Announcing the Recipients of the 2023 Alex Odeh Award

Anaheim, CA | | September 12, 2023 – The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) is delighted to announce that this year’s recipients of the Alex Odeh Award are William Lafi Youmans and Jason Osder. This selection was made with the full support and backing of the Odeh family. The award recognizes their outstanding leadership, unwavering dedication to public service, and steadfast commitment to the Arab American community.

This award is presented annually in honor of Alex Odeh, the late civil rights hero who served as the ADC West Coast Director at the time of his tragic assassination in 1985. Over the decade Youmans and Osder have worked tirelessly on the production of their full feature documentary film Who Killed Alex Odeh? to investigate and document the killing of Alex Odeh. The film has been presented at industry meetings arranged as part of Gotham Week, HotDocs and Sundance Film festival. Both Youmans and Osder were Sundance Film Institute fellows in 2014.

The film received funding from International Documentary Association, George Washington University, Cinereach, Sundance Documentary Fund, University of Maryland, Baltimore Counter, Dresher Institute for the Humanities, Jewish Story Partners and the Palestine Foundation.

Alex was a tireless Arab American peace activist who dedicated his life to safeguarding civil and human rights in the United States and around the world. Described by his wife, Norma Odeh, as an “organizer with a unique talent for bringing people of all races and religions together to work side by side for the common good of all mankind,” Alex’s legacy is commemorated each year with the presentation of this prestigious award.

The Alex Odeh Award will be presented during the Annual Alex Odeh Banquet, part of the 2023 Alex Odeh Memorial Conference, October 6th – 7th in Anaheim, CA. The Banquet will be held on the evening of Saturday October 7th at the Delta.

Click here now to learn more and register for the upcoming Conference and Banquet.

About the Awardees

William Lafi Youmans

William Lafi Youmans is an Associate Professor at the School of Media and Public Affairs at George Washington University (GWU). His role extends to serving as the director of the Institute of Public Diplomacy and Global Communication at GWU.

Youmans is notably recognized for his book titled “Unlikely Audience: Al Jazeera’s Struggle in America,” which delves into the Qatari news network’s endeavors to establish a foothold in the American news market. His insightful commentary and expertise have been published in Salon, The Washington Post, Newsweek, Variety, and The New York Times, among others. He has also made appearances as a guest on radio and television programs such as CBC Radio, WAMU/NPR, Headline News, Al Jazeera English, and ARD. In addition to his written contributions, Youmans has been a regular columnist for Arab American News and The Gulf News.

Currently, Youmans is engaged in two significant long-term projects. The first is the production of a documentary film centered around the life of Alex Odeh. His second ongoing project involves the creation of a substantial video archive documenting Arab American TV, a program that aired from Los Angeles in the early 1980s to the early 2000s.

Youmans earned his B.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Michigan. Additionally, he holds a J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley.

Jason Osder

Jason Osder is a renowned filmmaker, directing the award-winning documentary “LET THE FIRE BURN,” on the tragic 1985 confrontation between the MOVE group and the Philadelphia police, resulting in eleven lives lost. Supported by the Sundance Institute, the documentary premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival, earning Best Editing in a Documentary and a Jury Special Mention for Best New Documentary Director. It then traveled to over fifty global film festivals and received nominations for numerous prestigious awards, including wins at the Montreal International Documentary Festival, the International Documentary Association Creative Recognition Prize in Editing, the Cinema Eye Honor for Editing, and the Independent Spirit Truer than Fiction Award.

Apart from his filmmaking, Jason Osder is a media educator, producer, and author with expertise in documentary filmmaking, social sciences, and education theory. As a faculty member at the School of Media and Public Affairs, he teaches documentary theory and production and online journalism techniques.

Jason is also the creator of various online courses within the LinkedIn Learning Online Training Library, covering topics such as “YouTube Essential Training” and “Documentary Editing with Premiere Pro.” With a twenty-year career in professional training, consulting, and implementation in the dynamic field of creative media technologies, he has collaborated on projects and training programs with Discovery Channel, National Geographic, Sundance, NPR, and others.

Presently, Jason Osder continues to contribute to filmmaking and media education, working on projects supported by PBS and The Sundance Institute.

We hope you can join us in Anaheim this October.

Take a moment and register by clicking here.
The Conference will be held at the Delta Hotels Anaheim Garden Grove located at 12021 Harbor Boulevard Garden Grove, California 92840. ADC has secured a special room rate of $169 for out-of-town guests. Click here to take advantage of the special rate and reserve your room now!

If you are interested in sponsoring the conference, please send an email to for additional information.

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