process with a victim-centered peacebuilding approach. Jawad has completed a master’s degree in Conflict Resolution and Coexistence at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management, Brandies University through the Fulbright scholarship program. Before leaving AHRDO for his studies in the US in July 2017, he worked as the organization’s Program Manager and led several projects focusing on empowering victims of war, promoting human rights and addressing ethnic conflict in Afghanistan. Prior to that, he worked as an analyst and researcher with leading Afghan media focusing on topics of conflict, peace and security in Afghanistan.

Jawad is speaking in SESSION 2 - ON THE GROUND: CURRENT ISSUES.

RABIA LATIF KHAN

Rabia recently completed a PhD in South Asian Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London (SOAS). Her research explored Hazara consciousness and Hazara historiography. She also holds an LLM in human rights from SOAS.

Rabia is speaking in SESSION 2 - ON THE GROUND: CURRENT ISSUES.

DERAKHSHAN QURBAN-ALI

Derakhshan Qurban-Ali is a Hazara-Canadian human rights advocate, independent researcher, and Co-Director of WelcomeHome.to, an organization connecting resources, people, and organizations who support refugees in Toronto. She has nearly a decade of experience working with refugees, from volunteering at the front lines of the refugee crisis in Hungary, Germany, and Greece to providing legal information to detained migrants in Canada.

Derakhshan has published research on topics such as refugee migration and integration in the EU, Canadian foreign policy in Afghanistan, international law, and human rights, and has shared her insights at multilateral forums such as the UN Human Rights Council. Formerly, she was also a Compliance Director with the G20 Research Group, Chair of Amnesty International UofT, and a Studio Y Fellow at Canada’s largest innovation hub.

Derakhshan is a recent J.D./B.C.L. graduate of McGill University’s Faculty of Law and graduated with High Distinction from the Honours Bachelor of Arts program at the University of Toronto, receiving her Joint Specialist degree in International Relations and Peace, Conflict & Justice.

Derakhshan is speaking in SESSION 3 - ALLYSHIP & ACTION PLANNING

MADINA WARDAK

Madina Wardak (MSW/ACSW) is a mental health social worker of Afghan descent based in Los Angeles. Madina studied Political Science with an emphasis on the Middle East, as well as Social Work as it pertains to children, youth & families. Madina is passionate about accessible mental health resources for the SWANA community and regularly engages in dialogue on her platform Burqas & Beer to deconstruct taboo on a variety of issues.

Madina is speaking in SESSION 3 - ALLYSHIP & ACTION PLANNING

RUSTAM ALI SEERAT

Rustam Ali Seerat is a doctoral candidate at the Department of International Relations, South Asian University, New Delhi. His doctoral thesis is on “External Intervention and Ethnic Politics in Post-2001 Afghanistan”. He is interested in identity politics and ethnic political representations. Rustam has contributed opinion pieces to the Diplomat Magazine, Foreign Policy, the Wire, Al-Jazeera, London School of Economics (LSE) Blog, South Asia Monitor, Geopolitics, Global Voices, and the Institute of Chinese Studies (New Delhi) Blog.

Rustam will join Derakhshan for a short talk on the current peace talks (4:00PM - 4:15PM).

WIL PATRICK

Wil Patrick is a doctoral student in the Critical Geographies Research Lab at the University of Victoria. He is a political geographer researching self-governance in Central Asia, focusing on Afghanistan and Tajikistan, in solidarity with local struggles and to support the region's autonomy. He does translation and organizes with Afghan refugees and activists in the diaspora and in Afghanistan.

Wil is facilitating in SESSION 1 - THE HAZARA STORY: A BRIEF HISTORY.

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Organizer ARCH (Afghans Reviving Culture and Heritage)

Organizer of Afghan Leadership & Reconciliation Summit: Unpacking the Hazara Experience

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